Search Begins for New BCOE Dean

Bourns College of Engineering Dean Reza Abbaschian is resigning in June to become director of the Winston Chung Global Energy Center

Reza Abbaschian on stairwell

Distinguished Professor Reza Abbaschian

UCR Provost Paul D’Anieri has announced a search for a new dean for the Bourns College of Engineering, to succeed Dean Reza Abbaschian after he steps down in June to become the director of the Winston Chung Global Energy Center.

Since he arrived on campus in September, 2005, Abbaschian “has charted an ambitious and disciplined course for the Bourns College,” D’Anieri said.

“During his tenure, BCOE has steadily grown in prestige, research productivity and student success, landing in the top 50 public engineering schools in the nation. Dean Abbaschian has created a legacy of excellence and innovation over more than a decade of leadership, and I am grateful for his contributions and commitment.”

In 2010, Abbaschian shepherded the largest gift from an individual donor in UCR’s history — a $10 million cash endowment and more than $3-million-worth of batteries from Chinese inventor and entrepreneur Winston Chung. The gift established the Winston Chung Global Energy Center and the batteries provide electricity to an entire floor of the campus building that now bears Chung’s name.

Four years later, Abbaschian led the creation of the Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative to study the integration of renewable energy sources, such as an electrical smart grid that can help with charging electric cars and storing energy – the largest effort of its kind in California. The partnership with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, SolarMax Technology and leaders in regional government has four megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels, two megawatts of battery storage and 27 electric vehicle charging stations, including one for a trolley car that was converted to run on an electric battery instead of diesel fuel.

The dean has led efforts to become a more global university, forging robust partnerships with researchers in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and other parts of the world, D’Anieri said.

He’s also been “a visible contributor to the quality of life in our region,” the provost said, spearheading a partnership with Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nüremberg in Germany that helped create the Long Night of Arts and Innovation in partnership with the City of Riverside.

Abbaschian has served for more than a decade as the William R. Johnson, Jr. Distinguished Professor and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 250 scientific articles and eight books and holds five patents and eight patent disclosures.

As director of the Winston Chung Global Energy Center, Abbaschian will hold a Winston Chung Endowed Professorship and continue his research focusing on solidification and materials processing in the areas of interfacial kinetics, high temperature intermetallics, composites, and high temperature pressure diamond crystal growth.

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