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Dr. Mei Wei

Mei Wei

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering,
University of Connecticut

Campus Visit Dates

April 18-20

Public Presentation and Reception

April 19, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Raikes Great Hall

Wei Evaluation Form

Dr. Mei Wei is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Connecticut and full professor of materials science and engineering. In 2013, when Dr. Wei became Associate Dean, she was also appointed Center Director for the $7.5 million General Electric-UConn Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials and Modeling. In these two positions, she is heavily involved in research management, academic affairs, industrial collaboration, entrepreneurship, and graduate education. With the effort of her and her colleagues, the School’s research awards have more than doubled within three years. She has also led the School’s ranking promotion, resulting in UConn Engineering moving up eight spots from 2016 to 2017.

In 2015, in addition to her other appointments, Dr. Wei was appointed Interim Department Head of Mechanical Engineering. During her 1.5 year tenure as Interim Head, Dr. Wei successfully stabilized the department, improved morale, and helped increase the department’s ranking by eight spots. During her time as Interim Head, she also had a strong focus on junior faculty mentoring. In the past two years, three junior faculty members have received NSF CAREER awards and two have received ONR Young Investigator awards.

Dr. Wei is actively involved in professional society activities. She serves on the editorial board for Bioceramics Development and Applications and Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, and is an Associate Editor for the Journal for Biomedical Materials Research: Part A. She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and has received numerous awards and honors, including: election to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), the Connecticut Women of Innovation Award, and the University Professional Excellence Award.

In addition to her involvement on external boards, Dr. Wei serves on several University-level committees. She is a board member of both the UConn Technology Incubation Program and the $25 million Thermo Fisher-UConn Center for Advanced Microscopy and Materials Analysis, and serves as an active member of the UConn Diversity Council, the UConn Senate, and the Institute for System Genomics Executive Committee. She is one of the five voting members of the UConn Financial Conflict of Interest Committee.

Dr. Wei joined the UConn Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 2002, and within 10 years was promoted to Full Professor. Her research centers on biomaterials and tissue engineering. She has published more than 100 referred journal articles, filed six patents, and published three book chapters. She is an entrepreneur, co-founding a biomedical device start-up company.

Dr. Wei earned her bachelor’s in metallurgy materials engineering from Shenyang University of Technology in China, and a master’s and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of South Wales in Australia.

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Dr. David Ashley

David Ashley

Professor of engineering practice, Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Southern California

Campus Visit Dates

April 23-24

Public Presentation and Reception

April 24, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Willa Cather Red Cloud

Ashley Evaluation Form

David B. Ashley is a professor of engineering practice in the Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. David retired as a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2015 where he also served as its eighth president from 2006 to 2009. Prior to joining UNLV, Dr. Ashley was founding executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Merced. He has also served as dean of engineering at The Ohio State University. A primary emphasis in these administrative positions has been on assuring academic quality through rigorous evaluation and planning processes engaging all appropriate constituencies. Fiscal stewardship responsibilities have grown with the successive positions; internal emphasis has been on budget development/management, often during extraordinarily difficult circumstances, while external outreach has centered on key legislators, donors and other community leaders. Dean and president positions included substantial capital campaign fundraising responsibilities yielding significant success. A common, central theme for all these prior administrative positions has been building or enhancing the institution’s reputation as a leading university among its peers.

David’s principal academic activities are in the construction project planning of large-scale, complex projects. Designing and testing risk management responses to potential sources of cost overruns or delay are key foci. Other research efforts include determination of factors leading to construction project success, predictive models of project performance, assessment of project change consequential effects, project scope modeling, conceptual estimating, and innovative project financing approaches. Recent subject areas taught include: project risk management, project evaluation and financing, engineering project management, engineering economy, professional practice in civil and environmental engineering, and civil and environmental engineering senior design.

David is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, where he has also received the Peurifoy Research Award and the Construction Management Award for his pioneering work on project risk management. In 2008, he was elected to the National Academy of Construction, the premier honor for a construction professional in the United States. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

David received a B.S. in civil engineering and an M.S. in civil engineering–project management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in engineering–economic systems, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering–construction engineering and management from Stanford University.

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Dr. Lance C. Pérez

Lance Pérez

Interim Dean, College of Engineering and Omar H. Heins Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Campus Visit Dates

April 25-27

Public Presentation and Reception

April 26, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Willa Cather Red Cloud

Pérez Evaluation Form

Dr. Lance C. Pérez has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since August 1996 where he is currently the Omar H. Heins Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and his masters of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. In 1995 he was a postdoctoral fellow with the Institute for Signal and Information Processing at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Pérez’s research interests are in the areas of wireless communications, information processing, and engineering education and he leads the Perceptual Systems Research Group with funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA and other federal agencies. He was the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award and has been the PI or co-PI on over fifteen million dollars of grants. While at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he has received several teaching awards including the university’s College Outstanding Teaching Award. Dr. Pérez is the co-author with Dr. Christian B. Schlegel of the book Trellis and Turbo Coding: Iterative and Graph-Based Error Control Coding.

From August 2008 to August 2010, Dr. Pérez was a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation where he worked on the Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, the Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program, the Advanced Technology Education (ATE) program and the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program. While at NSF he managed a portfolio of awards totaling more than $30M and also worked on projects involving the National Academy of Engineering and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is currently on the board of directors of Unizin and WEPAN and serves as a member at large of the IEEE Education Society Board of Governors.

From August 2010 to June 2016, Dr. Pérez was an Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was part of the team that transitioned the university into the Big Ten Academic Alliance. His portfolio included faculty affairs, academic technology and academic facilities. From August 2013 to June 2016, Dr. Pérez was the Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he led the office responsible for supporting all non-professional graduate degree programs.

Dr. Pérez became the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in July 2016.

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