President-Elect Paxson Visits School of Engineering

On Tuesday, March 20, Dean Larry Larson had the pleasure of leading President-Elect Christina Paxson on a tour of Barus and Holley, Prince Lab, and the Giancarlo Labs. This was the President-Elect’s first extended visit to campus since her selection as the University’s 19th President on March 2. During the visit, Paxson also met with senior administrators and faculty members and toured the libraries.

During her tour of the School of Engineering, President-Elect Paxson had the opportunity to meet many professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff, and see demonstrations of some of the research that is being conducted at the School.

Outstanding faculty members Arto Nurmikko, Gabriel Taubin, Ben Kimia, Rashid Zia, Chris Bull, Kenny Breuer, and Nitin Padture explained some of their ongoing research projects to the President-Elect.

She also had the opportunity to sit in on Professor Allan Bower’s freshman EN0040 class, where she was able to see student presentations.

“Having the opportunity to present our project to President-Elect Paxson was wonderful, not only because she had a very friendly and amiable demeanor, but also because she showed evident appreciation for our ideas,” said Emily Toomey ’15.

“Although the project at first seems like it has a simple objective, it required a great deal of collaboration, creativity, and application of engineering principles to create a successful result. By asking questions about our thought processes and how the MATLAB functions worked, President-Elect Paxson displayed a genuine interest in our efforts that made the project even more worthwhile,” added Toomey.

“What I enjoyed most about President-Elect Paxson's visit was the genuine interest that she showed in understanding our project,” said Maggie Coats-Thomas ’15. “The questions that she asked made it clear that she understood what was going on and appreciated our efforts, which I thought was very rewarding. She was very friendly and I am so pleased I got the opportunity to interact with her so soon after she was elected.”

The tour also provided the new President-Elect with the opportunity to see some of the space and facility constraints and challenges that currently exist in Barus & Holley. In an interview with the Brown Daily Herald, Paxson said of engineering, “it is clear that they’ve had a lot of growth, but they’re very tight on space.”

Overall, the tour was a great success in showcasing both the exciting work that is happening in the School of Engineering, and the need for expansion and growth.


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