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Xu Chen to serve as BARC director

August 17, 2023

On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, Dean Nancy Allbritton shared the following announcement with the College of Engineering community:

Xu Chen headshot

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Xu Chen, Bryan T. McMinn Endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), as the Director of the Boeing Advanced Research Collaboration (BARC), effective September 1, 2023. As Director, Xu will lead an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students to develop the vision and mission for this collaboration, integrating the Boeing Advanced Research Center, the AI Center for Dynamics and Control Research & Education, and industry capstone and sponsored research programs. I am confident that Xu will provide outstanding leadership and facilitate a continued rise in excellence and prominence for this collaboration.

Xu brings a depth of leadership experience and research expertise to the role of BARC Director. He joined ME as an assistant professor in 2019. His research in dynamic systems and controls aims to better understand and engineer smart machines and autonomy, and his research in sensing, actuation and energy transformation aims to facilitate novel manufacturing processes, e.g., for automated inspection in the aerospace industry. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the SME Sandra L. Bouckley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, the Young Investigator Award from the ISCIE/ASME International Symposium on Flexible Automation, the Mechatronic Systems Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Technical Committee on Mechatronic Systems, the inaugural UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering Breakthrough Award in 2016, and the 2017 UConn University Teaching Fellow Award Nominee.

The Boeing Advanced Research Collaboration is the next advancement in our long-standing partnership with Boeing. It will build on the success of the Boeing Advanced Research Center, where Boeing engineers work alongside College of Engineering faculty and students on joint research projects in aircraft manufacturing and assembly. Since 2014, the center has expanded to bring new research themes and ideas to our partnership with Boeing. As Director, Xu will lead the efforts to leverage BARC and UW strengths and make a substantial impact in new materials research, manufacturing, and workforce development.

I would like to recognize and thank Professor Santosh Devasia and Professor Per Reinhall for their vision and leadership in establishing the Boeing Advanced Research Center. I would also like to thank the search committee— Yinhai Wang (chair), Per Reinhall, Marco Salviato, Navid Zobeiry, Liz Young, Bill Kuykendall, and Agnes Blom-Schieber— for their great work in engaging the community in the search for the Director of the Boeing Advanced Research Collaboration.

Please join me in congratulating Xu!

Best regards,