Powering the New Engineer | News from Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
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Forrest Masters, Interim Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
Forrest Masters, Ph.D., P.E.
Forrest Masters, Ph.D., P.E., Interim Dean and Professor of Civil and Coastal Engineering in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment
As interim dean, it is a great honor to lead the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering into a new and exciting chapter of its remarkable 110-plus-year history. I would like to begin by recognizing my predecessor, Dr. Cammy Abernathy, for the visionary leadership and tireless energy that left such an indelible mark on the College.
During her tenure, we experienced the greatest growth and impact ever by every significant metric: Our emerging footprint now includes the opening of the state-of-the-art Malachowsky Hall for Data Science & Information Technology later this year; our increasing, eminent faculty are the most diverse of any engineering college among the public AAUs; our ever-expanding portfolio of strategic collaborations with academia, industry, government and corporations is leveraging Gator Engineering expertise in every conceivable sector of society; and we boast a burgeoning talent pipeline that distinguishes our college and UF with groundbreaking discoveries and accomplishments in their professional fields.
In all aspects, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering is well-positioned for an ambitious trajectory going forward as we leverage our world-class technological and intellectual capital to take on even greater challenges — ones that distinguish us as a preeminent leader in engineering education and research.
Online Engineering Master’s Program at UF Top 10 Again Among Publics
USNWR Ranks Online Engineering Master’s Program at UF Top 10 Again Among Publics
UF’s online engineering master’s program solidified its position among the 10 best public institutions offering a virtual engineering graduate curriculum, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in their most recent choice for “Best Online Programs.” The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering tied for the No. 9 spot and rated No. 12 nationally overall.
The Fellowship of the Ring ... and a Ringleader

Chris A. Malachowsky
Chris A. Malachowsky (UF BSEE ’80), co-founder and NVIDIA Fellow of visual computer graphics vanguard NVIDIA, has made a philanthropic commitment to position UF as a national leader in AI education and research. He was honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Technology at UF and served as the keynote speaker at the Order of the Engineer in December 2022.
Two UF Professors Named National Academy of Inventors Fellows

Mark Tehranipoor, Ph.D., and Rajiv Singh, Ph.D.
Mark Tehranipoor, Ph.D., the Intel Charles E. Young Preeminence Endowed Chair Professor in Cybersecurity and the Chair of ECE, and Rajiv Singh, Ph.D., professor emeritus in MSE, have been elected to the National Academy of Inventors. The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election as a NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors.
Engineering a Gold Standard Patch for the Brain-Cranium Barrier

Lakiesha Williams, Ph.D.
A multidisciplinary University of Florida research team, headed by Lakiesha Williams, Ph.D., will test what researchers hope will be a dural graft option less likely to succumb to structural compromise and harmful immunological outcomes.
Redefining Who Can Be an Astronaut

Eric Shear
Eric Shear (UF MSCHE ’22) is pursuing his lifelong dream to travel into space. He is also profoundly deaf, and he is is on a mission to break barriers to space travel for people with disabilities.
Using AI to Assess Crop Damage After Tropical Storms, Hurricanes
University of Florida scientists will use artificial intelligence technology to quantify damage to fruits and vegetables caused by extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Ian.
Researchers Awarded $2.5 Million to Expand Harmful Algal Bloom Research Along Florida Coasts
A team of scientists including researchers from UF were awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support the development of new state-of-the-art water quality data and models to better predict and manage harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee River watersheds.
Three CHE Assistant Professors Receive the NIH Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award
Carl Denard, Ph.D., Piyush Jain, Ph.D., and Whitney Stoppel, Ph.D.
Each researcher was awarded a five-year, $1.8+ million award. MIRA awards provide investigators with greater stability and flexibility in funding, while enhancing their ability to take on ambitious scientific projects and approach problems more creatively.
Juan Gilbert and David Kaber Named IEEE Fellows
Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D., and David Kaber, Ph.D., have been named Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Dr. Gilbert was elevated for “leadership in broadening participation in computing and contributions to accessible voting technologies.” Dr. Kaber was elevated for “modeling and analysis of human-automation interaction and human-machine interface design in complex systems.”
New FinTech Certificate Program Offered to Graduate Students
This fall term, the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering began enrolling Ph.D. students in a new financial technology (FinTech) certificate program. The certificate focuses on new technologies and analytics for financial services with the objective of educating students in current applications, methods and benefits for the range of services.
Expanding Pathways For Black Engineers

