Amir Mirmiran: Dean - FIU College of Engineering and Computing
Amir Mirmiran: Dean – FIU College of Engineering and Computing

A Letter from the Dean

Dear faculty, students, alumni, and friends:

I could not have been more proud of our faculty and students for all their accomplishments in the 2011-12 academic year. From the new Discovery Lab in our School of Computing and Information Sciences to the impressive 12-fan Wall of Wind, and from our faculty winning prestigious national awards to our student groups receiving first place in national competitions, this past year has been a year to remember. Global construction giant, Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) helped create the OHL School of Construction, the first named school in the history of our College. For the first time ever, our Lehman Center for Transportation Research found itself with three University Transportation Center affiliations. And in another impressive first for our College, we have landed an NSF Nano ERC in partnership with NC State, Penn State and University of Virginia – one of the only three NERCs funded in a highly competitive process.

Faculty Updates: In 2011-12, the College welcomed 11 new faculty members, including the Director of School of Computing and Information Sciences, Dr. Iyengar, and Chair of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Bhansali. Moreover, five (5) faculty members in the College received their tenure and/or promotion during this academic year, and three (3) instructors were promoted to senior instructors. 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 15 new faculty members for this coming 2012-13 academic year.

Education: The College saw a 2% increase in its student body to 4,866 (4,038 undergraduates, 561 master’s, and 267 doctoral) students. The largest growth in the student body was reflected in Engineering Management (61%), Biomedical Engineering (11%), Computing and Information Sciences (10%) and Mechanical and Materials Engineering (8%). On the other hand, a decline in the construction sector led to some enrollment loss in Construction Management (19%) and Civil and Environmental Engineering (4%). The College graduated a near record number of 883 students, relative to last year’s record number of 891, conferring 587 baccalaureate degrees, 265 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Our College also enjoyed a substantial growth in its distance learning programs: (a) our FEEDS program (Florida Engineering Education Delivery System) increased its course offering and enrollment by 18% and 47%, respectively; and (b) our online program (through FIU Online) increased its course offering and enrollment by 50% and 295%, respectively.

Research: Our research enterprise enjoyed incredible growth this past year. The awarded contracts and grants during the year reached an all-time high of $18.9M, an average of over $208K per tenured or tenure-earning faculty. The external research expenditure also broke the record at $15.0M. Close to 80% of our funding this past year came from federal sources, including 25% from the National Science Foundation, 23% from Department of Energy, 14% from National Institutes of Health, and 13% from Department of Defense. Research in our college is widespread among our faculty, with 77% of our tenured or tenure-earning faculty serving as PI or Co-PI on active grants this past year. Moreover, 14% of tenured or tenure-earning faculty received awards in excess of $0.5M. This report also lists the top ten research awardees in our College during this past year.

External Programs: The College has launched its first Professional MS in Construction Management at the FIU Pines Center in Broward County, while starting its 4th cohort of Professional MS in Engineering Management students at the same location. Starting in January 2013, our College will launch its logistics track for the MS in Engineering Management in downtown Miami at FIU’s new Brickell campus. We also plan to start our MS in Information Technology on Brickell. Globally, our first cohort of MS in Construction Management students have begun their studies in the Dominican Republic, and we are planning the first cohort in Panama for January 2013. We also signed three (3) new dual degree agreements with universities in China and one new dual degree agreement with a university in the Dominican Republic—bringing our international dual degree agreements to a total of 21, with programs in Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Dominican Republic, and China.

Rankings: According to the 2011 ASEE Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges, our College ranked as 25th largest undergraduate engineering program nationally, third largest in the state. Our Computer Science ranked as the second largest (inside engineering colleges) nationally after the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, claiming the first place in the state. Our Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering programs ranked respectively as the 16th and 21st largest undergraduate programs among their peers nationally. For the second year in a row, our faculty took pride in ranking 9th nationally (first in the state) for their productivity defined based on the number of BS degrees awarded relative to the faculty size.

Diversity: 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 US, according to the 2011 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 University of Maryland at College Park and the City University of New York for awarding BS degrees in engineering to African Americans. We also ranked 2nd in the state for the number of BS degrees in engineering 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 ranked 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 department has the highest in-state employment rates amongst its state university peers at all three levels (BS/MS/PhD). Our BS graduates in electrical engineering and information technology also rank first in the state. Our MS graduates in construction management, engineering management and environmental engineering also rank first in the state.

Fundraising: Our College also had a record breaking year in fundraising, with the naming of the OHL School of Construction, a new endowment for a professorship in civil engineering, three industry-sponsored professorships, and the new Discovery Lab to name a few.

With the growth in enrollment, conferred degrees, and research awards, there is an equal dimension of quality as reflected in the scholarly work and faculty honors. Our dedicated faculty and our growing alumni base of over 15,000 Golden Panther Engineers are going to make an incredible future for our young College, following our 2010-15 strategic road map.

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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 Our quarterly e-Newsletters are also online at Finally, we invite you to friend us at our college page on facebook® and help build an e-community of our stakeholders.

Amir Mirmiran
Vasant H. Surti Professor of Civil Engineering and Dean

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