LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Engineering has selected a new associate dean for undergraduate studies.
Lorin Maletsky, associate professor of mechanical engineering, assumed the role Jan. 1. Maletsky’s duties include overseeing admission of undergraduate students and scholarship programs, managing staff responsible for student recruitment and retention, oversight of the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program, supervising undergraduate probation and suspension matters, and advising Engineering Student Council and Tau Beta Pi.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to contribute to our mission. I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m pleased there is a great staff in place to help me with the transition,” Maletsky said. “It’s an exciting time to be an engineering student at KU, and it is an honor to help the school make decisions as we move forward.”
Communicating a clear and concise message about all that KU and the School of Engineering have to offer to the state and the region is crucial, Maletsky said.
“KU is a unique place, and we provide many benefits to Kansas and beyond,” Maletsky said. “However, we recognize that students can go many places for an engineering degree, so we need to be clear and intentional about what our strengths are and in communicating those strengths to our current students, faculty, and staff as well as those we’re recruiting. Additionally, we need to be looking forward to the future engineering needs of the region and the projected required skill set of future graduates, and continue to develop new areas of strength.”
A substantial expansion in classroom, laboratory and study space is under way at the School of Engineering with a new 100,000-square-foot building set to open in fall 2015. While the facility is expected to provide a wealth of new opportunities for students and faculty, Maletsky said it’s important to stay focused on what truly drives success.
“We’ll be able to do a lot of things in the classroom that weren’t possible before simply because of infrastructure limitations, so that will be a great enhancement for our students. But the university is not great just because we have these buildings. These buildings enable faculty and staff the ability to do their jobs better,” Maletsky said. “It’ll be exciting to see how faculty utilize the student-centered, active learning spaces and how they’re able to improve student learning. This will be a real benefit to our students who should be better prepared to enter the workforce because of the more enriching undergraduate experience.”
Maletsky has had an active role in recruiting at the School of Engineering, frequently meeting with prospective students and providing school tours. He also leads sessions during the School of Engineering’s annual summer camp for high school students.
He said he thrives on interacting with students and helping them see the benefits of pursuing a career in engineering.
“Right from the start of their freshman year, we try to get students real-world, team-centered, hands-on engineering experiences. This provides opportunities to learn marketable skills with the hope that when a student encounters difficult courses later in the curriculum, they’ve already had a chance to see how they will eventually use their new skills, and they’re more likely to stay in engineering,” Maletsky said. “Engineers really do make the world a better place, and it’s rewarding to help students discover how they can do that.”
Maletsky has been at KU since 2000. His research area is experimental orthopedic biomechanics, primarily related to the knee joint. His lab interacts with orthopedic companies to design experimental equipment and techniques to assess how components will perform. Maletsky earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University and a master’s degree and doctorate from Purdue University.
He replaces Kyle Camarda, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, who returned to the classroom full-time in the fall semester.