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New Purdue Engineering Dean: Innovation Can Take 20 Years

courtesy Purdue University

Purdue’s College of Engineering has hired a researcher renowned as something of a “whiz kid” to be its new dean.

Mung Chiang comes to Purdue from Princeton, where he’s taught electrical engineering and researched electronic communication methods.

Chiang turns 40 this year and has won several awards given to young engineering researchers. But he says he’s not focusing on how much time he’s spent in the field.

“So it’s not really about my age, but about the collective wisdom and experience of the teams that sometimes I assembled and led and sometimes I am part of," he says.

Chiang takes over for Leah Jamieson, who will return to her role as a faculty member in the College.

Chiang says he plans to continue Jamieson's hands-on approach, which included keeping her hand in even some minute aspects of the College’s operation.

“I also, sometimes, have to look at some of the details like what goes into a publicity piece, what goes into the cover of a magazine for my organization. Because those things add up,” Chiang says.

He says he'll begin his time at Purdue with a series of listening sessions, chatting up faculty about what the College does well and where it needs to improve.

Chiang says innovation can take decades in some cases -- and he hopes being hired at such a young age (relative to most deans) gives him the chance to spend such time at Purdue.

The new dean starts his tenure July 1.