Miksad to leave deanship
Photo courtesy of the School of Engineering and Applied
| 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
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
His efforts have been felt beyond the school walls.
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.
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
• 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.
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.”
goal in coming here was to take a very nice engineering school
in transition at an excellent university and make it a world-class
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.