College of Engineering Names New Associate Dean for Undergraduates

Friday, September 27 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho College of Engineering has named alumnus and longtime faculty member Joseph D. Law as its new associate dean for undergraduates.

Law, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has demonstrated a passion for and long-term commitment to the education of undergraduate engineering students as a UI faculty member over the past 24 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UI in 1981 and his master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As associate dean for undergraduates, Law will develop and execute a multi-year plan to continuously improve the undergraduate experience, said College of Engineering dean Larry Stauffer.

“I plan to create focus groups composed of faculty, students and professional engineers to research ideas, plan and execute new initiatives to enhance the experience for undergraduates, and improve the multicultural environment of the College of Engineering,” said Law. “For example, one of the groups will explore methods to enhance content and delivery of engineering courses offered in the first two years.” 

The new associate dean’s position is the latest in a string of undergraduate-focused initiatives in the college. Recent projects include the Engineering Scholars program, peer tutoring and the John C. Wahl thinkTANK student center, which soon will include a coffee and snack shop.

“When I became dean, one of the priorities we established in the College of Engineering is to provide an outstanding experience for our undergraduate students,” Stauffer said. “We have been focused on providing services and opportunities to enhance their time here in and out of the classroom.”

Law brings a wealth of experience with the college’s academic and research programs to his new position. He led the college’s Advanced Transportation Group from 1993 to 1997 and helped establish the college’s National Institute for Advanced Transportation Studies. In 2012, he became the director of the Idaho Space Grant Consortium and Idaho’s NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, known as NASA EPSCoR.

Law also has collaborated with other faculty to create the college’s capstone design course. The National Academy of Engineering recognized the capstone program as one of the seven best in the nation in its 2012 report, “Infusing Real-World Experiences into Engineering Education.”

In addition to teaching and mentoring students, Law leads a research team that focuses on energy conversion, transmission and storage. He is developing flywheel energy storage systems for potential use in colonization of extraterrestrial bodies, such as the moon.

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Media Contact: Tara Roberts, University Communications, (208) 885-7725,

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