Penn State

Penn State engineering: New dean looks to elevate doctoral, master’s programs

The new dean of Penn State’s College of Engineering just started here a few weeks ago and already has a comprehensive plan mapped out for the college.

But, as Amr Elnashai told his new colleagues Friday, he’s still having trouble getting his cable TV connected in his house.

Elnashai mixed in his vision for the college with a few personal anecdotes during a reception to welcome him to campus.

He will lead Penn State’s largest college in terms of undergraduate population, at more than 7,000 students, and research expenditures, at more than $145 million.

Elnashai comes to Penn State from the University of Illinois, where he was the head of the civil and electrical engineering department. Elnashai praised the Penn State college as “phenomenal” and full of intellect.

“I’m really sure the future is bright for the college,” he said.

Elnashai said his primary objective is to expand the college’s doctoral and master’s degree programs, which he said are small compared with the programs at the top 10 universities in the country.

He’s also looking to expand awareness of the college beyond the United States, and he hopes to reach out to alumni worldwide to accomplish that. In addition, he wants to ramp up publicity and fundraising.

Elnashai succeeds longtime engineering dean David Wormley, who retired last year.