George Nnanna has been selected as the dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. His appointment is effective April 30, a news release from the university said.
Nnanna comes to UT Permian Basin after serving as head of the mechanical and civil engineering departments at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, Ind.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University and his master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Nnanna led the Purdue Water Institute from 2007 to present.
During that time, it has grown to include a water research laboratory that manages several multi-million dollar externally funded projects. Under his leadership, the mechanical and civil engineering department at Purdue Northwest saw increased enrollment; research and scholarly activities doubled; industrial partnerships increased; and fundraising efforts including endowments grew, the release said.
“Dr. Nnanna brings a wealth of experience leading a successful engineering program at a prestigious university. He is excited to take our College of Engineering to the next level by achieving new goals for enrollment growth, developing new programs, and engaging the community in the important work our faculty and students will be doing in the Permian Basin,” said UT Permian Basin President Sandra Woodley.
As department head at Purdue University Northwest, the release said Nnanna tripled the undergraduate enrollment from 156 to 463 students; established master of science in mechanical engineering and undergraduate research programs; led faculty professional development, established mentoring and experiential learning programs, developed industrial partnerships, and implemented department-wide strategies to improve students’ success in foundational courses.
The UTPB College of Engineering is one of the fastest growing academic programs at the University.
More than 450 students are currently enrolled in petroleum and mechanical engineering and this fall the university will add electrical and chemical engineering.
“My experience as founding director of Purdue Water Institute will help me in developing strategic initiatives necessary for the growth of the college,” Nnanna said in the release. “UT Permian Basin engineering is well positioned to be an academic leader in the energy industry. I have already started to explore other opportunities and challenges that our cluster of engineering disciplines can address in the Permian Basin.”
In fall of 2019, engineering students at UT Permian Basin will begin classes in the new, 94,000-square-foot, College of Engineering building located near the Center for Energy and Economic Diversification (CEED) and the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center.