​Strategic Planning Initiative

We collected a large number of ideas for strategic initiatives in several different areas. These ideas were sorted into topics that will be developed more fully into strategic white papers and lists of ideas that are "shovel-ready" items/projects. The consolidation of suggestions, ideas, and any other feedback was done through an intense and deliberative process within the strategic planning committee and in consultation with the Dean and the department chairs.

The current plan calls for 20 white papers across the areas of Research, Undergraduate Education, Graduate Education, Culture & Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Relationships & Partnerships, and Operations. While every idea in each white paper might not be implemented, receive resources or be acted on right away, these papers will provide a road map for the next few years. Below, you will find a list of themes and the names of the white paper-writing chairs (WWCs). Each WWC is responsible to write the four-five page white paper on the topic listed by their name. They will consult with a committee of subject matter experts that they've put together, and their drafts will follow a prescribed template to ensure that key issues pertaining to the strategic area are fully addressed. At this juncture, we ask that if you feel strongly about a certain area, you should directly contact the WWC in charge of the white paper that is in your area of interest. We want to incorporate as many creative ideas and suggestions as we can into the white papers that outline strategic areas of interest, approaches for implementation, and analytics to measure success. In addition, strategic planning committee member Natalie Goodwin-Frank will coordinate the list of the “shovel-ready” items.


1. Clean Energy Systems – Vijay Ramani

2. Computational Biology & Pharmacology – Rohit Pappu

3. Data Sciences for Humanity – Sanmay Das

4. Environmental Systems – Young-Shin Jun

5. Imaging Sciences & Technology – Quing Zhu

6. Mechanobiology – Jessica Wagenseil

7. Nanoscale – Lan Yang

Undergraduate Education

1. New Major in Engineering Science – Jay Turner

2. Enhancing the Engineering Curricula – Patricia Widder

3. Support the Life Cycle of Undergraduate Students – Ron Laue

Graduate Education

1. Create a New Graduate Program in Biophysics – Rohit Pappu

2. Structuring PhD Programs and Supporting Students – Tao Ju

3. Running Effective and Efficient Master’s Programs – Cathy Freesmeier

Culture & Diversity

1. Diversity and Inclusion – Jessica Wagenseil

2. Non-Tenure Line Faculty – Emily Boyd

3. Faculty Development & Mentoring – Srikanth Singamaneni

4. Recognition of Staff – Laura Kraus

Partnership & Relationships

Creating a Front Door to Industry – Alex Carr


Support Entrepreneurial Enterprises – Nick Benassi


Information Technology – Mark Bober

Please note that the deadline for the first full drafts of each of the white papers is March 24, 2017. Please reach out to the WWCs as soon as possible to offer your creative insights in this crucial community-driven process.

Contact Nick Benassi at nick_benassi@wustl.edu or 314-935-6350 with any questions.

Strategic planning co-chairs

Rohit Pappu, Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering

Jessica Wagenseil, Associate Professor & Director of PhD Studies, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Committee & administration

Nick Benassi, Associate Dean & Chief of Staff

Mark Bober, Manager of Computing Services, Engineering IT

Emily Boyd, Principal Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Alex Carr, Senior Director, Engineering Alumni & Development

ShiNung Ching, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Systems Engineering

Sanmay Das, Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering

Ramona Durham, Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Student & President of National Society of Black Engineers

Cathy Freesmeier, Director of Operations, Graduate and Professional Education

Natalie Goodwin-Frank, Director of Research Development & Administration

Kelsey Haddad, Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering PhD Candidate, Officer-at-Large for Association of Graduate Engineering Students

Tao Ju, Vice Dean for Research & Professor of Computer Science & Engineering

Young-Shin Jun, Harold D. Jolley Career Development Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Ron Laue, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Student Services

Chenyang Lu, Fullgraf Professor, Computer Science & Engineering

Laura Kraus, Director of Financial & Operations Planning & Analysis

Vijay Ramani, Roma B. and Raymond H. Wittcoff Professor, Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Srikanth Singamaneni, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Jay Turner, Vice Dean for Education & Associate Professor of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Patricia Widder, Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering

Lan Yang, Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor, Electrical & Systems Engineering

Quing Zhu, Professor, Biomedical Engineering