Message from the Dean, September 2022

Anthony Marchese
Dean of Engineering Anthony J. Marchese

As we welcome back our faculty, staff, and students for the start of a new academic year, it is an appropriate time to celebrate the accomplishments of our community of scholars in the College of Engineering at the University of Rhode Island.

It is an exciting time for the University, and it is my honor and privilege to serve as dean of the College of Engineering as we embrace the role of a world-class engineering program at a flagship public land-grant research university as guided by our core mission:

  • Providing access to quality, affordable education to a diverse population reflective of our region and society
  • Performing world-class research to solve to regional, national, and global challenges
  • Developing the Rhode Island workforce to compete in economy of the future
  • Creating jobs through commercialization of intellectual property

In this, my inaugural quarterly newsletter, I am proud to share some recent highlights from our community of scholars in support of our mission.

We begin the new academic year by welcoming our newest cohort of undergraduate engineering students–the Class of 2026! We are proud that this diverse, resilient and talented cohort of future engineers will be joining one of the most innovative and exciting engineering programs in the country.  

Our incoming cohort of over 350 students is not only resilient–having persevered and succeeded during the pandemic–but also provides the diversity of perspectives that is critical for the success of the engineering profession, with 25 percent of students identifying as female, and nearly 25 percent students of color.

The Class of 2026 will work with a world-class group of faculty researchers and engineering educators that continues to be recognized with numerous recent awards, including a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award, the ASME Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award, and multiple National Science Foundation CAREER awards and Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Awards, just to name a few.  

Our incoming first-year students will also have the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research, working side-by-side with our faculty and graduate students in research laboratories and in the field. Our research programs are squarely focused on solving the most important issues that face our society, and as these issues grow in scale and complexity so does our research, which resulted in a record $18.5M in new research awards to our faculty in FY ’22.  

Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering
The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering (Photo by Ballinger)

The all new, 190,000-square-foot Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering and other renovations totaling more than $150M have provided what is unquestionably among the finest engineering education and research facilities in the U.S., which includes over $25M in laboratory equipment that has been added to our core research facilities.

And we’re not done building new facilities yet. As we move into the fall and election season in Rhode Island, there will be an important public bond referendum on the ballot for URI that will invest $100M in new facilities at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus, home of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and our ocean engineering program, which is one of only a few such programs in the country. 

These investments in the Narragansett Bay Campus are critical for developing the workforce of tomorrow to grow the Rhode Island blue economy and to perform the research necessary to respond to the challenges that the changing climate brings to our fragile coastline.      

The upcoming bond referendum is unquestionably important for the future of URI, the College of Engineering and for the future of the state of Rhode Island. 

It is my honor and privilege to serve as dean of engineering and to represent our community of alumni, students, faculty, and staff. I wish you success in the new academic year and beyond.

Go Rhody!

Best regards,Anthony's signatureAnthony J. Marchese
Dean of Engineering
Vincent and Estelle Murphy Professor of Engineering