ERIE, Pa. — A longtime administrator and Drexel University professor has been selected as director of the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, beginning July 1.
Timothy Kurzweg currently serves as vice provost for undergraduate education at Drexel, in Philadelphia. Kurzweg, an expert in optical microsystems and alternative materials for electronics and antennas, also directs the university’s bachelor of science in engineering program, a unique degree for students who want to pursue engineering as a field while still exploring coursework in other academic disciplines.
“I come from a university that prides itself on experiential learning, and I see how students grow as they become intentional in their academic and career choices,” he said. “I have seen how the co-operative education program, in which students put their academic skills into industrial practice, helps students determine their career goals and aspirations.”
Kurzweg holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State.
He has served as principal or co-principal investigator for approximately $9.5 million in funded research and has published more than 80 journal and conference papers. He also holds multiple patents.
Kurzweg’s research, which has applications in bio-sensing, communications and medical imaging, has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and private industry.
At Penn State Behrend, Kurzweg will lead an engineering school with 1,600 students and a top-30 national ranking, according to U.S. News & World Report.
It will help that he has firsthand knowledge of Erie: His wife, Jennifer, a Penn State graduate who now works as an attorney, is an Erie native, and the couple along with their three children have regularly visited the city.
“Erie is a special place for us,” he said, “and there are excellent opportunities here for additional collaborations with the college. A Penn State Behrend education clearly is not limited to the classroom. It should extend into the community, through research co-ops, internships and other learning experiences.”
Kurzweg was selected following a national search. He visited the campus in March.
“Dr. Kurzweg has excellent credentials and had a tremendous amount of support from faculty, staff, students and campus leadership following his visit,” Chancellor Ralph Ford said. “His appointment is great news for Penn State Behrend and the School of Engineering.”