We see a world of incredible opportunities and enormous challenges ahead of us. Our most intricate problems energy, the envi-
ronment, health, economic prosperity require scientific and engineering breakthroughs implemented in a practical way.
At the College of Engineering, our vision of the future addresses these issues by focusing on three aspects: creating new engineer-
ing knowledge to address societal problems, educating the next generation of engineers and proactively engaging with industry,
government and other stakeholders to impact the real world. We aspire to the highest level of global preeminence so that our college
will become a strong magnet for the most talented students and faculty from all over the world.
The societal problems mentioned above do not fall neatly into academic disciplines. Indeed, they require combinations of disci-
plines for solutions to be meaningful and effective. For example, by combining advances in neuroscience with engineering expertise,
we may be able to find solutions to diseases such as epilepsy. And the energy challenge can only be met by a multi-disciplinary
approach combining mechanical, nuclear, materials, chemical and agricultural engineering with appropriate business and regulatory
policy changes. New business creation is at the heart of economic growth and prosperity. Entrepreneurial activities fueled by tech-
nological advances will create the Intel and Microsoft of tomorrow. We firmly believe we should educate our students to have a deep
commitment to the highest ideals of truth, goodness and beauty so that technology improves the human condition.
Undergraduate education, graduate education and research should not be separate. Rather, we are driven to fully integrate these
three facets of our daily academic activities. Thriving research laboratories inspire young undergraduate students with a thirst for
advanced knowledge. Outstanding faculty with international research reputations attract the brightest graduate students. Highly
talented graduate students enrich the undergraduate experience.
We have enormous aspirations to realize the vision outlined above. We know our students, faculty and staff are entirely dedicated
to achieving the highest levels of excellence. We live in an era of fierce global competition for talented students and faculty and require
ever-improving facilities to conduct our educational and research activities. We seek your support, which is absolutely critical in accel-
erating our progress toward reaching our goals.
Pramod P. Khargonekar
Dean, College of Engineering
The Promise of Tomorrow
The University of Florida holds the promise of the future:
Florida Tomorrow a place, a belief, a day. Florida Tomorrow is
filled with possibilities. Florida Tomorrow is for dreamers and
doers, for optimists and pragmatists, for scholars and entrepre-
neurs, all of whom are nurtured at Florida's flagship university:
the University of Florida, the foundation of the Gator Nation.
What is Florida Tomorrow? Here at the College of Engineering,
we believe it's an opportunity, one filled with promise and hope.
It's that belief that feeds the university's capital campaign to raise
more than $1 billion.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign will shape the t.;i- .. -i;., cer-
tainly. But its ripple effect will also touch the state of Florida,
the nation and the entire world. Florida Tomorrow is pioneering
research and spirited academic programs. It's a fertile envi-
ronment for inquiry, teaching and learning. It's being at the
forefront to address the challenges facing all of us, both today
College of Engineering
Florida Tomorrow Campaign Goals
TOTAL $80 million
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Florida Tomorrow is a place
where every student has a chance to change the world.
Student and Teacher
Samesha Barnes looked at the caller ID and saw a familiar
name. She couldn't bring herself to answer the phone.
Barnes majored in chemical engineering, graduated from
Georgia Tech and worked for a Fortune 100 company. Now she's
a materials science and engineering Ph.D. student working for
Eugene Goldberg, the Genzyme Professor of Biomaterials in
Materials Science & Engineering an opportunity reserved for
a select few.
The cell phone was ringing, but Barnes wasn't ready to talk to
"I didn't want him to think of me in a negative light," Barnes
says. "But as a strong, intelligent, independent Ph.D. candidate
who could handle problems on her own."
Many graduate students suffer setbacks, Goldberg says. But
Barnes had family and financial concerns to deal with, too. The
pressure would've made an average person buckle. Instead,
Barnes answered Goldberg.
"There was so much concern in his voice," Barnes says.
"Everyone rallied behind me. That's what reminded me that I was
part of a family, and all of these people want to see me succeed."
Goldberg who holds more than 50 U.S. patents and numerous
foreign patents began his career in industry. He was found-
ing director of the Xerox Chemistry Research Laboratory, and his
group was instrumental in developing Xerox copy technology. Half
a century later, he spends his time shaping the minds of the next
generation of innovators.
"He is a great match for me, by being supportive and not hov-
ering," Barnes says. "He is very soft spoken, kind and gentle but
is very serious about what he does."
Graduate school was supposed to be a steppingstone for Barnes.
She wanted to master the technology she was using to develop
photo paper at Hewlett-Packard. But at UF, Barnes discovered
within herself a talent for research and a passion for teaching.
She studies injectable gel implants to treat spinal cord inju-
ries in Goldberg's Biomaterials Center. The injuries damage
a person's central nervous system, which does not repair itself
without intervention. Barnes is using an enzyme-laden gel to
slowly deliver therapeutic agents, with the hope of allowing
nerves to reconnect.
"I found out through a series of events that I could be effective
in another area," Barnes says. "I could actually improve people's
quality of life."
