Stephen P. DeWeerth, dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, now in the fifth year of his initial appointment as dean, has been reappointed for another five years.
DeWeerth arrived at Lehigh in 2016 with a focus on helping the Rossin College to grow and thrive as a leader in interdisciplinary research and educational innovation. Under DeWeerth’s leadership, the college has prioritized fundraising to support research growth, doctoral students and experiential learning. He oversaw the 2018 launch of three Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs)—the Institute for Functional Materials and Devices; the Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation; and the Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy—forming communities of scholars to collaborate on research with broad societal impact.
Building upon existing undergraduate and graduate programs in bioengineering, and the interdisciplinary bioengineering research in which Lehigh faculty across the university were already engaged, the Rossin College in 2017 established a new department of bioengineering. The first cohort of the department’s new biocomputational engineering program will begin taking courses in Fall 2021.
Under DeWeerth’s leadership, the Rossin College is proactively expanding its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The college has developed and implemented a diversity plan, and has launched a new DEI Fund to enable annual giving that will support broadening diversity, enhancing equitable community, and providing full access to experiential learning opportunities for engineering students. The college is currently engaged in an ambitious DEI-focused faculty search, which has attracted a pool of more than 900 candidates.
“Steve’s efforts to enhance the impact and scale of interdisciplinary research in the Rossin College and across the university through initiatives such as the IRIs, as well as his commitment to building a diverse community of scholars, are commendable,” said Nathan Urban, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The success of our academic programs and research at Lehigh will depend on making the kinds of investments in areas of strength that Steve has fostered.”
DeWeerth looks forward to ensuring an even brighter future for the Rossin College.
"I am excited to begin this next phase of the Rossin College's progress," he said. "I am fortunate to lead a committed team of faculty and staff as we address strategic priorities of enormous importance to the future of our institution. Together, we are expanding interdisciplinary team science, increasing student access to life-changing experiential learning, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across our dynamic intellectual community. For the Rossin College, it is clear that the best is yet to come."