Ron Harichandran was appointed Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven in August 2011. Prior to that he was a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) and served as the department chair from 1995-2011. Dr. Harichandran’s technical specialty is structural engineering, he has performed research on earthquake, pavement, bridge and fire engineering, and he has published over 100 journal and conference proceedings papers and technical reports. He has mentored 12 Ph.D. students and 6 M.S. thesis students. He has taught a broad range of courses in structural analysis, design, dynamics, and probabilistic methods. He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2005, and inducted into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2014.
As an administrator, Dr. Harichandran has fostered the growth of research, teaching, outreach and international programs:
- As Dean at the University of New Haven he is working to strengthen academic programs, research and scholarship. He initiated the development of academic focus areas in renewable energy, sustainability, wireless communications and digital forensics that cut across multiple programs. He serves as the PI on two grants that have resulted in curricular innovations in all engineering and computer science programs: (1) the Project to Integrate Technical Communication Habits funded by the David Educational Foundation; and (2) Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules and Experiential Learning Opportunities funded by the Kern Family Foundation. He served on the leadership team to launch the MS in Data Science program in San Francisco in partnership with Galvanize, a new MS in Biomedical Engineering program, and a fully online MS in Environmental Engineering program. He initiated the first Senior Design Expo in May 2012 to showcase senior design projects in all programs, and established a coordinated senior design course schedule beginning in Fall 2012 to facilitate interdisciplinary projects. His other accomplishments include: fundraising in support of academic programs; development of a strategic plan for the college; accreditation of eight BS programs (six in engineering, one in computer science and one in chemistry); development of engineering study abroad programs at the UNH campus in Prato, Italy; establishment of an Entrepreneurial Engineering Living Learning Community for freshmen; and coordination of programs with the grade 6-12 New Haven Engineering and Science University Magnet School.
- As a department chair at Michigan State University he engaged in fundraising and helped design and construct laboratory facilities, including the 12,200 sq. ft. Civil Infrastructure Laboratory and Structural Fire Testing Facility at MSU. He guided successful ABET accreditation of the MSU civil engineering undergraduate program in 1998, 2004 and 2010, and helped establish a B.S. program in environmental Engineering in 2011. He helped establish and conduct successful study-abroad programs with partner institutions in Russia and Turkey. He interacted with private, government, legislative, and university personnel to establish the National Center for Pavement Preservation at MSU in 2003. He also helped establish the Michigan Transportation Research Board in 2005 and served as its inaugural chair.