UTD President-designate David Daniel to Speak
At Jonsson School Education/Research Forum

Leaders From Industry, Academia and Community
Invited To 2nd Annual Event On Campus March 31-April 2

RICHARDSON, Texas (March 8, 2005) — Dr. David E. Daniel, who last month was selected by the University of Texas System Board of Regents to become the next president of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), will deliver the keynote address when UTD’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science holds its second annual Education and Research Forum and Advisory Council Review March 31 to April 2.

Daniel, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, is expected to assume the UTD presidency on June 1. He will succeed Dr. Franklyn Jenifer, who is retiring after more than 10 years as head of the university.

Photo, David Daniel
Dr. David E. Daniel
Photo, Bob Helms
Dr. Bob Helms

Daniel, who will be only the fourth president in UTD’s 35-year history, will speak at a luncheon on Friday, April 1, the second day of the three-day meeting. The inaugural forum last year attracted more than 250 people, and a larger gathering is expected this year.

Jonsson School Dean Dr. Bob Helms said he was delighted that Daniel had agreed to “make this advance appearance,” some two months before he officially becomes UTD president, “to share with us his vision for the future of UTD.”

This year’s event, which will be held in the TI Foundation Auditorium in the Jonsson School’s Engineering and Computer Science complex, will showcase some of the school’s key focus areas, such as natural language processing, analog circuits and systems and cyber security and emergency preparedness, and the ways in which Jonsson is expanding its capabilities into such areas as bioengineering and materials science and engineering to meet the new challenges and complexities of the 21 st Century.

The theme, or message, of the 2005 forum will be “Invent Tomorrow” -- which Helms emphasized was “more than simply a fitting mission statement for a modern engineering school.

“For those of us at The University of Texas at Dallas, the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the future of high technology – and thereby (the future) of society itself – is the force that drives us, the impetus for everything we do,” Helms said. “As the boundaries between traditional scientific disciplines become increasingly blurred, fields that previously had little or no overlap – microelectronics, nanoscience, sensors, biotechnology, information science, environmental and health sciences – are rapidly converging. Emerging technologies will rely increasingly on our ability to integrate these fields into a coherent engineering framework. At UTD, we are embracing this challenge by developing a broader interdisciplinary culture that crosses traditional engineering, scientific and academic boundaries.”

Helms said that at the same time such a dramatic shift was occurring, the university was recruiting significant numbers of outstanding new faculty and graduate students, developing new academic programs and increasing the scope of its research capabilities.

UTD officials also will use the meeting as an opportunity to give a status report on the Jonsson School Research Enterprise Initiative, popularly known as “Project Emmitt,” Helms said. The public-private initiative, which is expected to produce an infusion of up to $300 million to UTD, was the result of a 2003 agreement involving Texas Instruments (TI), the State of Texas and the University of Texas System. Among other things, that agreement enabled UTD last November to break ground on the northern end of campus for construction of an $85-million, state-of-the-art Natural Science and Engineering Research Center that is expected to be completed in 2006.

The Jonsson School, which was founded less than 20 years ago but already has gained a reputation for developing innovative programs, was the first school in the country to have an accredited telecommunications engineering degree program and one of the first to have a software engineering program. Jonsson ranked first in the nation in the total number of computer science degrees conferred in 2003, the most recent year surveyed by the American Society for Engineering Education, and fifth in the total combined number of electrical engineering and computer science degrees.

The school is named after former Dallas Mayor Erik Jonsson, a co-founder of both TI and the research institute that in 1969 became The University of Texas at Dallas.

When he became dean in 2003, Helms set as one of his goals that Jonsson would be ranked among the top 50 engineering schools in the nation within five years. He established the “interactive” Education and Research Forum and Advisory Council Review, known as ACE, last year to bring together leaders from industry, academia and the local community to learn about recent developments and “to help plan the future direction of research and education” at the school. The event also includes workshops, research presentations by students and faculty as well as tours of the Jonsson School facilities.

Before joining UTD two years ago, Helms was president and chief executive officer of International SEMATECH (ISMT), the Austin, Texas-based consortium of semiconductor manufacturers whose member companies include AMD, Intel, IBM, Motorola and TI, representing 40 percent of the worldwide market share in computer chips. Prior to that, he was corporate vice president and director of silicon technology research at TI in Dallas. Helms also served for 20 years as a professor at Stanford University.

For more information about the forum, please visit www.ecs.utdallas.edu/ACE or contact either Dr. Edward Esposito at 972-883-4119 or [email protected] or Cassandra Stewart at 972-883-4824 or [email protected]

To register to attend the forum, please go to http://www.ecs.utdallas.edu/ACE/registration.html

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's Web site at www.utdallas.edu.