Director's Message

Dr. Timothy Kurzweg

Dr. Timothy Kurzweg
Director, School of Engineering

Credit: Contributed Photo

Choices. We all have them to make, but you’re not always faced with a big one like starting a new job and moving your family. If you are, you weigh out all the aspects, and you make a decision. This past summer, I made that choice—to join Penn State Behrend as director of the School of Engineering.

Why would I trade cheesesteaks in Philadelphia for ox roast (is that really a thing?) in Erie? The decision was actually quite simple. I looked at the School of Engineering, and I saw clear strengths in educating students and working with industry. Our school is a leader in experiential education, where students are putting theory into practice through lab work, research, and internships.

However, what really made me decide to move across Pennsylvania was the potential and opportunities that I see for the future. I envision a school where we continue to educate at the highest level but also grow new academic programs and research initiatives. To help us define these new programs, we need to build on our unique strengths. For example, having a world-renowned plastics program, as well as Lake Erie in our backyard, we’re perfectly positioned to research and educate in the area of micro- and nano-plastics in water systems and advance the design of cradle-to-grave solutions for polymers. We’re likewise well-equipped to leverage our expertise in manufacturing processes and our interactions with local business and industry to research sensing, data analysis, and predictive engineering for Industry 4.0, the next Industrial Revolution.

True, Erie is a little different from Center City Philadelphia, but my excitement, pride, and vision for the School of Engineering and Penn State Behrend is overflowing. I conclude with an invitation: Please stop by the college, visit our school, and allow me to say hello. You will find a vibrant, growing School of Engineering, with amazing students primed to be our next engineering leaders.

One Additional Note:
This June, our School of Engineering will host the world’s foremost international manufacturing research conference—NAMRC 47 I MSEC2019—right here in Erie.