UTC engineering dean heading to Baylor University

Contributed photo / Dean Daniel Pack.  Thursday, July 20, 2021
Contributed photo / Dean Daniel Pack. Thursday, July 20, 2021

Daniel Pack, dean of the engineering and computer science college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for the past seven years, will be leaving at the end of the term to become dean of the Baylor University School of Engineering and Computer Science, effective June 1.

A researcher in robots, computer vision and unmanned systems, Pack came to UTC in 2015 after serving as the Mary Lou Clarke professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Before joining UTSA, he spent 17 years as a faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, where he was the founding director of the Academy Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research.

Baylor University Provost Nancy Brickhouse said in a statement Pack "brings a wealth of experience building engineering programs" and said he has had "a big impact at every department and school he has led – in terms of both growing the research profile of the unit as well as growing educational opportunities for engineering students."

In a statement Thursday, Pack said "the limitless potential of the (Baylor engineering) school is inspiring" to make a "world-wide impact through education, research and service."

But Pack also praised his time in Chattanooga.

"I am both sad to know that this will be my last semester at UTC and grateful for the opportunity I have had working with leaders throughout the university," Pack said in a statement announcing his decision Thursday. "The experience of working with top-class faculty, staff, students, advisory board members, friends and alums of the college, along with leaders of the Greater Chattanooga community, to advance the college's mission will be remembered and cherished by me for the rest of my life. The college is on a great path to fulfill its vision to become a preeminent college of engineering and computer science in the nation and I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to contribute toward moving the college toward that vision."

Jerold L. Hale, UTC provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, praised Pack as "a valuable contributor to UTC's success."

Hale said a national search for Pack's successor will begin immediately.

"He has initiated new degree programs like the bachelor of applied science in mechatronics and the bachelor of applied science in information technology in cybersecurity; both programs directly address workforce needs in the state of Tennessee and throughout the region," Hale said in a news release from UTC. "He has expanded CECS student-success initiatives through the Center for Student Success and the Living Learning Community. He has significantly raised the college's research profile."

Pack holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University, where his dissertation examined sensor-based control for a quadruped walking robot. He earned a master's degree from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University.

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