The second-largest UF college has hired two department chairs after months of searching.
UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering promoted Carlos Rinaldi to chairman of the chemical engineering department, said the college’s dean, Cammy Abernathy. He started the position Jan. 1, and he previously served as the interim, or temporary, chair of the department.
David Kaber, a North Carolina State University engineering professor, was hired as chairman of UF’s industrial and systems engineering department, Abernathy said. He will begin July 1.
Both chairs will receive an annual salary of $285,000, said UF spokesperson John Hines.
“They made great candidates because they are both good teachers, student mentors and scholars,” Abernathy said.
Previous chemical engineering department chairman, Rich Dickinson, left in August to start a three-year research assignment for the National Science Foundation, Abernathy said. The previous industrial and systems engineering department chairman Joseph Geunes left Fall 2016 to teach at the University of Arkansas.
Rinaldi said he plans to fill at least two positions at the assistant professor level, one full-time lecturer and a senior position in the area of energy.
He said he wants to decrease class sizes by offering all senior courses every semester and giving students who complete internships a chance to stay on track for graduation. He also wants to improve the department’s web and social media presence, Rinaldi said.
“I think we are already doing great research that contributes to society,” Rinaldi said, “but we could do a better job of publicizing it.”
Kaber wrote in an email that he plans to have the industrial and systems engineering department work with others in the college and throughout the university, including computer science and psychology.
“I think everyone is excited about the expansion of the department into new research areas with additional faculty and graduate students,” Kaber said.