Fleury extends term as engineering dean

Under his watch, a new biomedical engineering

building has grown from a blueprint sketch to a near-complete edifice on the corner of Trumbull and Prospect streets, and Dean of Engineering Paul Fleury said he wants to be around when faculty and students start moving in.Fleury, who came to the University in 2000, has accepted an extension of his appointment for another two years. Previously the engineering

dean at the University of New Mexico, Fleury came to Yale as the University announced a $500 million initiative to upgrade science and engineering

resources. Since then, he has assisted the hiring about 20 new faculty and advancing the construction of the new building.Fleury said that he decided to stay, despite the expiration of his first term this coming summer, because he wants to see the projects he began reach fruition.”I felt I needed a little more time to get further along in my agenda,” Fleury said. “I want to be here for the young faculty, to have them more firmly start off on their careers.”He said that he is excited about the development

of the Environmental Engineering Program and the Biomedical Engineering Department, which gained departmental status in 2003. Construction of the new building will likely be finished this summer, he said.Biomedical Engineering is one of five departments

— the others being Applied Physics, Chemical Engineering, Electric Engineering and Mechanical Engineering — that Fleury is responsible for overseeing, though each has its own leadership and faculty.James Duncan, the biomedical engineering director of undergraduate studies, said Fleury has helped the relatively new department organize itself, negotiated space and funding for facilities, and encouraged the appointment of faculty affiliated

with the Yale School of Medicine.These joint appointments have been a major strength of the department, Duncan said, because they allow for undergraduates to do lab work and use imaging equipment at the medical school. Another benefit for majors will be undergraduate laboratory space in the new biomedical engineering

building, he said.He said that the department’s two main concerns

are adjusting to its new locale and building a strong reputation.”We’d like to get moved in smoothly, and the key issue for us has been getting physical space,” Duncan said. “We are also working to get greater national recognition in research rankings.”Duncan said although the department has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and has had success in recruiting new faculty since its inception, it is still relatively unknown.He said he hoped greater prominence in the future will attract new students and increase the number of undergraduate majors to about 20-25 students.Marshall Long, the chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said Yale has few engineering majors relative to other universities. This lack of interest could stem from the rigorous

requirements for an accredited engineering degree, he said.”We are working on ways to get more students into all of our majors,” Long said. “While small classes are valuable, we would like to increase the size of our department.”Long said most engineering majors who graduate from Yale have an advantage over engineers from other schools, because their technical

knowledge is accented by a broad liberal arts background from fulfilling distributional requirements.Fleury has been an active and supportive influence and has stayed in close contact with the engineering departments, Long said.”None of this could have been done without having a strong leader, someone to carry the ball,” he said.Fleury has worked at Bell Labs, in addition to academic and government research laboratories,

and he has received awards for research in condensed matter and optical science. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science.

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