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Engineering design luminary Kristin Wood joins College of Engineering, Design and Computing to lead innovation and engagement

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(left to right) Senior Associate Dean Kristin Wood, Arts & Media Dean Laurence Kaptain, Michael Sperandeo, Arianne Collopy, Sam Henderson, Julie Nguyen, Brandon Vargas

A global leader in the area of design engineering and science, Kristin Wood, has joined the faculty of CU Denver’s College of Engineering, Design and Computing as Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and Engagement and Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Prior to joining CU Denver, Wood directed a major center for technology-intensive design, research, and practice that spanned the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), leading the center to international acclaim since its founding in 2012. He was also the founding head (dean) of Engineering Product Development and served as the Associate Provost for Graduate studies at SUTD – a new university launched in partnership with MIT in 2010.

Wood was integral in the early success of SUTD, including its being named the top emerging innovator in engineering education in a 2018 global study of engineering education. Before joining SUTD in 2012, Wood had a distinguished career at the University of Texas at Austin as a University Distinguished Professor. He was appointed to the UT Austin Academy of Distinguished Teachers in recognition of his excellence in teaching

“Welcoming Wood to CU Denver is a major step forward in realizing the potential we have as a dynamic research university in the heart of the city of Denver,” said Martin Dunn, dean of the College of Engineering, Design and Computing. “Professor Wood is one of the world’s top engineering design educators, scholars, and practitioners.  His leadership will significantly accelerate our ambitious plans to create unique, cutting-edge opportunities for our students at the forefront of technology. I could not be more excited to have him on our team.”

Wood will lead the college’s ambitious efforts to transform engineering education by integrating design across the engineering curriculum – from students’ first days to their final days at CU Denver –  and driving the college’s strategic vision to innovate at the confluence of computing and design.  He will also lead the college’s strategy to impact the Denver urban corridor and Colorado through strategic partnerships with the public and private sector that span its education, research, and professional development platforms.

Professor Wood will also lead the Comcast Media & Technology Center, a joint partnership between the College of Arts & Media and the College of Engineering, Design and Computing supported by Comcast to advance research and education in media and technology.  Wood is already working with students and faculty to shape an interdisciplinary vision for the center, focused on design innovation at the intersection of art, media, and computing.

College of Arts & Media Dean Laurence Kaptain shares the importance of Kristin Wood’s presence. “The hiring of Kris Wood sends a signal that CU Denver values and advances the essential skills of professional practice. Creativity is a common thread in design innovation and has been widely identified as a necessary 21st century skill,” he said. “In that regard, arts and media students are thrilled to be working alongside Professor Wood and students from the College of Engineering, Design and Computing to develop and practice the skillsets of creativity and professional practice that will always be in demand and prevail in a world were the only certainty will be change.”

“I’m passionate about convening visionaries, enabling success and cultivating a culture of design, in partnership and co-creation with faculty, staff, students and external organizations,” said Wood. “The alignment of CU Denver’s ambitious strategy to differentiate itself through a broadened emphasis on design as a path to positively impacting people and cities couldn’t be better aligned with my passions. The potential is infinite, and the impact from our shared vision will be realized in great ways.”

Wood is a Colorado native, growing up on a farm on the eastern plains. He earned his bachelor of science in computer engineering at Colorado State University and was named a Colorado State University Distinguished Alumnus. He earned his master of science and PhD degrees at CalTech before starting his academic career at the University of Texas at Austin.

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At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.

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