Welcome from the Dean
Welcome to Hofstra University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. I am honored, as its founding dean, to have the privilege of working with our renowned, talented faculty and gifted students to begin a new era in engineering and applied sciences at Hofstra.
Our mission is to educate engineers and computer scientists who will make a difference in our world. The “grand challenges” of the 21st century – drinkable water, food, energy, biodiversity and climate – are enormous, life-threatening issues for our planet. Scientists are needed globally and in significant numbers to deal with these extremely urgent issues and find creative ways to solve them.
It is a rare opportunity to implement an enhanced educational model, building on the existing strengths of an outstanding national institution of higher education, and partnering with the other science and arts programs. Together, we are creating engineering and computer science programs and curricula that connect students to industry, connect theory to application, and encourage research and innovation, while making beneficial differences in our region and globally.
Hofstra University also is making a significant investment in facilities for the engineering and computer science programs. Over the next few years, we will be investing millions of dollars to renovate our current home in Weed Hall and Adams Hall, including a new $1 million biomedical engineering lab that will open for the spring 2013 semester.
During my career, I have served as a faculty member at several European and U.S. institutions. Most recently, I was Dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, after serving as Associate Dean and as the CV Starr Distinguished Professor of Research and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. I have been a member of many professional societies, consulted with corporations and not-for-profit enterprises, partnered with other higher education institutions worldwide, mentored undergraduate and graduate students, and won many research grants from government agencies and private foundations. In addition to the extensive experience I have in engineering education and research, I also have an earned Ph.D. in Computer Science.
I offer you a glimpse at my background simply to illustrate to you that I have witnessed, first-hand, the innovation and entrepreneurship that engineers, computer scientists, students and technical professionals alike, bring to the world.
I look forward to working with you to make Hofstra’s School of Engineering and Applied Science an extraordinary, transformative institution, where we educate engineers and scientists who are innovative and creative problem solvers. The future of the computer scientist and the engineer is not the traditional stereotypical image of an individual who sits in a cubicle inventing “widgets”. Successful practitioners teach and foster imagination and entrepreneurship; encourage leadership and develop communication skills. The best engineers and computer scientists are well-rounded professionals who can imagine a better future, advocate for it, engineer it and invent it.
When you graduate you will be able to apply your knowledge to the challenges of the day, and help to solve society’s most critical, pressing issues. It’s up to us to redefine engineering and science education, and begin to address the issues facing our world’s nations, our shared habitat, and this planet we call our home.
Simon Ben-Avi, Ph.D.
Founding Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science