(July 25, 2002, Gazette)
It has been nine years since Dr. Rangaswamy Seshadri (Sesh) accepted the
position of dean in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. In
1993 he came to Memorial from the University of Regina where he was dean
of engineering for four years. He brought with him a lot of ideas and
a determination to lead the faculty into new areas of research. When asked
about his greatest achievement, he says, leading the faculty to
pursue new directions and establish strong linkages with the private sector,
improve research productivity and funding.
Dr. Neil Bose, Faculty of Engineering and Applied science, would agree
with this statement. He was part of the search committee that hired Dr.
Seshadri. Looking back at his role within the faculty he adds, Sesh
came along at a time when the faculty had to move into a greater concentration
on research. For us to move forward, research had to become something
that the majority of faculty members did. Sesh changed the atmosphere
in the faculty. He balanced the emphasis on the undergraduate program
with an emphasis on research. He built a strong research environment within
the faculty, supported people and started a number of initiatives to drive
this new outlook.
Dr. Seshadri first heard about Memorial from his former teachers in India
who were working there. When the opportunity arose to become dean of the
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, he jumped at the chance.
I was very well aware of Memorials reputation and knew that
it had a solid, established engineering program. The opportunity to be
a part of that environment was too good to resist.
In his time at Memorial, Dr. Seshadri has been instrumental in introducing
many new programs, driving research opportunities and building strong
linkages with the industrial community. Some of the programs he has helped
to introduce include oil and gas options for undergraduate students, the
computer engineering program, manufacturing and robotics options within
mechanical engineering, and the modernization and expansion of the ocean
and naval architectural program to include offshore structures, submersibles
and recreational boats. He has also built upon the facultys research
capabilities with the establishment of numerous externally funded research
chairs, the introduction of research facilities, such as the Manufacturing
Technology Centre (MTC), Medical Engineering Centre, and the Instrumentation,
Control and Automation (INCA) Centre.
The academic program has also benefited from his guidance. A strong Canadian
Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) accreditation for all undergraduate
programs has gone a long way to create tremendous credibility for Memorials
Summarizing upon his talent as the dean, Dr. Jaap Tuinman, former vice-president
(academic) says, He was skilled at persuasion, with great and sound
ideas and the requisite tenacity. He marshaled external (community and
industry) and internal (faculty and administration) support in surprising
ways. As a result of this, he leaves a very fine Faculty of Engineering
and Applied Science behind.
Now the time has come to pursue research interests. Dr. Seshadri is Memorials
nominee for the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Asset Integrity Management,
a growing area of research that is focused upon the identification of
potential failure modes inherent in engineering plant systems and equipment,
and the development of appropriate failure avoidance strategies. This
new appointment is pending approval from the Canada Research Chair program.
Speaking about this new opportunity, Dr. Seshadri says, I am looking
forward to this next challenge in my career. After nine years with the
faculty it is time for me to move on. I am very optimistic about the future
of the faculty. There are a lot of emerging industries on the horizon
and Memorial has a big part to play. I would like to thank everyone who
has made my job here such a memorable one.
The faculty will do well to identify a successor who can accomplish
as much for engineering as Sesh has over the past nine years, said
Dr. Evan Simpson, vice-president (academic).