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Message from Dean Fauchet

Fall 2014


In my two years as dean, the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering has experienced significant change. We have had unprecedented growth in entrepreneurial activity, crosscutting collaboration, and creating unique learning environments.

Our student, alumni, and faculty entrepreneurs are garnering attention and finding success commercializing innovative technologies. They have competed in and won hackathons and pitch competitions. They have incubated projects in a number of accelerators in Tennessee and beyond.

In support of this enhanced world of innovation, Vanderbilt has taken the significant step of breaking ground on a large trans-institutional facility, the Engineering and Science Building. Expected to open for the 2016-17 academic year, the building is designed to strengthen Vanderbilt’s work as a major producer of intellectual leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators, and to provide dedicated space for students, faculty, and researchers to collaborate, innovate, and learn.

A new form of collaboration has taken root in the School of Engineering. New spaces and new challenges inspire researchers to increase collaboration across disciplines. For instance, our Multiscale Modeling and Simulation group has a new nearly 8,000-squarefoot space to call home. MuMS faculty from chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering strive to understand soft and hard materials from the nanoscale up to the built environment by using tools such as molecular dynamics and advanced computational methods. These new nanomaterials can be fabricated at the Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering and tested in real-world scale at our Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability.

Atoms are not the only building blocks of today’s research. The Institute for Software Integrated Systems works within the school and with outside collaborators to build future cybersecurity and cyberphysical systems. Thanks to the strong links being built among MuMS, VINSE, LASIR, and ISIS, we have the ability to scale from the nano to the macro environment, as well as link to cyber and physical systems. Additionally our Risk and Reliability group focuses on predicting when it is necessary—and how best—to intervene in a system or structure if a failure is imminent.

Every discipline in the School of Engineering thrives in these collaborative environments. The following pages demonstrate how our departments, centers, institutes, and research groups work across our strategic research areas of health and medicine, security, and energy and natural resources while engaging students in their work and creating learning opportunities outside the classrooms.

Best regards,


Philippe Fauchet , Dean