The ‘Nifty Fifty (times 4)’, a program of Science Spark, presented by InfoComm International, are a group of 200 noted science and engineering professionals who will fan out across the Washington, D.C. area in the 2014-2015 school year to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools.
Meet Nifty Fifty Speaker Dr. Darryll Pines
The field of engineering represents a key and formidable force in the STEM equation, especially as the country works to retain a competitive edge in innovation around the globe. Among the noted leaders and visionaries in this effort is Darryll Pines, Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the prestigious Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, one of the top engineering institutions in the nation.
Even before assuming his current post as dean in 2009, Darryll was known for his notable accomplishments at the Clark School as a "can do" leader. He came to the University of Maryland in 1995 as an assistant professor at Clark and served as Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Under his leadership, the department was ranked 8th overall among U.S. universities, and 5th among publics in the U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings.
In addition, during his tenure as chair, the department has ranked in the top five in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine's workforce undergraduate and graduate student placement study.
Since becoming dean at the Clark School, the institution has continued to flourish under his guidance. For example, he has led the development of the Clark School's current strategic plan and achieved notable successes in key areas, such as improving teaching in fundamental undergraduate courses and raising student retention; placing new emphasis on sustainability engineering and service learning; promoting STEM education among high school students; increasing the impact of research programs, and achieving success in national and international student competitions.
Today, the school's one-year undergraduate retention rate and five-year graduation rate is 90 percent and 65 percent respectively. In addition, its Solar Decathlon Team placed first worldwide in the most recent competition against other leading universities, the school's Engineering Without Borders chapter is considered one of the nation's best, and the Engineering Sustainability Workshop launched by Darryll has become a key campus event.
At the national level, he has testified before Congress on STEM education and created the Top 25 Source Schools Program for Maryland high schools. He has also led an effort as part of the American Society for Engineering Education-ASEE Deans Council's K-12 STEM Committee to develop a potential College Board AP Exam in Engineering.
As a researcher, he has focused on structural dynamics, including structural health monitoring and prognosis, smart sensors, and adaptive, morphing and biologically inspired structures. He also conducts research in the guidance, navigation and control of aerospace vehicles.
Darryll earned his Ph.D. in 1992 and his Master's of Science in 1988 in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (MIT). He received his Bachelor's of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
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