Barnes spent several semesters teaching introductory chemis-
try. She was one of four graduate students competitively selected
for a Gator Engineering pilot program in freshmen retention,
which created several classes for engineering students only, then
paired them with aspiring faculty members like Barnes.
"She's got drive. She will succeed," Goldberg says. "And that
makes her kinda special."
Florida Tomorrow is a day
when children dream of becoming engineers.
Elena Briz learned early in her college career to rely on fellow
"It's easier to do engineering if you have that study network
and support group," she says. "They understand why we study
as hard as we study."
As part of one of the most rigorous and demanding programs
at the University of Florida, student engineers invest heavily in
each other. That tradition of teamwork is one of the reasons Gator
Engineering graduates are so prepared for the workforce.
"In high school you can succeed on your own, but in college it's
important to share ideas and leverage each other's experience and
knowledge," says Joel Howell, a College of Engineering alumnus
now working for Harris Corp. in Washington.
The college has several summer programs to help incoming
freshmen form lasting ties and develop study habits. New stu-
dents take the equivalent of 30 hours of course credit in six weeks,
but receive only four official credits. They review calculus and
chemistry and learn to use engineering-specific software. They
visit engineering firms throughout the state, get their hands dirty
and master the art of time management. Both Howell and Briz
were part of one of the programs.
"It gives you a name and a face in a university that's so big
you can easily get lost," says Briz, who left her close-knit Cuban-
American family in Miami when she moved to Gainesville.
After a summer in one of the programs, students enter the fall
semester ready to tackle university life. Throughout the first year
students participate in study halls, tutoring and personalized aca-
Stephen Roberts, an assistant director of student affairs for the
college, helps coordinate the intense summer programs.
"At UF, we get the best of the best," Roberts says. "But in
engineering, early preparation is critical especially with the
transition from high school to college."
One unusual component is that freshmen are expected to make
"When you finish that first year and look back, you realize you
know all the administrators," Howell says. "You have a greater
understanding of how the university works. You have a peer
group of intelligent, motivated students you can call on, and you
have contacts in the industry."
Many students who go through the programs come back as
"I decided it would be a great way to give back to a program
that's given me so much," Briz says. "It's amazing to see them
working together, keeping each other up and staying motivated
to do their work."
* \ ,
Florida Tomorrow is a belief..
that no problem is too big to solve.
Science of Friction
Friction fascinates Greg Sawyer. Consider the simple blink. Each
one about every six seconds for humans causes friction when
the eyelid slides against the eyeball. That friction causes irritation.
When tears alone won't stop the bum, eye drops usually do.
This is tribology the study of friction, wear and lubrica-
tion. Whenever objects rub against each other like gears in a
tractor, satellite antennas and knee replacements it's science in
motion. The materials, whatever they might be, will eventually
wear out and break.
That's where Sawyer comes in. A Gator Engineering mechanical
engineering associate professor, he's one of the world's top tribo-
logists. His one-of-a-kind Tribology Laboratory is a place where
engineers make materials work better and last longer. For instance,
Gator Engineers are strengthening Teflon a naturally lubricious
and relatively fragile material by incorporating nanotechnology
into tribology research.
"People often don't know about the field of tribology until they
try and do something new and then they encounter problems,"
His group's work combines the latest advances in nano-
scale science and technology to understand fundamental
mechanisms behind friction and create effective solutions to
Research in the lab has caught the attention of the defense indus-
try, which regularly turns to Sawyer to develop reliable technology
for such things as ensuring spy satellite antennas open in the cold
vacuum of space.
Oftentimes, adding extra lubrication isn't the best answer for
friction, Sawyer says. Sometimes it's impractical or even impos-
sible. Researchers in Sawyer's lab engineer materials to operate
beyond the limits of traditional fluid lubrication.
"Liquid lubrication works great," Sawyer says. "Oil is great,
but it's messy and it's a contaminant and it's not environmentally
friendly. There's a huge push to get away from oil. There are a lot of
applications where the use of oil is precluded space being one."
Studying and controlling friction and wear is the foundation for
the lab. Researchers develop everything from traditional machine
parts to novel ultra-low wearing nanocomposites, and then evalu-
ate them with instruments built in the lab. But what they're really
interested in is the resistance to move one thing past another. To
that end, UF's tribologists are developing materials to operate in
space and the bearing surfaces of the knee, eye and even the lining
of blood vessels to keep stents in place.
"I think of this as the golden age of the field because we've
learned a lot about a few things," Sawyer says, "but we have so
much still to do and so much still to learn."
Our Vision of Tomorrow
How will you change tomorrow?
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They are surrounded d by the world s best mnds and spared
to immerse themselves in research, develop technologies and
embark on business ventures. They are empowered by the
generosity of Gator Engineering investors. Because of these phi-
lanthropists, we can use tangible rewards to attract and keep the
very best faculty. Because of their contributions, we can enhance
our undergraduate experience with instant access to industry and
state of-the art research and teaching facilities. Because of their
gifts, in our lifetime we will see products, devices and techno,
ogies emerge from UF and change the world. Florida Tomos best mrow
depends on the heart of today's Gator Engineering supporters.
depends on the heart of today's Gator Engineering supporters.
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