Sinha named new Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs


Sanjiv Sinha, the new Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs in MechSE.
Sanjiv Sinha, the new Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs in MechSE.

Effective September 16, Associate Professor Sanjiv Sinha began service to the department as the new Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs.

Sinha, who earned his PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 2005, joined the MechSE Department as an assistant professor in 2008. 

“Our department enjoys a particularly proud history of excelling in undergraduate education and mentoring students to assume leadership in engineering. I know first-hand that Illinois is the leading supplier of engineering talent to the high-tech sector, for instance. Keeping our flag flying high is an overarching goal going forward,” said Sinha.

He takes the reins from Professor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, who had served in the role since August 2015. During her tenure she initiated curricular changes related to MechSE’s 400- and 500-level courses, worked to better brand and market the Engineering Mechanics programs, and added new professional development opportunities for undergraduate students. Hsiao-Wecksler also guided the completion of changes in ICES evaluations, played a significant role in establishing the pre-medicine track in MechSE, led the development of the Zhejiang University-University of Illinois (ZJUI) curriculum, arranged ZJUI-related faculty appointments, and reorganized the undergraduate office administration, among other accomplishments. 

“Engineering is about advances that create rather than respect history. It is our job to continually identify and incorporate substantive revolutions in engineering into our curriculum. How we balance emphasizing the old yet “gold” against the upcoming and revolutionary, how we evolve to cater to a rapidly diversifying student population, how we modernize our teaching laboratories, how we meaningfully prepare students for the interdisciplinarity prevalent in real world engineering—these challenges shape our vision. I have big shoes to fill as I take over from Professor Hsiao-Wecksler, who has done a phenomenal job during her tenure,” said Sinha.