May 28-June 10, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 10
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
Finals Weekend 2004
Miksad to leave deanship
Wadley named 2004 inventor of the year
Headlines @ U.Va.
General Assembly roundup
Smackdown your vote
College strikes a high-tech deal with Microsoft and Thomson Learning
A Childhood Dream Come True
A Day in the Life
University’s busiest gym to debut new addition
The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Career You Want
Ring CMC telethon phones for 20th year
Museum having 30th birthday party
Miksad to leave deanship
Richard Miksad
Photo courtesy of the School of Engineering and Applied Science
In his 10 years as dean, Richard Miksad has encouraged faculty to be aggressive and entrepreneurial in seeking research opportunities and funding. He has supported efforts to infuse classroom teaching with the excitement of laboratory research, particularly for undergraduates.

By Charlotte Crystal

When Richard W. Miksad steps down as dean on Aug. 24, his 64th birthday, he will leave the School of Engineering and Applied Science a better place.

Miksad has worked to infuse the school with a stronger sense of mission and unity, while nurturing a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration. He has encouraged faculty to be more aggressive and entrepreneurial in seeking out new research opportunities and sources of funding. He also has supported efforts to infuse classroom teaching with the excitement of laboratory research — particularly for undergraduates.

His efforts have been felt beyond the school walls.

“In his 10 years as dean, Dick Miksad has worked with great energy and vision to strengthen the research program at the School of Engineering and Applied Science,” said President John T. Casteen III.

Miksad’s tenure as dean has featured such highlights as:

• The Whitaker Foundation making two grants to the University totaling $10.5 million for the program in biomedical engineering;

• Construction of MR-5, a $43 million, 85,000-square-foot biomedical engineering and biomedical science building;

• The award of a $5 million grant in 2000 from the National Science Foundation to establish a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center — the Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design;

• The $15 million lead gift from
Gregory H. Olsen (’71) for Wilsdorf Hall, a $38.9 million building that will bring researchers in materials science, chemical engineering and nanotechnology under one roof.

• Establishment of the Science and Technology Policy Washington (D.C.) Internship Program.

“His efforts are reflected in successes in biomedical engineering, in the construction of research buildings, in increased support for junior faculty, enhanced industry contacts and in fundraising. Dean Miksad has made a crucial difference here and has added immeasurably to the reputation of the University.”

“My goal in coming here was to take a very nice engineering school in transition at an excellent university and make it a world-class institution,” Miksad said.

And now, apart from the continuing challenge of securing research funding, “every other element is in place for success,” Miksad said. “The faculty compete with any in the world. The students are top notch. The physical plant is pretty darn good. All the ingredients are here for success and fulfilling the aspirations of subsequent deans.”

Thomas C. Skalak, chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering who has been leading the national search for Miksad’s replacement, said the search is now entering its final phase.

“The president and provost will be involved with this decision during the month of June to ensure a seamless transition,” Skalak said. “Our paramount consideration has been to find an outstanding engineering leader to take the school to the next level from the foundation that Dick Miksad has built over the past 10 years.”

After teaching an introduction to engineering class to entering first-year students next fall, Miksad will spend the winter and spring working at the University of Auckland in New Zealand to help restructure the university’s graduate school of business into a new “graduate school of enterprise” along with Wendell E. Dunn III, formerly a Darden School professor and board member of the U.Va. Patent Foundation.


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