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The Center for Engineering Concepts Development (CECD) celebrated its distinguished history and two decades of accomplishments with the 20th Anniversary and Middleton Luncheon on April 17, 2019. The event opened with welcoming remarks from CECD director, Dr. Davinder Anand and hosted guest speakers U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Maryland State Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton (D-Charles Co.) who were early supporters of the research center. 

Founded in 1998, CECD was established as the Center for Energetic Concepts Development, initially a cooperative research group between the University of Maryland (UMD) and the Naval Warfare Center Indian Head Division. In this capacity, CECD served as a platform for conducting world-class research related to the field of energetics, contributing to scientific research in national security, energy, the environment, and health, as discussed by Professor Peter Chung. The center partnered with over fifteen organizations to investigate key areas of engineering research in energetics.

In 2015, the center changed its title to the Center for Engineering Concepts Development, to represent its changing role in engineering education, research, and evaluating the impact of engineering on society. Over the past twenty years, under the leadership of Anand, the center has cultivated a number of impressive programs and initiatives, including the successful launch of the Engineering for Social Change curriculum.

Created in partnership with Professor Robert Grimm of the Do Good Institute in the School of Public Policy and the Neilom Foundation, the Engineering for Social Change course invites engineering students to examine the unintended consequences of engineering on society. The course gives the students the opportunity to apply philanthropy, community engagement and their engineering knowledge to mitigate these consequences through a $10,000 annual grant from the Neilom Foundation. Dylan Hazelwood, CECD assistant director, explained how the Engineering for Social Change Program includes an undergraduate course, a book series, outreach activities, and a graduate fellowship. Started in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the course is now open to students from all engineering disciplines, but frequently has a wait list due to its popularity.

During the anniversary celebration Professor Michael Pecht highlighted CECD’s very successful book series published by the CALCE Center. Professor and Mechanical Engineering Department Chair Balachandran Balachandran and Professor and Dean Emeritus George Dieter praised the Engineering for Social Change course for being both highly successful and well received by students, while University System of Maryland Chancellor Emeritus Brit Kirwan complimented the center’s success and clear vision for the future.

In addition to undergraduate curriculum and research activities, CECD has also administered a graduate program for a degree of Professional Master of Engineering in Energetic Concepts in addition to hosting numerous symposia. Over the years, CECD symposia have covered topics ranging from the advancement of the technology and application of energetic materials and systems and autonomy to data-driven design and engineering for social change.

Moving into the future, CECD will continue to build upon a legacy of energetics research, engage in new experiments in engineering education, and create greater awareness of the social impact of engineering through innovative activities.

For more information on CECD visit: http://cecd.umd.edu/.

Congratulations to the CECD on twenty years of service!

Photo credit: Lisa Helfert



May 7, 2019


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