Warnock named founding chair of School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering

Researcher works with syringe in labThe University of Georgia College of Engineering has selected James N. Warnock to serve as the founding chair of its new School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering. His appointment is effective August 1.

Warnock currently serves as a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering.

“Dr. Warnock is an outstanding addition to our college and he will be an excellent leader for our new School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering,” said Donald Leo, dean of the College of Engineering. “He has a strong record of achievement in teaching, research and service and I look forward to working with him as we enter the next phase of our college’s evolution.”

James Warnock

James Warnock

In response to the rapid growth of its educational and research programs, the UGA College of Engineering established a new organizational structure earlier this year built around three schools: the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering; the School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering; and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The new structure is designed to enhance the college’s interdisciplinary teaching, research and service activities while advancing the development of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

“At UGA, there are great opportunities to build educational and research programs in biochemical and biological engineering with world-renowned reputations,” said Warnock. “There is also the unique opportunity to collaborate with the liberal arts programs at UGA, such as the public health school, biological sciences, the vet school, business and international studies. I was very excited when I learned about the college’s dual degree in Engineering and German, having been very involved with international education at MSU.”

Warnock joined the faculty at Mississippi State in 2005 and he has been an active researcher in novel therapeutic strategies to treat cardiovascular disease. He’s also earned international attention for his work in advancing the field of engineering education. Warnock serves as adjunct director of training and instruction for ABET, the engineering college accreditation board. In this role he supports the planning, production and execution of the organization’s professional-development programming and directs all activities related to educational offerings and workshop-facilitator training.

“In my engineering education research I’ve studied ways that we can improve engineering curricula to better prepare graduates for engineering practice,” he said. “Specifically, I have looked at how students develop professional skills, such as teamwork, communication, intercultural competence, self-directed learning and innovative thinking.”

Warnock earned a bachelor’s degree in biological science from the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. He earned a master’s in biochemical engineering and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, before completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Warnock will succeed Ramaraja Ramasamy, an associate professor who is serving as inaugural chair. Ramasamy will remain on the faculty of the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering.

“I want to thank Dr. Ramasamy for his outstanding leadership during the transition to our new administrative structure,” Leo said. “I would also like to express my appreciation to the faculty, staff and students who served on the search committee for this important position, particularly Dr. Yajun Yan, the committee chair.”

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