Denise R. Simmons, Ph.D., and Idalis Villanueva Alarcón, Ph.D.
Denise R. Simmons, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering and associate dean for Workforce Development, is the leading principal investigator for the $1.28 million, four-year project “Critical Conversations: Systemic and Agentic Empowerment of Black Ph.D. Students and their Faculty Advisors in Engineering,” which is sponsored by the Racial Equity in STEM Education program, an initiative of the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources (EHR) division that supports racial equity in STEM.
UF Genome Sleuths Build a Map to Human Cancer Detection by Tapping Into the DNA of Other Species

Kiley Graim, Ph.D., and James Cahill, Ph.D.
Kiley Graim, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, is leading a $1.5 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute study with co-investigator James Cahill, Ph.D., an assistant instructional professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences. Their grant seeks to create a valuable tool that will allow researchers to diagnose human cancers, potentially leading to earlier clinical interventions.
UF ISE Student wins 2022 Raytheon Technologies Competition
ISE undergraduate Anushka Radhakrishnan, with a team comprised of students from highly regarded universities and colleges all over the country, won first place in the third annual Raytheon Technologies Invitational Business Case Competition. The competition combined 36 graduate and undergraduate students into random teams and required them to work together to find solutions for a supply chain and operations challenge.

Anushka Radhakrishnan
University of Florida Supports the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence
The University of Florida, a proponent for ethics in artificial intelligence, is part of a new global agreement with seven other worldwide universities that are committed to the development of human-centered approaches to AI that will impact people everywhere.
Shroff Family Creates a Legacy of Giving
Jayant Shroff's (BSChE '65) professional career in the U.S. spans over four decades and he has held many executive positions. The Shroff family is focused on mentoring young people to be leaders through Shroff Family Foundation scholarships in Chemical Engineering at University of Florida and engineering scholarships at Sarvajanik Education Society in Surat, Gujarat.
Laser Attack Blinds Autonomous Vehicles, Deleting Pedestrians and Confusing Cars
New research reveals that expertly timed lasers shined at an approaching lidar system can create a blind spot in front of the vehicle large enough to completely hide moving pedestrians and other obstacles. The deleted data causes the cars to think the road is safe to continue moving along, endangering whatever may be in the attack’s blind spot.
A Scientist’s Quest for an Accessible, Unhackable Voting Machine
Juan Gilbert, Ph.D., the Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and department chair of CISE, has spent 19 years inventing “the most secure voting technology ever created.”

Juan Gilbert, Ph.D.
Marissa Dockendorf, Ph.D.

Marissa Dockendorf, Ph.D.
Marissa Dockendorf, Ph.D., (Ph.D. ChE ’05), Executive Director, Head of Global Digital Analytics & Technologies at Merck & Co. Inc., recently presented to students in CHE about her career progression through industry. Dr. Dockendorf has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 14 years.
UF Focused on AI: University Teaches Students Skills in Artificial Intelligence
The University of Florida is increasing its focus on artificial intelligence, from the classroom to campus events. UF held its inaugural AI Days on Oct. 26-28, 2022, to showcase how it is building an AI-focused university. The events come as UF is integrating AI into its curriculum, providing students with a growing number of options to develop AI-related skills to prepare them for the workforce.
UF’s Tau Beta Pi Recognized as Best Chapter
The University of Florida chapter of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, “Florida Alpha,” was recognized as the R.C. Matthews Outstanding Chapter, an award which goes to the chapter determined to be the best out of over 250. Florida Alpha won the award because of its Gatortrax outreach program which educates young children about engineering.
Dean's Excellence Fund
Gifts made to the Dean’s Excellence Fund help students through experiential learning opportunities that emphasize team-based learning, hands-on projects, student-organized competitions, internships, and externships to develop their leadership and innovation skills.
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