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22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 401-874-7892

URI names distinguished educator, researcher
dean of College of Engineering

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 10, 2003 -- The University of Rhode Island has appointed Bahram Nassersharif, professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at New Mexico State University, to the post of dean of its College of Engineering. His appointment takes effect July 1.

Nassersharif succeeds Arun Shukla, who served as interim dean after Thomas Kim resigned in 2001 to return to teaching.

As dean, Nassersharif will have executive responsibility for the College and provide leadership for its academic, research and outreach programs. He will also hold an appointment as a professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics.

"Dr. Nassersharif was chosen from a strong and diverse field of candidates for the position," said M. Beverly Swan, URI provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We are delighted to have attracted to the University community someone of his background and experience, and we are confident he will make major contributions both inside and outside the University."

In addition to serving as the academic leader of the mechanical engineering program at New Mexico State, Nassersharif served as director of the University’s Title V Program, a faculty development program designed to improve students’ academic performance through active learning, computer-assisted instruction and multimedia classrooms. He also directed the Boeing Graduate Distance Education Program, which provides graduate engineering education to employees of The Boeing Co. in several states via live satellite, videotapes and the Internet.

Previously, he was a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he directed its National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment. He was also an assistant professor in the departments of nuclear engineering and computer science at Texas A&M University. He has consulted for Delphi Automotive Systems, Boeing, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, among others.

"What interests me most about the URI College of Engineering are the unique academic programs the College offers, such as ocean engineering, biomedical engineering and the International Engineering Program," said Nassersharif. "I’m also extremely impressed with the faculty accomplishments in research and publications."

In the short term, Nassersharif said his aim will be to increase the College’s student enrollment and student retention rate and to increase resources for research and development. "Integral to the achievement of these goals is the development of a College strategic plan and a shared vision among all the College’s constituencies," he said.

"Long term goals include enhancing the College’s capabilities and resources in endowments, research and graduate studies," he added. "I also see the College of Engineering taking a leadership position in providing engineering education ‘anywhere and any time,’ and also playing a more prominent role in fostering and enhancing economic development activities in the state."

Nassersharif’s primary research interest involves the development of new systems for detecting damage in steam generator tubes used in nuclear power plants. He has developed a new design for an in-tube radar that can be used to inspect the metallic tubes for defects, and he is also designing an automated diagnosis system for the tubes using neural networks.

Nassersharif earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and a doctorate in nuclear engineering, both from Oregon State University.

The URI College of Engineering includes the departments of chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial and manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, and ocean engineering. It currently enrolls 939 undergraduate students and 137 graduate students, and employs 107 faculty, researchers and support staff.

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