Wayne State’s engineering dean expands DEI initiatives, female leadership

Wayne State University School of Engineering

Ali Abolmaali is the new dean of Wayne State University’s College of Engineering. Prior to coming to Wayne State, Abolmaali worked at the University of Texas as the chair of the civil engineering department for 10 years.

Dean of the College of Engineering Ali Abolmaali / Courtesty of WSU College of Engineering

Abolmaali says he became interested in engineering through math and physics.

“I’m particularly interested in social justice and engineering,” he says.

That entails how to involve different backgrounds, races and minorities into designing engineering systems in things like renewable energy, factoring in how it impacts third world countries or minority populations.

Abolmaali says he hopes to take Wayne State University to the next level of excellence.

“Wayne State is an urban university, so I believe I can help on the excellent foundation that is already in place in the College of Engineering,” he says.

Abolmaali says the college is working on expanding programs for traditional and working students.

“We’re going to work very hard for students’ success on a variety of initiatives such as establishing an engineering clinic that will assist entry-level students with math and sciences. We’re going to increase the number of faculty to have to increase the research expenditures and research funding tremendously, which in turn will support students.”

Another initiative Abolmaali is working on at WSU is creating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committees to increase enrollment, scholarships and women in engineering.

“We are going to start having undergraduate female engineers tutor classes for incoming female engineers. So they see that they’re the same gender, can be leading, and can be teaching the engineers.”

Abolmaali says hiring more female faculty will provide role models for students.

Photo Credit: Ryan Schira, WDET

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.