José Rafael Sánchez, Ph.D., a leader in higher education engineering programming and a renowned expert on ultrasonic imaging will serve as the next dean of Merrimack College’s School of Science and Engineering, President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs John “Sean” Condon, Ph.D. announced.
Sánchez, currently the dean of Wentworth Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering, will start at Merrimack on July 1.
“Throughout his career in academia, José has been a leader in transforming the way we educate future engineers,” said Hopey. “His enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and innovation will add tremendous value to the School of Science and Engineering. His leadership and expertise will be critical to elevating Merrimack’s research endeavors and commitment to graduate education, both strategic initiatives laid out in the Agenda For The Future. We look forward to officially welcoming José to the Merrimack community.”
During his time at Wentworth, Sánchez has overseen all aspects of the engineering school including the development of a strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion, introducing industry-sponsored interdisciplinary projects and establishing an articulation agreement with Mass Bay Community College for the computer, electrical and mechanical engineering programs.
“I am humbled and honored to serve as dean of the School of Science and Engineering,” Sánchez said. “I have been attracted to Merrimack for some time because of its strong mission that includes educating the student as a whole. I was inspired when I met the faculty and staff because they are invested in the institution. I am incredibly excited to start my journey and help the School integrate the Agenda For The Future to reach greater heights.”
Sánchez’s appointment coincides with the work already underway at Merrimack’s future Engineering Innovation Center at 510 and 530 Turnpike St. Fully dedicated to STEM programs and research, this new facility will be Merrimack’s engineering hub and will bring together technical education with hands-on development allowing students to bring their ideas into real-world applications and products.
Before Wentworth, Sánchez was a founding director, associate dean and associate professor at the University of Indianapolis’ R.B Annis School of Engineering. There he played a pivotal role in the school’s growth including the addition of six new programs and improving the existing computer science program. Sánchez also previously served as an associate professor at Bradley University.
“This is an exciting time for Merrimack and the School of Science and Engineering, and José is the right person to help make the College’s STEM and research ambitions become reality,” said Condon. “I look forward to his vision for the school, which will rely heavily on collaboration with students, faculty and staff.”
As an electrical and computer engineer, Sánchez has done extensive research on ultrasonic imaging, including reducing the instances of speckles in ultrasonic imaging to improve visibility. He has also presented on reimagining computer engineering curricula and integrating entrepreneurial thinking in engineering design.
Sánchez received his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Bradley University.