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University of Houston's Chen to be UT Pan American's new dean of science and engineering
Posted: 06/15/1998
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Dr. Jacob Jen-Gwo Chen, chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Houston, has been named the new dean of the College of Science and Engineering at The University of Texas-Pan American.

Chen said he may be on the UT Pan American campus as early as Aug. 1 to work with the interim dean, Dr. John Villarreal, as a transition into the position.

"I am really excited by this opportunity and eager to join the administration, faculty and students at UT Pan American, and I want to thank them for this opportunity," Chen said.

"I plan to continue the base established in the past of excellent undergraduate education, and I will work with the local community to find external resources to work on research and graduate program development... I feel we need to listen to the voice of the community to see what they need. We should work together to identify mutual opportunities between the local community and the university. An example would be to help local companies with quality, productivity and safety and to provide educational opportunities for their employees," he said.

Chen, who received a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1987, has held the position of chair and associate professor at UH since 1994. He was an associate chairman for a year before becoming chairman, and he has been a faculty member in the Department of Industrial Engineering since 1987.

He is a licensed professional engineer registered in the State of Texas, and he received a master of science in industrial management from Central Missouri State University in 1983 and a bachelor of science in biology from National Taiwan Normal University in 1978.

His previous experience also includes a year as an instructor and two years as a graduate assistant in the School of Industrial Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. From 1981-82 he was the assistant dean for student affairs at Hsi-Nan Junior School in Taiwan, and he served as a medical inventory officer for two years in the Chinese Army in Taiwan from 1979-81.

In addition to his teaching duties, Chen served as editor for a number of journal, including as guest editor in computer-aid-ergonomics for the International Journal of Computers in Industry in 1994, guest editor in artificial intelligence and expert systems applications in the International Journal of Industrial Engineering in 1995, and has been the editor in computation and intelligence in International Journal of Industrial Engineering since 1994.

Chen also edited the proceedings of two professional conferences and a seminar, was special issue editor in occupational ergonomics in Pan Pacific Rim for the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics in 1996, and was coeditor of two editions of Advances in Industrial Engineering Applications and Practice in 1996 and 1997.

He also has authored numerous articles for journals and for conference presentations, has participated in or chaired a number of research panels and conferences, received several federal and private research grants, and supervised the completion of students' doctoral dissertations, master's theses and master's projects.

While at the University of Houston, Chen has served on a number of university committees, including those concerned with graduate standards, college governance and new building at the college level, and on the Research Council, the Faculty Handbook Committee and Handicapped Student Advisory Board at the university-wide level.

His professional memberships include the Human Factors/Ergonomics Society, the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineering and the International Society of Industrial Ergonomics and Safety Research.

The College of Science and Engineering has been without a permanent dean since it was created in fall 1995 by the division of the College of Arts and Sciences into three smaller colleges. Villarreal, professor of chemistry, has served as the interim dean of the college since that time.