Dear Alumni, Friends, and Colleagues:
I am humbled and honored to be appointed as the new department chair. I would like to thank our past chair, Dr. Muthanna Al-Dahhan, for his 10 years of service to the department, Dr. Joseph Smith for his service as interim department chair and Dr. Christi Patton Luks, associate chair, for her service as acting department chair to facilitate a smooth leadership transition. I will lead the department to continue its efforts to make a positive learning and work environment. This environment unlocks the potential of students, faculty, and staff, promotes inclusion and equity, and embraces academic and cultural differences.
My vision for the department is to build sustainable excellence in undergraduate and graduate education and research, and become a top chemical and biochemical engineering program. In the past 150 years, Missouri S&T has been a leader in traditional chemical engineering. We will continue to enhance our strengths in process design by combining state-of-the-art tools and molecular engineering approaches to address global challenges in chemical and biomolecular processing and energy. The year 2020 is special to every one of us because of COVID-19 pandemic. It has impacted our lives in many ways. In particular, it has a far-reaching influence on our teaching, research, student learning experience, campus activities, and higher education operations. This global health crisis stresses the great need to tackle one of grand challenges for engineering in the 21st century, namely, Engineer Better Medicine. The intersection of engineering and medicine has formed a new frontier of chemical and biochemical engineering. It is time for the department to respond to emerging needs in medicine and transform the discipline. We will strategically boost biochemical engineering with a focus on biomanufacturing and pharmaceutical engineering, which entails sustainable and scalable manufacturing biologics and pharmaceuticals. These strategic priority areas serve as the cornerstone for the department's growth and expansion.
To accomplish the new vision for the department, we count on faculty, staff, students, and dedicated alumni. The engaged and steadfast support from the Academy of Chemical Engineers and Industrial Advisory Council (IAC) will continue to play a critical role in the department development and student success.
In the past year, faculty and students have accomplished so much despite the unprecedented difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We become ever more determined to maintain our wholehearted commitments to the high-quality education that our undergraduate and graduate students merit. We are stronger when we come together. I invite you to offer your genuine support to help our program grow and our faculty and students thrive!
With warm regards,
Hu Yang, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering