The Michigan Engineer News Center

Joanna Millunchick named associate dean for undergrad education

Millunchick aims to create a more vibrant, engaging and inclusive community of scholars.| Short Read
IMAGE:  Joanna Millunchick, Arthur F. Thurnau professor of materials science and engineering, and associate dean for undergraduate education at Michigan Engineering

The University of Michigan Board of Regents today approved the appointment of Joanna Millunchick as associate dean for undergraduate education at Michigan Engineering. Her new appointment will take effect on July 1.

Millunchick is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and a Presidential Bicentennial Professor, charged by U-M President Mark Schlissel with co-organizing this fall’s Bicentennial colloquium and student competition, “The Campus of the Future.”

In her new position, Millunchick expects to draw on one of her key areas of research: studying whether participating in co-curricular activities benefits students, and determining how to use those benefits to attract traditionally underrepresented groups to the STEM fields.

“As one of the Bicentennial Professors, I’ve spent the last year talking to students, faculty, and staff about how the college experience will evolve in coming years. Their passion and enthusiasm is truly inspiring, and I can’t wait to work with them to create a more vibrant, engaging and inclusive community of scholars,” Millunchick said.

In her new role, Millunchick will oversee curriculum development; assessment; teaching and pedagogy; first year courses; and Michigan Engineering’s cross-disciplinary academic programs. Those include international programs, technical communications, team projects, the multidisciplinary design program, honors and engagement programs.  She will also oversee the ENGR subject courses within Michigan Engineering.

“Joanna’s strengths will be most beneficial as we seek to define and develop the best educational experiences for current and future students,” said Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor of Engineering.

Millunchick also studies semiconductor materials – manipulating matter on the nanometer scale to uncover new structures for optoelectronics such as solar cells.

She succeeds electrical engineering and computer science professor Brian Noble as associate dean for undergraduate education.

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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read