From The Dean

Dr. Dennis O'Neal, P.E.

From The Dean

As we developed these stories to share with you, we were excited to showcase how our Christian faith and scientific research combine to bring hope and light to our future. As Christians, we know that we are built for community. In the last year, with the isolation caused by the pandemic, it is more evident than ever that we need collaboration to thrive. I hope our stories in this issue illustrate how integration among disciplines is creating a positive impact for our futures.

Erich Baker, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science Chair and professor of bioinformatics, and his team were awarded a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant to investigate how to improve commercial building designs for the health of its occupants through machine learning. Learn more about the strides his research team has made so far in this story.

Continuing the theme of health, Mary Lauren Benton, B.S.I. ’15, Ph.D., assistant professor of bioinformatics, focuses her research on the influence of evolutionary history on human health and disease. Her work in genomics will help future doctors understand how to personalize care based on an individual’s DNA sequence. Read more about her work. 

We’ve seen over the past year how collaboration and working together can bridge the divide. In academics, collaboration can lead to tremendous innovation and advancement in technology. David Jack, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, received a $3 million grant to research materials science. As you’ll read, materials science integrates engineering, physics, chemistry and environmental science to create better functioning materials for our future. Read more about his work in this story or learn more about Materials Science research and why it’s one of five initiatives within Illuminate, Baylor’s academic strategic plan.

Also in this issue, meet one of our alumni who is making a positive impact on the world. Shawn Sedate, B.S.C.S. ’85, is a member of our Engineering and Computer Science Board of Advocates. He currently serves as the chief information officer for Brookshire Brothers. His story is one of vision and legacy for future generations. Read more about it in this story.

Shaun Hutton, B.S., ’05, is an alumnus and recently minted member of the ECS faculty with an extensive career in the cyber security industry and a passion for education. He joins the department following a 13-year stint at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the nation’s largest University Affiliated Research Center. Learn more about what he thinks will be most important to the future generation of thinkers and leaders in the cybersecurity industry in this story.

Looking toward a bright future, senior Catherine Ledoux is completing a double major in mechanical engineering and music performance. She has held internships with XTO Energy and Schoenstein & Co., the oldest and largest pipe organ builder in the western United States. Ledoux is a light to our community as a Baylor Residential Community Leader Mentor. Read more about her story.

From our faculty to our alumni and students, one aspect of ECS always remains: Our desire is to provide our students with a high-quality education that is integrated with their Christian faith and prepares them to take a leadership role to positively impact our future.

I invite you to enjoy these stories and more on our website. I hope they stir feelings of pride as part of the Baylor Family and inspire you to stay connected.



Dean's Signature

Dr. Dennis O’Neal, P.E.
Dean, School of Engineering and Computer Science