AU Press Releases
Alfred University appoints Edwards dean of School of Engineering
In announcing Edwards’s appointment, Dr. Suzanne Buckley, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said: “ Dr. Edwards will bring her success in academe and industry to leadership of the School. As associate dean, she has proven herself to be a talented administrator who is committed to leading the school to its next level of excellence and to building internal and external partnerships. “
Dr. Edwards, Buckley noted, will build upon her an excellent reputation as a teacher and researcher, as well as a familiarity with the University. “Her experience in all those areas will serve us well as we move forward with several initiatives, including implementation of both the University’s and the School’s strategic plans; creation of a high-temperature materials testing laboratory with a $4 million grant obtained from New York State; and preparing for renewal of national (ABET) accreditation of our engineering programs,” Buckley added.
“This is an exciting time for engineering at Alfred,” said Edwards. “I am looking forward to this opportunity to lead the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering to its next level of excellence.”
The School, she noted, is “well-poised to become a leader in innovative engineering education because of our small size and devotion to student-centered education.”
The School “has never been in a better position with regard to facilities. Considerable investments from New York State, coupled with our historic ties to industry, put us in a good position to support economic development of the region, and the state.
The recent appointment of two Inamori professors (endowed chairs) and two new faculty members will enable us to grow our research program to address needs in the fields of energy, environment and health care.”
The search committee is “confident Dr. Edwards can lead the School of Engineering to further growth and prosperity. She has a natural talent for leadership, as well as a record of excellence in both research and teaching,” said Dr. Scott Misture, chair of the committee and professor of materials science.
Edwards has been associate dean of the School of Engineering since 2007, and had been director of graduate engineering programs for the School from 2003-07. She joined the Alfred University faculty in 1997 as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering; and earned promotion to associate professor in 2003, and to full professor in 2007.
Edwards has received accolades for her teaching, including an Excellence in Teaching Award from Alfred University in 2002; the John F. McMahon Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004; and the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, also in 2004, Buckley noted.
As a researcher, Edwards’ interests include materials for electrical, optical and energy-conversion applications, such as solid-oxide fuel cells, batteries, sensors, thermoelectric devices, concentrated solar power, and solid-state lighting.
She received a prestigious CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2001 and currently has an NSF-funded project in collaboration with researchers at the National University of Singapore and Ural State University in Russia. Edwards has also obtained research funding through the New York State Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology, the Center for Environmental and Energy Research at Alfred University, the federal Department of Energy and several industrial partners.
Her work has resulted in more than 45 publications, numerous presentations and two U.S. patents. She has advised six Ph.D. students, including three current students; 11 master’s students, including two current; and more than 30 undergraduate theses projects since 1998.
Prior to coming to Alfred, Edwards was a research assistant and teaching assistant at Northwestern University of Chicago, where she earned a Ph.D. degree in materials science and engineering in 1997. After earning a B.S. degree in chemistry from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1985, Edwards was a research scientist at Gould, Inc., in Rolling Meadows, IL, from 1985-87, and then joined Northwestern
University’s Basic Research Laboratory as a research scientist for six years prior to entering the graduate program.
Buckley commended the work of the search committee, whose members in addition to Misture were Dr. Mathew Hall, associate professor of biomedical materials engineering science; Patricia LaCourse, associate librarian, Scholes Library of Ceramics; Dr. Roger Loucks, associate professor of physics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Dr. Nathan Mellott, assistant professor of glass science; Dr. Joseph Rosiczkowski, professor of mechanical engineering, and Linda Sikora, professor of ceramic art, School of Art & Design.