Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Appoints New Department Head
PHILADELPHIA, May 1, 2013 — Dr. Suhada Jayasuriya has been appointed as new Department Head of the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics department, effective August 1, 2013.
Jayasuriya joins Drexel University from the University of Central Florida (UCF) where he served as distinguished professor and department chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering since January of 2011. Prior to his role at UCF, he served as the director of the Control Systems Program at the National Science Foundation on leave from Texas A&M University, where he was Kotzebue endowed professor of mechanical engineering and head of the department. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Sri Lanka and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Wayne State University, all in mechanical engineering.
Jayasuriya’s career includes mentoring junior faculty at UCF after starting a departmental graduate seminar series. He held the first ever graduate student research day, secured resources to upgrade multiple teaching labs and build new design studios for the Capstone Design Class, initiated a program with NASA-Kennedy Space Centeron Unmanned Air Systems and led major curriculum revisions. As department head at Texas A&M, he championed major curriculum changes, streamlined course offerings to manage faculty teaching loads enabling increased research productivity, recruited 12 new faculty and raised more than $10 million in endowments and gifts for the department. The main areas of his research have been robust control, active control of vibrations and nonlinear control.
Jayasuriya is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award for outstanding achievement in mechanical engineering within 10 to 20 years following graduation, the Henry M. Paynter Outstanding Research Investigator Award, the Michael J. Rabins Leadership Award from ASME and the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Wayne State University.