Meet the Dean of the School of Engineering, Andres L. Carrano, PhD

Meet the Dean of the School of Engineering, Andres L. Carrano, PhD

School of Engineering Dean Andres L. Carrano, PhD

The new dean of the Fairfield University School of Engineering, Andres L. Carrano, PhD

A few weeks into the job, Andres L. Carrano, PhD, introduced himself to the Fairfield University community as the new dean of the School of Engineering. An abridged version of Dean Carrano’s interview is below; the full transcript can be found on ThinkSpace, Fairfield University’s thought leadership blog.

You took on your new role as dean of Fairfield’s School of Engineering in the midst of a pandemic and the same week that Tropical Storm Isaias roared into town – quite a welcome! What was that like?

Indeed, it has been a very interesting experience to say the least – almost surreal in a way. With the ongoing pandemic, the safety our students, faculty, and staff has been my main concern since day one. But having just relocated from Savannah, Georgia (and having previously lived in Auburn, Alabama), where hurricanes and tornadoes make regular appearances, I found it ironic that one of each kind welcomed me in my first week here at Fairfield. Despite my unusual start, and perhaps because of it, I have received tremendous support and understanding from all units and people across campus and that has made my onboarding that much easier.

What excites you the most about becoming dean of Fairfield’s School of Engineering at this time? What do you most look forward to in your first year?

I was very attracted to the immense potential of this School, the superb location in the Northeast Corridor, the beautiful campus and facilities, as well as the Jesuit pedagogical approach and values, all of which makes us a very unique program in the country. During the first year, I look forward to spreading the word and increasing awareness so that Fairfield Engineering becomes well-known outside the Northeast. I am also very excited about the launches of our newest master’s programs in cybersecurity, data science, and entrepreneurship & technology (coming soon), as well as our renewed focus on biomedical engineering.

You received your BS in industrial engineering from Universidad Católica Andres Bello, the oldest, largest Jesuit university in Venezuela. How has your undergraduate Jesuit education prepared you for your current position at Fairfield?

My undergraduate Jesuit education has prepared me not just for my current position, but for life. I often mentioned that it took me more than 25 years to connect the dots and realize the profound impact that my Jesuit formation has had on me. Also, a little-known fact is that I am part of a multi-generation, Jesuit-educated family: my father and all my siblings attended and graduated from Jesuit institutions. Now my daughter is also attending one.

With regard to my preparation, I think engineering programs at Jesuit institutions are very special programs. I say this because, in my opinion, the principles of discernment, social justice, and others take a special meaning in our profession. They are also more challenging to incorporate into a very packed, accreditation-constrained, technical curriculum. 

To learn more about Dean Carrano, including his thoughts on the benefits of a liberal arts foundation to an engineering education, his recent professional accomplishments, and how he spends his leisure time, read his full interview on ThinkSpace, Fairfield University’s thought leadership blog.

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