Michael Georgiopoulos is the new dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) at the University of Central Florida.

UCF Provost Tony Waldrop made the announcement this week after a committee worked for several months conducting an extensive national search for the position.

Georgiopoulos has led CECS as interim dean since July 1, 2012 when former dean Marwan Simaan stepped down to return full-time to his research and teaching roles at UCF. Since July, Georgiopoulos has, with the support from CECS senior leadership, recognized faculty that are research productive, increased the number of teaching assistants in large classes to improve student learning, strongly supported important niche research areas in the College, engaged the Dean’s Advisory Board in active discussions about the future of CECS and emphasized collaborations with other colleges, centers and institutes.

CECS is one of the nation’s largest colleges of engineering and computer science with approximately 7,900 students enrolled.  The college has five academic departments: Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Industrial Engineering and Management Systems; Materials Science and Engineering; and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

In 1986, Georgiopoulos joined the CECS faculty as an assistant professor after receiving both a Ph.D. and a master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut. Since then he has served in, and has been honored for, his many roles at UCF.

In 2010, he was named a Pegasus Professor – the most prestigious faculty award at UCF. The honor recognizes extraordinary contributions to the UCF community through teaching, research and service.

Georgiopoulos’ research expertise is in the field of machine learning with special emphasis on neural network algorithms. He has advised the research of approximately 100 students of all degree levels, many of whom have been funded through his extensive grant and contract efforts. At UCF, he has served as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI in research funding exceeding $16 million.

His research findings have been published in more than 250 archival journals, conferences and book chapters, many of which have been co-authored by his student mentees. He served as an associate editor of Neural Networks, and as an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, two of the most prestigious journals in his research field. In 2011, he served as the technical co-chair of the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks.

Georgiopoulos is widely known in the UCF community for his leadership of UCF’s EXCEL program, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) talent expansion program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Since it began in 2006, UCF’s EXCEL program has resulted in an approximate 40 percent increase in student success, and has been lauded and recognized by UCF and the NSF.

As a graduate coordinator from 1999 to 2009, Georgiopoulos oversaw Ph.D. students in electrical and computer engineering, with as many as 150 students at one time. From Sept. 2011 to June 2012, he served as UCF’s interim assistant vice president of Research and Commercialization.