A Letter from the Dean

FIU Engineering Center

Dr. Amir Mirmiran

Dr. Amir Mirmiran

2012-13 Annual Report

A Letter from the Dean

Dear faculty, students, alumni, staff, and friends:

This past year was a banner year for your college – a year filled with exciting accomplishments for faculty and students, a flourishing enterprise of research and education, and a testament to the strength of the college as the up-and-coming technology powerhouse in Florida. This year, the college broke a new record by graduating 50 doctoral students. We launched FIU’s first international internship program with global construction giant OHL, at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain. The college ranked first among all state universities in Florida for the success of its computer science, computer engineering and IT graduates, and as a result we have been awarded a lion share of IT performance funding from the State for the next two years. This past year, our School of Computing and Information Sciences celebrated its 25th anniversary, while our Department of Biomedical Engineering celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Faculty Updates:

In 2012-13, the college welcomed 14 new faculty members, and three (3) of our current faculty members received their tenure and/or promotion. The bios of the new faculty and those who received their tenure and/or promotion are included in this report. Continuing our growth path, we have hired 6 new faculty members for the coming academic year.


The college enjoyed a 7.3% increase in its student body to a new record of 5,223 students – the third in the State of Florida. The largest growth in the student body was realized in Mechanical and Materials Engineering (19%), Biomedical Engineering (17%), Engineering Management (12%), and Computing and Information Sciences (11%). The college graduated a record high of 925 students, conferring 602 baccalaureate degrees, 273 master’s degrees, and 50 doctoral degrees – new milestones for both BS and Ph.D. degrees awarded.


Our research expenditures from external funding sources declined by less than 2%, while new awards declined by about 16% from the all-time high achieved last year. The external funding was well over $160K per faculty. Close to 80% of our funding this past year came from federal sources, including 35% from the National Science Foundation, 17% from the Department of Defense and 12% from the U.S. Department of Transportation. While the modest decline in new awards may be attributed to the sequestration in federal funding, the true story behind the numbers is how our research enterprise continues to shine with so many bright points of light every year; powerful lights with which our faculty demonstrate the sustainability and effectiveness of their research portfolio. Examples are plenty; from Ming Zhao, director of the Virtualized Infrastructure, Systems, and Applications (VISA) Lab in computer science winning his NSF CAREER award at the same time as a major contract from the Army Research Office to Naphtali Rishe winning one of only eight (8) Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) awards from NSF for his pioneering work on industry ecosystem to pipeline research in computing and information sciences. The top 10 research awardees of the college are listed in this annual report, with their work spanning from transportation engineering to biomedical research, from advanced materials to corrosion, and from wireless sensors to engineering education research.

Expanding Educational Opportunities:

With the expansion of PortMiami to accommodate the world’s largest ships crossing the new Panama Canal, and the rise of Miami International Airport to first place among all U.S. airports in international freight and cargo, Miami is becoming the North American hub for logistics and tech industries. Both logistics and IT have been identified as target industries in the One Community One Goal strategic plan of Miami’s Beacon Council. The college is responding with the launch of two new MS programs for information technology (IT) and logistics, designed in a unique accelerated one-year format for working professionals and executives. These programs follow the success of the college’s two professional programs in engineering management and construction management that are currently running at the FIU Pines Center. The condensed curriculum, online-available lecture videos, and catered meals provide a flexible and convenient alternative to traditional graduate programs. Our first cohort of MS students in construction management in the Dominican Republic graduated this summer. The college expanded its articulation and dual-degree agreements with a number of universities in China and Latin America. In the coming year, in partnership with Structuralia in Spain, the online MS in Construction Management will be offered in Spanish to students in Iberian Peninsula and Latin America.


According to the most recent ASEE Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges, our college ranked as the 19th largest undergraduate engineering in the nation, the third largest in the State. Our computer science ranked as the sixth largest among their peers nationally, the highest ever such ranking for our school. Our computer engineering and electrical engineering programs ranked respectively as the 17th and 21st largest undergraduate programs among their peers nationally.


Diversity of our student body continued to be a source of pride and distinction for our college. We continue to be the top producer of Hispanic engineers in the continental U.S., according to the most recent ASEE Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education also ranked our college as No. 1 for degrees awarded to Hispanics both in engineering and in computer science. This past year, the college ranked 8th, tied with Florida A&M University/Florida State University and Southern University for awarding BS degrees in engineering to African Americans. We ranked 2nd in the State for the number of BS degrees in engineering awarded to women, 1st for the percentage of MS degrees awarded to women, and 2nd for the percentage of Ph.D. degrees awarded to women.

Employment of Our Graduates:

In a testament to the effectiveness of our academic programs, based on the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program our graduates continued to rank higher than most other universities in the State based on their percentage of in-state employment; making our college a true engine for economic development in Florida. Our biomedical engineering has the highest in-state employment rates amongst its peers at all three levels (BS, MS, and Ph.D.). Our BS graduates in electrical engineering and information technology, and our MS graduates in construction management, engineering management and environmental engineering also rank first among their peers in the State.


Our college exceeded its fundraising goal for the year by over 25%, with a number of notable gifts, including the Operation Technology’s major software grant to the Smart Grid Testbed in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Moss and Associates’ generous gift to name the Build Environment Informatics Laboratory in the OHL School of Construction.

Looking Ahead:

With the growth in enrollment, conferred degrees, and research enterprise, there is an equally important dimension of quality, as reflected in the scholarly work, discoveries and inventions, faculty honors, and the placement of our graduates.

2014 marks the 30th anniversary of our college – thirty years of profound impact on technology ecosystem in South Florida, building it from the ground up. Today, faces of FIU Engineering are shining at the helms of many organizations in South Florida. Our dedicated faculty and staff, our talented students of today and the future technology leaders, and our growing alumni base of nearly 20,000 Golden Panther Engineers are committed to make an even brighter future for our college and our community.

I invite you to take a look at the highlights of accomplishments of our faculty and students in various units of the college featured in this annual report. For more information, please visit the college website at www.cec.fiu.edu. Our quarterly e-Newsletters are also available online at http://www.cec.fiu.edu/Enewsletter/. Finally, I invite you to befriend us at our college page on facebook® and help build an e-community of our stakeholders.

Looking back at our thirty year history, we have shown that if we can dream it, we can engineer it. We hope that you will continue to invest your trust in our dream, and join us for the next leg of this exciting journey!

Amir Mirmiran, Ph.D., PE, FASCE, FACI
Vasant H. Surti Professor and Dean

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