Chairman Babbio Inauguration Remarks

Chairman Babbio Inauguration Remarks

Good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to welcome the entire Stevens community ---- our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends to this historic event in the life of the university ---- the inauguration of our new president, Dr. Nariman Farvardin. This is a truly momentous occasion for Stevens as Dr. Farvardin is only the seventh president to take office here on Castle Point since the Institute was founded 141 years ago.

We are deeply honored to be joined today by so many distinguished guests from the worlds of policy, academia, research and business. Among them, I am delighted to welcome

Dr. Steven Chu, the U.S. Secretary of Energy and Nobel laureate in physics; ......

The Honorable Kim Guadagno, the lieutenant governor of New Jersey; ........

The Honorable Dawn Zimmer, the mayor of Hoboken; ......

and Dr. Jeong Kim, the Executive Vice President of Alcatel-Lucent and President of Bell Labs and Corporate Strategy and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

I’d also like to warmly welcome Dr. Farvardin’s

wife, Hoveida,

his mother, Shahrzad,

his father, Hooshang,

his daughter, Tandice,

and his many other well-wishers in attendance today.

As we prepare to install him in our highest office, we are mindful that Dr. Farvardin’s presidency marks a new beginning for the university, while it also affirms the enduring traditions and core values that define us. Like so many of us here today, he trained as an engineer and then

quickly burnished his reputation as a talented, tireless and prolific researcher. To date, he has co-authored more than 150 technical papers in journals and conference proceedings.

And - like so many members of the Stevens community stretching back for more than a century - Dr. Farvardin is an innovator and an entrepreneur, who has translated his research on data communication, image coding, and wireless communications into patented technologies and new enterprises.

He's also an engaged advocate for technical education, who has served on the boards of educational non-profit organizations and on task forces promoting the study of technical disciplines.

In short, we are delighted that his experiences, interests and values align so well with our own. But we feel equally assured on this important day that Dr. Farvardin will steer the university in critical new directions. A visionary and strategic leader, he is passionately committed to excellence in everything we do, to expanding our programmatic frontiers, and to seeking new arenas for our engagement and service. And this is a mission that we all embrace, with enormous confidence and pride.

As a technical university focused on applied research, problem-solving, and innovation, we are a pivotal player in some of the most urgent matters of our times. Increasingly, the worlds issues ...from cybersecurity to energy security... demand adroit technical solutions - devised in record time

And calls for technical expertise to manage potentially catastrophic climate change, to make substantial strides in energy efficiency, to devise system monitors that will help blunt volatility in global financial markets will only grow.

As a graduate and a trustee, I am proud to say that Stevens is already fully engaged in many of our society's most pressing issues.  Let me mention just a few.

In recent years, the federal government has designated several of our research areas as national "centers of excellence." Prominent among these is the National Center for Secure & Resilient Maritime Commerce, which plays a key role in helping to secure the nation’s waterways by integrating global intelligence, building resilience into the maritime transportation system, and by devising ways to swiftly restore infrastructure following disruption.

In these uncertain economic times, the School of Systems and Enterprises is already at work on models that will facilitate multi-scale analyses of the financial system, including the close examination of systemic behaviors and risks, with a focus on designing a more effective monitoring system and more durable safeguards.

And as an institution, Stevens is committed to implementing new methods of generating renewable energy and maximizing energy efficiency right here on campus. The university's near-term goal is to achieve 35% off-grid power generation by 2013.

Stevens also takes its role as an educational advocate and leader off-campus very seriously. The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education recently won the Presidential Award for Excellence for helping schools integrate science and engineering into the curriculum in ways that truly engage students.

But as we take stock today - while looking to our future - we know that there is important work ahead of us. Many of the problems our students will be asked to tackle are as yet unnamed, unidentified. As we have always done, we will prepare them for the known and the unknown with our rigorous curriculum and a rich array of problem-solving experiences both here and off-campus.

On a personal note I must say from the very first day I met Nariman, I was impressed by his intelligence and his thoughtfulness. After additional meetings and more conversations I became more impressed with his terrific sense of direction, his knowledge of what's right for a university like ours and his great instincts on how do get it done. And finally after many, many meetings I have come to deeply respect his ability and his determination to get this work done....and by the way I really like him.

And with Dr. Farvardin at the helm, I am confident that the university will achieve the right balance between preserving our remarkable heritage and embracing ambitious new priorities that will further engage our students and faculty in real-world problems, inspire them to make important connections across disciplines and industry sectors, and get them thinking in new and agile ways about some of society’s most difficult, unsolved technical challenges.

Let me say that this is a great day for Stevens.

Going forward, the community should have full faith in the robustness and relevance of our core mission, every confidence that we will advance the university’s position as a global leader in education, research and innovation, and the assurance that we will leave an even stronger and richer institution for the generations to come.

In closing, let me again welcome everyone here today, send greetings from all of us to our Stevens Community around the globe and congratulate Nariman on his accomplishments to date and assure him of the support of the Board of Trustees and the entire Stevens community as he assumes the role of the seventh President of the Stevens Institute of Technology.