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2019 State of the College Address

Growing research, inventing the future of engineering education, and expanding diversity and student success


On October 4, 2019, Dean Fotis Sotiropoulos delivered his fourth State of the College address, celebrating growth, and collective successes and achievements of faculty and students in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS).

Dean Sotiropoulos opened the address with a warm tribute to the life’s work of Distinguished Professor David Ferguson , a champion for diversity, STEM education and building opportunities for underrepresented populations - touching the lives of thousands of students not only at Stony Brook and the surrounding community, but across the country. 

A direct result of these efforts, CEAS was recently recognized by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) as one of only 74 institutions to receive Bronze status in Diversity and Inclusion, and then named one of 24 to receive “Exemplar” status, based on diversity, STEM and outreach programs . In addition, CEAS has steadily increased the number of women every year and this year crossed 25% of female undergraduate students, a 25% increase since 2015 and well above the national average.

Today, CEAS is a major contributor to the Nation’s workforce trained in engineering and applied sciences.  The college is the #1 producer of undergraduate degrees in the State of New York and ranks #19 nationally. With an average incoming first year student SAT score of 1434 and high school GPA of 95, “it’s no surprise that our student quality continues to soar,” said Dean Sotiropoulos. “Last year, it was more difficult to be admitted to Stony Brook than some of the very best engineering schools in the country.”  And student success is continuing to grow with the four-year graduation rate crossing 66% for the first time.

The College is at the forefront of reimagining engineering education in the era of exponentially growing technologies. Important innovations in student programs include: 

Development of the Institute for Engineering-Driven Medicine , a joint venture with the Renaissance School of Medicine , is well underway with the appointment of its inaugural leadership team and a new $75 million building under design to serve as the hub of innovation in medicine and engineering at Stony Brook. In addition, during the past year the Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation was formally launched at Bloomberg LP and several new faculty were hired to expand research capacity.

This was a banner year for research growth in CEAS as annual research expenditures continue to rise crossing the $40 million mark for the first time ever.  This represents growth of 14.5% in the last year alone, and 37% since 2015. Even more impressive, said Sotiropoulos, is that research expenditures per faculty are up 44% since 2015.  “I could not be more proud of our world-class faculty who are conducting research that is tackling society’s grandest challenges,” said Sotiropoulos.  “Our research productivity has risen to historic heights and is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds.”

Thanks to the engagement of faculty, alumni, and industry partners and a direct result of the quality and impact of our work, philanthropic fundraising performance has also seen a dramatic increase, crossing the $10 million mark this year, from a starting point of $1 million per year in 2015.

“Everything we do makes a difference and gets noticed,” said Sotiropoulos.  “The state of our College is the best it has ever been. And the best news is that we have so much more unrealized potential.”

Dean’s Millionaires Club - 2019 Award Recipients


Not pictured: Danny Bluestein, David Ferguson, Anatoly Frenkel, Robert Harrison, Lilianne Mujica-Parodi


Professor David Ferguson’s Millionaires Club award was presented posthumously to his sister, Karen Harris and nephew Kevin Harris

The address included the awards ceremony for the Dean’s Millionaires Club, recognizing faculty who secured more than $1 million in externally sponsored grants. Collectively, the group raised more than $40 million in new research funding during the last year. This year’s honorees are:

Niranjan Balasubramanian, Computer Science
Danny Bluestein, Biomedical Engineering
Monica Bugallo, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Petar Djuric, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Christine DeLorenzo, Biomedical Engineering
David Ferguson, Technology and Society
Anatoly Frenkel, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering
Robert Harrison, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Yingtian Pan, Biomedical Engineering
Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, Biomedical Engineering
Robert Rizzo, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
David Tonjes, Technology and Society
Jason Trelewicz, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering
Erez Zadok, Computer Science
Donghui Zhu, Biomedical Engineering

2019 Excellence in Teaching Award

2018 Excellence in Teaching Award given to Tony Scarlatos

Dean Sotiropoulos also announced the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award, given to Peter Milder, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Among his many credits, Professor Milder was recognized for his commitment to supporting students inside and outside of the classroom, with engaging lectures connecting abstract theory to real-world applications, and constantly evaluating and updating course curriculum and delivery that help students “rise to the occasion.”

View the video for the entire presentation, and for more details on the exciting new initiatives in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.