Wayne State University names Mumtaz Usmen interim dean of the College of Engineering

Dr. Mumtaz Usmen, associate dean for research and previously chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been appointed interim dean of the Wayne State University College of Engineering. The appointment, announced by WSU President Jay Noren, is effective Aug. 19.

 Dr. Mumtaz Usmen

Usmen, who succeeds Ralph Kummler, has achieved an international reputation for scholarship, teaching and research. An expert in construction engineering and management, he takes over the dean's office during a period of significant growth of both facilities and programs at the College of Engineering.

Before coming to Wayne State, Usmen was on the faculty of West Virginia University, where he founded and directed the Center for Excellence in Construction Safety. He has conducted research on construction safety, quality, ethics, leadership and organization improvement and has written articles covering these and related topics in more than 100 publications. Usmen has advised and mentored many master's and doctoral-level students and is frequently invited to speak in his specialty areas.

"I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mumtaz Usmen as interim dean of the College of Engineering," Noren said. "Dr. Usmen is highly regarded by his colleagues at Wayne State and by his peers throughout the engineering community for his experience, leadership, and teaching and research skills. His appointment assures continuity in leadership for the college as it confronts the challenge of training engineers for this nation's rapidly changing industries. I am confident that Dr. Usmen is the right person to lead our College of Engineering at this critical time in its history."

Usmen is active in local, state and national professional societies. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served on its Site Safety Committee. He also served two terms as Midwest representative to the Civil Engineering Department Heads Council and is a fellow of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). He is a past member of NSPE's House of Delegates and past chairman of its PEHE Division. He is a fellow and past state president of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE), past president of its Detroit Metro Chapter and serves on its Board of Ethical Review. He also is a fellow of the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD), where he served on the board of directors and the Alpha Awards Committee. He is past chairman of ESD's Construction and Design Strategic Interest Group.

Usmen led a strategic action team in developing a vision for the future of intermodal transportation in the state of Michigan and was instrumental in formation of a Transportation Research Board in the state.

A licensed professional engineer in Michigan and West Virginia, Usmen has received numerous academic and professional honors, including seven awards for teaching excellence. He received MSPE's Outstanding Engineer in Education and Engineer of the Year awards, and the Outstanding Council/Committee Leadership and Distinguished Service awards from ESD.

Usmen, a resident of Franklin, Mich, holds three degrees in civil engineering: a bachelor's from Robert College in Turkey, a master's from California State University and a doctorate from West Virginia University.

He assumes leadership of the college only a few months after the opening of the $28 million, 82,500-square-foot Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center, a major facility combining traditional university research with engineering services to help companies accelerate their own R&D activities. At the Center students will work with a broad spectrum of other scientists on multidisciplinary research intended to translate into job creation and economic development. Wayne State also recently opened an Advanced Technology Education Center on Macomb Community College's South Campus that will be home to innovative coursework in engineering technology and construction management. The new programs are a response to Southeast Michigan's changing workplace, which increasingly requires employees with leading-edge technical skills.

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