Campus News

Founding chairs named for two new schools in College of Engineering

James Warnock

The University of Georgia College of Engineering has selected founding chairs for two of its three new schools.

James N. Warnock, a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering, has been named chair of the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering.

Fred Beyette, a professor of electrical engineering and computing systems at the University of Cincinnati, has been named chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The appointments are effective Aug. 1.

“Both Dr. Warnock and Dr. Beyette are outstanding additions to our college, and they will be excellent leaders for our new schools,” said Donald Leo, dean of the College of Engineering. “They have strong records of achievement in teaching, research and service, and I look forward to working with them as we enter the next phase of our college’s evolution.”

In response to the rapid growth of its educational and research programs, the UGA College of Engineering established a new organizational structure earlier this year built around three schools: the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering; the School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering; and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The new structure is designed to enhance the college’s interdisciplinary teaching, research and service activities while advancing the development of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

“At UGA, there are great opportunities to build educational and research programs in biochemical and biological engineering with world-renowned reputations,” said Warnock. “There is also the unique opportunity to collaborate with a range of programs at UGA, such as the public health school, biological sciences, the vet college, business and international studies. I was very excited when I learned about the college’s dual degree in engineering and German, having been very involved with international education at MSU.”

Warnock joined the faculty at Mississippi State in 2005, and he has been an active researcher in novel therapeutic strategies to treat cardiovascular disease. He’s also earned international attention for his work in advancing the field of engineering education. Warnock serves as adjunct director of training and instruction for ABET, the engineering college accreditation board.

Warnock earned a bachelor’s degree in biological science from the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. He earned a master’s in biochemical engineering and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, before completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Beyette earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at Colorado State University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, he joined the faculty at the University of Cincinnati in 1996. In addition to his duties as a professor, Beyette has served as associate department head for electrical engineering and as graduate program coordinator.

“As I learned more about UGA’s commitment to creating a world-class College of Engineering and the incredible level of talent within the college faculty, staff and administration, it became clear that the UGA College of Engineering and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering are primed to achieve great things in the coming years,” Beyette said. “Being a part of the administration, faculty and staff that will make those things happen is really the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Over the past decade, Beyette’s research has focused on developing point-of-care devices for medical and health monitoring applications including devices that guide the diagnosis and treatment of acute neurologic emergencies such as stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Leo expressed his appreciation to Ramaraja Ramasamy and Takoi ­Hamrita, who served as inaugural chairs of the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, respectively.

“I want to thank Dr. Ramasamy and Dr. Hamrita for their outstanding leadership during the transition to our new administrative structure,” Leo said. “I would also like to express my appreciation to the faculty, staff and students who served on the search committee for these important positions, particularly Dr. Yajun Yan and Dr. Leidong Mao, the committee chairs.”