A Message from area Chair Eric Olsen

olsen_09 smallHello Program Supporters,

In case you haven’t heard, I took over as area chair in July of last year, succeeding Manocher Djassemi, who did a great job. In my first annual newsletter, it is only right that I recognize and thank Manocher for his three years of service as chair. He did a lot to realign our curriculum, improve our scheduling, and hire new faculty members, whom you’ll read about later in this newsletter. Manocher’s turn as chair will be remembered as a period of stability, focus and professionalism that was appreciated by faculty and students.

We began 2015 with the good news that the review team from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering has recommended our program for another six years of accreditation. The review team shared that programs are rarely recommended without a corrective action report or follow-up visit. This solid result is a testament to the effort lead by Manocher, and we owe him a debt of thanks. I have three other news items I would like to share:

• You may have noticed the program name change on the cover of this newsletter. We are now the Industrial Technology & Packaging area. This will be effective with the 2015-17 catalog cycle. This name change has been a long time coming, and it allows us to recognize the large and vital role that the Packaging Program plays in our major.

• In support of our name change, we are embarking on an effort to strengthen both disciplines by creating separate concentrations in industrial technology and packaging technology. We will be adding courses and professors in support of this effort.

• We have just completed a marketing study to support a potential relaunch of our master’s program. The details are still being worked out, but the goal will be to create a world-class program to provide advanced education in packaging value chains. We’ll continue to update you on our progress.

Finally, I would like to reach out for your support. It takes an extended network of alumni and industry professionals to continue to make our program successful. If you see an area where you can help or get involved, please pick up the phone or drop me an email. My actual and virtual door is always open.
Eric Olsen, Chair