Message from Dean West

The most important thing engineers do is make the world a better place by solving some of society’s biggest challenges. From health care to climate change to dealing with our growing cyber infrastructure, engineers see the big ideas, and then we take those ideas all the way from conception to fruition as products and technologies that help people live better lives.

Following a pandemic that raised enormous questions about humanity’s survival and well-being, there has never been a more compelling, global need for engineering talent and expertise. UVA Engineering is uniquely positioned to contribute because we have a very strong, collegial and innovative culture built by students, faculty, staff and alumni who are dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge and demonstrating engineering leadership. Our School also has undergone a tremendous period of growth and transformation over the past six years, with historic increases in research funding, faculty positions, graduate program enrollment and learning opportunities for students, now within the context of a University “Great and Good” strategic plan that calls for transforming UVA into the leading public university in the country, and among the best universities in the world, by 2030.  

This momentum presents a tremendous opportunity that UVA Engineering will leverage during the coming decade and beyond. We will continue hiring fantastic new faculty and ensuring that our research infrastructure supports the level of discovery our faculty aspire to accomplish. We will recruit the best and brightest graduate students to be part of our research teams. We will engage our outstanding undergraduate students in hands-on learning and research that will develop their passion for engineering leadership. We will make UVA Engineering the most welcoming engineering school in the country for faculty and students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in engineering, such as women, people of color, and those who are the first in their families to attend college. We will also focus on increasing our entrepreneurship support for faculty and students who have marketable business ideas, which in turn will contribute to economic development and career development for our graduates.

The opportunities at UVA Engineering are boundless. I invite you to explore our website to learn more about our mission and vision for engineering research and education that makes the world a better place.

Jennifer L. West, PhD, NAE
Dean, School of Engineering & Applied Science

See Dean West's Faculty Profile

Jennifer L. West

Dean, University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science Saunders Family Professor of Engineering Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dean West’s accomplishments spans 25 years as a researcher, award-winning teacher and mentor, inventor and entrepreneur. Her research focuses on the use of biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering, applying engineering approaches to studying biological problems and solving unmet medical needs, particularly in the fight against cancer.