Schulz Named Dean of Engineering

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Tim Schulz has accepted appointment as Michigan Tech’s next dean of engineering effective July 1, Provost Dave Reed has announced.

Schulz came to the university in 1992 as an assistant professor and now chairs the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is the department’s Dave House Professor and directs the Center for Integrated Systems in Sensing, Imaging and Communications.

“The search committee did a great job,” Reed said. “They gave the university community a very strong pool of applicants. The decision was difficult because the candidates were so good.”

Schulz was selected in part because of his views on the college’s future. “He has had a very positive influence on his department,” Reed said. “But in particular, we were impressed by his vision for the college and his enthusiasm for working with people across a wide variety of disciplines.”

“Tim’s hiring is the successful end of 10 months of hard work by our search committee,” said Professor Alex Mayer of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, the committee chair. “We started with more than 40 excellent applicants and eventually narrowed the pool to five.

“It was especially difficult to recommend a ‘best’ candidate, due to the exceptional quality of the finalists. We are very pleased that Tim has accepted the position—the committee agreed that Tim has the broad vision and the management skills to lead the college to even greater prominence,” Mayer added. “We are also impressed that during Tim’s tenure as chair, he has managed to maintain a first-rate reputation in his field, while at the same time significantly elevating the quality of his department.”

The current dean of engineering, Robert Warrington, has completed his appointment and now directs the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies.

“We have been fortunate to have someone of Bob’s caliber as dean,” Reed said. “Under his direction, the college has seen impressive growth in its research and graduate programs, as well as the addition of new undergraduate degrees. We’re grateful for his leadership.”

Schulz said he was looking forward to working with all of the college’s constituencies.

“Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering has a talented and dedicated faculty and staff, a strong record of providing outstanding engineering education and a wonderfully successful and supportive alumni base,” Schulz said. “I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead the college to a new level of greatness.”

The success of the College of Engineering relies on how well it compares with engineering schools throughout the US, Schulz said. “I want our academic programs to be recognized as the best in the state and our research programs to attain positions of prominence among the finest public engineering schools in the nation,” he said.

That will require enhanced research and graduate programs, including dramatic increases in the quantity and quality of graduates from the college’s PhD programs.

That, in turn, will require an investment in people. “I want to see the graduates of our doctoral programs advance to important, high-impact positions in academia, industry and government laboratories,” said Schulz. “To do that, we must have a focused, aggressive investment in our faculty; in other words, we must attract the best faculty at all ranks and retain the highly productive faculty we already have.”

In addition, the college should help ensure that all Michigan Tech students receive a broad-based technological education. He also stressed the importance of promoting engineering as a profession throughout the state and region.

The college is already graduating more women than most engineering schools, Schulz said. However, Michigan Tech should aim to be the “preeminent engineering school for the education of women,” graduating the highest percentage of women in engineering among the nation’s top public engineering schools.

Schulz is a fellow in SPIE—The International Society for Optical Engineering and the topical editor for signal processing for the Journal of the Optical Society of America. He has also served on the editorial boards for Applied Optics and IEEE Transactions on Image Processing.

In his research, Schulz applies statistical signal-processing techniques to computational imaging and signal analysis. His methods have been used to clarify images from the Hubble Space Telescope and to miniaturize high-quality cameras for military surveillance and commercial applications. His work has been widely published, and he has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on approximately $5 million in funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Laboratory and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.