Welcome to the Fall 2018 issue of Resolve ― a magazine dedicated to research and educational innovation in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University.

As this issue reaches our readers’ virtual and physical doorsteps, Lehigh is in the very early stages of a capital campaign that charts a bold course for our future. Given that the campaign focuses on areas of critical importance to our College’s future, my sincere hope is that every member of the Rossin College community considers lending their support to this important endeavor.

There is no doubt that ours is an outstanding University that embodies innovation in undergraduate and graduate education, excellence in research and scholarship, and a true commitment to effecting positive change in our community and our world. And it is equally clear that Lehigh people are not the kind to sit back and relax. Our students, faculty, and alumni pride themselves on rolling up their sleeves, diving in, and getting the job done. It’s a mindset that pervades the University, one that is especially true of Lehigh engineers.

GO: The Campaign for Lehigh, captures this ethos, and is rallying the entire Lehigh community to support initiatives in three key areas: scholarships; academic programs and experiential learning; and, impactful, transformative research. Strategic investments in these priority areas will ensure that Lehigh continues to deliver a distinctive education to its students, sustained by new knowledge and crucial insight developed in our labs.

Our aspirations as a College are focused around experiential learning and interdisciplinary research, and these are reflected fully in the University’s campaign priorities. That’s no coincidence: the vision for the Rossin College is an integral part of Lehigh’s future—a future that the campaign puts into our hands.  

Even though this campaign is just underway, much of our College is already engaged in efforts that drive us toward achieving these goals, as evidenced throughout this issue of Resolve. The interdisciplinary research focus of the Institute for Functional Materials and Devices, launched earlier this year, is a key way that we are enabling the University to solidify and further develop partnerships and strengths in areas that resonate within our academic community, and beyond.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the young “rockstar” faculty featured in our cover image, the Rossin College’s 2018 NSF CAREER Award winners. It is rare, at best, for a school of our profile to boast this many awardees in a single year, especially from such a broad array of backgrounds and disciplines. Results like these transmit an undeniable signal about Lehigh’s emerging leadership in interdisciplinary research; by the way, did you know that more than 27% of our College’s full time faculty are previous winners of this prestigious award, as well?

The “Educational Innovation” article in this issue highlights an annual effort between our mechanical engineers and the multinational firm TE Connectivity. Together with a local middle school, this partnership has developed an innovative course/community-outreach project that serves as a model for experiential learning—and for creative thinking in structuring industry-academic partnerships. And the students of “Team Soterra” show that, sometimes the best experiential learning opportunities are the trails students are supported in blazing for themselves.

At this juncture in Lehigh’s journey, your support and engagement is more crucial than ever. Thank you for your continued interest in Lehigh Engineering and the Rossin College, and please feel free to drop me a line with your thoughts and comments.

Stephen P. DeWeerth, Professor and Dean
P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science