Sindee Simon, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University
Department of Chemical Engineering
Lubbock, TX 79409−3121
Dr. Sindee Simon's Biography
The past academic year has seen a continuation of our progress towards becoming the undergraduate chemical engineering department of choice in Texas and one of the top research and graduate chemical engineering departments in the nation. Both our students and our faculty continue to receive recognition for their excellence through receipt of a variety of awards and honors. The department is currently ranked 68th in the U.S. News and World Report out of all chemical engineering programs in the country.
At the undergraduate level, 444 students were enrolled in the major in the past academic year, a record high, with 43 students graduating in May. At the graduate level, we have 65 current students with 10 Ph.D.s graduating in 2013. The quality of all of our students continues to improve, despite the increase in our enrollments, and our students at both levels continue to get very good jobs, many with multiple offers. The graduate program is tied to external funding of our research programs, and this also continues to be strong. Restricted research expenditures in FY 2013 topped $2.9 M with total research expenditures over $4.3 M, an increase of 30% over the previous year. We continue to lead the university in research dollars per faculty member.
This spring brought the exciting additions of Dr. Wei Li and Chinjuan Hu. Dr. Li performs interdisciplinary work at the interface of polymers and bioengineering focusing on a wide range of issues including the 3D microenvironment of cells, interactions between cells and surfaces, bio-imaging sensors, and cancer drug screening. Hu has considerable industrial experience as a bioengineer and will develop and teach our undergraduate laboratory courses. Other changes in the faculty include the departure of Dr. Karleen Hoo to become the Dean of the Graduate School at Montana State. Dr. Hoo joined the faculty in 1999 and played an important role in raising our visibility at the national and international levels, including several years of service at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Micah Green is also leaving the department to join the faculty at Texas A&M University – he has also done an excellent job here and we wish both he and Dr. Hoo continued success in the future.
Our alumni continue to help the department through their generous donations – nearly one hundred alumni made gifts that totaled nearly $35,000 in FY 13, and fifteen organizations donated an additional $ 166,000. Gifts in FY14 look to be even more impressive, thanks to the work of the department's External Advisory Board, currently led by Dr. Mark Darby along with the board's development subcommittee led by Andrew Spangler. With declining support from the state, these gifts are extremely important for undergraduate scholarships, graduate student fellowships, laboratory and department renovations, and startup funds for incoming faculty laboratories. In addition to your financial support, alumni can contribute to the department by recruiting students, giving presentations to our student chapters, and serving on our advisory board or one of the subcommittees.
Stay in touch and stop by when you are in Lubbock! I would love to show you what is going on and the exciting progress that we are making.
Dr. Sindee Simon
P. W. Horn Professor
Whitacre Department Chair in Chemical Engineering