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New school director sees opportunity for global impact

Convergence magazine > New school director sees opportunity for global impact

When he agreed in the summer of 2018 to take on the interim director position for the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of the six Fulton Schools, Ram Pendyala recalls he “indicated emphatically” he wasn’t interested in moving up to the director’s job.

But over time, Pendyala says, “My thinking evolved.”

During his time as the school’s interim director, Pendyala experienced “how fulfilling it is to engage more broadly with faculty and students” and to help them pursue their aspirations.

“I’ve always been interested in seeing the school think bigger and contribute more vigorously across the many fields of engineering we encompass,” Pendyala says.

So, what better role than director to continue the work of “elevating the school’s place in the world through the impact we can bring to our profession and society at large,” he says.

Pendyala now oversees a school whose degree programs involve studies and research that intertwine multiple branches of engineering and science — from construction engineering and technology, materials science and sustainability, to environmental, biological and energy engineering, among other related disciplines.

Pendyala is particularly accomplished in his own area — transportation systems engineering, planning and analysis. He has been a university educator and researcher for almost three decades, conducting more than $12 million in sponsored research and publishing more than 200 research articles that have been cited widely by his peers.

His work has garnered numerous awards, honors and leadership positions with major organizations in his field. He is currently the director of a Tier 1 University Transportation Center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As a school director, Pendyala remains active in teaching, research and mentoring, so that he “stays connected” to faculty and students and pursues endeavors he has been passionate about throughout his career.

To better address future workforce needs, Pendyala intends to focus not only on growing the school’s programs but also expanding access to them by developing more online curricula, including those aimed at providing continuing education opportunities to professionals in the field.

Convergence magazine > New school director sees opportunity for global impact

When he agreed in the summer of 2018 to take on the interim director position for the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of the six Fulton Schools, Ram Pendyala recalls he “indicated emphatically” he wasn’t interested in moving up to the director’s job.

But over time, Pendyala says, “My thinking evolved.”

During his time as the school’s interim director, Pendyala experienced “how fulfilling it is to engage more broadly with faculty and students” and to help them pursue their aspirations.

“I’ve always been interested in seeing the school think bigger and contribute more vigorously across the many fields of engineering we encompass,” Pendyala says.

So, what better role than director to continue the work of “elevating the school’s place in the world through the impact we can bring to our profession and society at large,” he says.

Pendyala now oversees a school whose degree programs involve studies and research that intertwine multiple branches of engineering and science — from construction engineering and technology, materials science and sustainability, to environmental, biological and energy engineering, among other related disciplines.

Pendyala is particularly accomplished in his own area — transportation systems engineering, planning and analysis. He has been a university educator and researcher for almost three decades, conducting more than $12 million in sponsored research and publishing more than 200 research articles that have been cited widely by his peers.

His work has garnered numerous awards, honors and leadership positions with major organizations in his field. He is currently the director of a Tier 1 University Transportation Center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As a school director, Pendyala plans to remain active in teaching, research and mentoring, so that he “stays connected” to faculty and students and pursues endeavors he has been passionate about throughout his career.

To better address future workforce needs, Pendyala intends to focus not only on growing the school’s programs but also expanding access to them by developing more online curricula, including those aimed at providing continuing education opportunities to professionals in the field.