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Douglas Sicker joins college to lead next era of computing and technology in engineering education

Douglas Sicker, PhD

Douglas Sicker, a noted leader in computer science and engineering, with extensive expertise in technology and public policy, has joined the faculty of CU Denver’s College of Engineering, Design and Computing as Senior Associate Dean for Computing and Professor of Computer Science.

Sicker is an expert in network systems, including wireless systems, network security, and spectrum policy. He comes to CU Denver from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where he was the Thomas Lord Endowed Chair Professor in Computer Science and Engineering. At CMU he served as the Head of the Engineering and Public Policy Department, as well as Interim Director of the CyLab Institute for Security and Privacy, the nation’s leading center for cybersecurity.

Sicker also has extensive experience and notable accomplishments at high levels in both the private and public sectors. He served the nation as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Federal Communications Commission and later as CTO for the Department of Commerce (NTIA). In his roles as CTO, Sicker led numerous government initiatives related to our national broadband infrastructure and spectrum management. Prior to his service in government he was the Director of Global Architecture at Level 3 Communications, now CenturyLink.

“I am so excited to have Doug on our team at CU Denver,” said Martin Dunn, College of Engineering, Design and Computing dean. “Technology is undergoing historically rapid changes and it is disrupting all fields, including our own – how we teach, learn, and do research. I can’t think of a better person than Doug Sicker to help lead us to educate the engineering workforce of the future and prepare tomorrow’s technological leaders.”

Sicker will lead the College of Engineering, Design and Computing’s ambitious efforts to transform engineering education by integrating computing technology across the engineering curriculum and driving initiatives to expand educational technology in collegewide pedagogy and education delivery. This is expected to enable graduates to help lead the digital transformations that the firms they join will be undergoing. This will include shaping a recently-launched “Computer Science +” program anchored by a new BA degree in computer science, which seeks to create a strong computer science education and integration across all schools and colleges at CU Denver. He will also guide college strategy in cybersecurity and data science as well as drive computing initiatives across the campus.

“As computing technology transforms all fields, regulation, policy, and ethical considerations will play dynamic new roles,” Dunn added. “Doug’s experience in this space will lead to unique opportunities for our students. These will evolve rapidly and unpredictably, ranging from today’s hot topics, such as security of networks with billions of internet-of-things devices connected to it, to important issues for the Denver urban corridor, such as the application of data science and cybersecurity to smart cities, critical infrastructure, and national security efforts in Colorado.”

Paul Teske, Dean of the School of Public Affairs noted, “It is very exciting to add someone with the expertise and experience of Doug Sicker to the CU Denver faculty. At the School of Public Affairs, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Sicker as an affiliated faculty member, who can bring new ideas and approaches to Smart Cities, telecommunications regulatory policy, e-governance, and other policy domains that we care about. I can envision many inter-disciplinary collaborations with Doug.”

Sicker stated, “I’m excited to be leading the implementation of this new vision for computing within the college and across the campus. With the tools and programming environments now available, it is the perfect time to reimagine how engineering students might learn to incorporate computing and data sciences into their studies. CU Denver holds a unique position as Colorado’s public urban research university, with interesting opportunities within such area as smart cities, health and wellness, broadband infrastructure, cybersecurity, and more. These issues not only provide technology challenges, but also require critical public policy, national security, economics, and urban planning to properly solve.”

Sicker earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. Before his roles at CMU and in government, Sicker was a professor of computer science at CU Boulder where he held the Denver Business Chamber Endowed Chair and served as Director of the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program.



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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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