Minking Chyu Named Dean of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute

Issue Date: 
August 18, 2014

ThePitt’s Minking K. Chyu addresses the media during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute. University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering has appointed Minking K. Chyu as the inaugural associate dean for international initiatives, as well as the inaugural dean of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute in China. The appointments are effective immediately.

Gerald D. Holder, the Swanson School’s U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering, said the associate dean position was created to better serve the school’s continued growth in international programs, including its new partnership with Sichuan University in China.

Chyu is the Leighton and Mary Orr Chair Professor and, until this appointment, he chaired the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. He is succeeded as department chair by Brian Gleeson, the Harry S. Tack Chair in Materials Science, a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, and director of Pitt’s Center for Energy. Gleeson assumes the position of department chair immediately.  

“International programs and partnerships have become an integral part of our curriculum and research, and Minking has proven himself to be a game-changer in helping to establish our partnership with Sichuan University and the new Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute,” Holder said. “His experience as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, especially in leading its tremendous growth in academic programs, student success, faculty research, and revenue generation, will contribute greatly toward international activities, especially as we prepare to open the new joint institute in 2015.”

RegardingBrian Gleeson Gleeson, Holder said, “Brian has developed into an exceptional leader as director of the Center for Energy, and the support from the faculty for his selection as department chair was a testament to his excellence as a teacher and researcher. I know he will build upon Minking’s success as chair and further enhance the reputation of the department.”

Established in 2013, the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute will initially offer undergraduate degree programs in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science and engineering. Students will be recruited from the United States, China, and possibly other countries. Expected to enroll 100 students in fall 2015, the institute has a projected total enrollment of 1,600 students.

Sichuan University is investing nearly $40 million to support the construction and equipping of a new 300,000-square-foot building to house the institute on its campus. The Swanson School will oversee curriculum development and academic policies. When the institute opens in fall 2015, Chyu will spend part of the academic year in China.

Chyu received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1986. He was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University for 14 years before joining Pitt in 2000 as the Leighton Orr Chair Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering. When the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering merged in 2006, Chyu helped to lead the process and was named chair of the combined department. His primary research involves thermo-fluid issues related to power and propulsion systems, material processing, and micro/nano-system technology.

Gleeson received his PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to joining Pitt in 2007, he was the Renken Professor of Materials Science Engineering at Iowa State University and also served as director of the materials and engineering physics program at the U.S. Department of Energy Ames Laboratory, managed by Iowa State. His research interests include the high-temperature degradation behavior of metallic alloys and coatings, phase equilibria and transformations, deposition and characterization of metallic coatings, and diffusion and thermodynamic treatments of both gas/solid and solid/solid interactions.