Dean’s Message

Dean’s Message

Congratulations to the UF Engineering Class of 2024!

We celebrate this monumental accomplishment in recognition of your years of rigorous effort in the classroom and beyond. You have distinguished yourselves not only in your chosen engineering area of study, but as leaders in the university community, in national competitions that have showcased Gator Engineering know-how, and as ambassadors of the Gator Good in your broader sphere of influence.

And you did it together, collaboratively, leveraging the collective ingenuity, creativity and intellectual diversity and perspectives of those sitting next to you today — to encourage, support and inspire each other along this path. In that endeavor, you have represented the very best values of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.

Honored graduates, a new world marked by historic technological innovation and discovery awaits. But, as you go forward from your alma mater, carrying with you the energetic inspiration of your mentors and the labor that forged your engineering expertise, know that the world also waits on you. Be assured that there are challenges and problems humankind will not solve unless you are the one to solve them. That is both a commission and a burden. But you are ready. Today is a testament to that fact.

You now take your place as fellow standard-bearers for the global brand of Gator Engineering, like so many generations before you. You’re in great company. Go Gators!

Forrest J. Masters, Ph.D., P.E. (FL)
Interim Dean, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
University of Florida

Interim Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Forrest Masters, Ph.D., P.E., serves as interim dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida. A professor of Civil and Coastal Engineering in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment, he was formerly Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at UF Research. His research primarily focuses on hurricane effects on the built environment. Dr. Masters has conducted field experiments in 36 named storms, including recent Category 4 storms Harvey and Laura, and Category 5 Michael. He also created one of seven National Science Foundation (NSF) Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) experimental facilities for the study of damaging effects of extreme wind events on civil infrastructure. Dr. Masters has received support from 50 grants from state, federal and private sources, including the NSF Faculty Early Career Development and Major Research Instrumentation Programs. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and has given more than 100 invited presentations. He serves on the Board of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and he recently served on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction. In 2014, he was awarded the junior International Association of Wind Engineering award, the highest award in his field that recognizes significant and original research contributions by an individual under 40. He also received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Mitigation at the National Hurricane Conference.