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Meet the Dean: Dr. George Nnanna

From the Midwest to the real West, Dr. Nnanna brings a long, distinguished record of academic leadership to UT Permian Basin.

A New Chapter, A Proud Tradition

Dr. George Nnanna (pronounced “nah-nuh”) plans to infuse fresh energy and innovative ideas into an already successful academic institution.

Building on Success

When he joined UTPB’s College of Engineering in the fall of 2018, Dr. George Nnanna inherited a wildly popular and world-renowned engineering program.

For example, 89% of UTPB Engineering students who take the notoriously challenging “Fundamentals of Engineering Exam” pass—which is nine points higher than the nationwide average.

Dr. Nnanna is quick to point out what that impressive statistic means. “That tells us that our students are well prepared for the workforce. In other words, when you graduate from the College of Engineering, you’re ready to immediately step into a career that you’ll love. We’re going to build on this success.”

Returning to His Academic Roots

Dr. Nnanna joins UTPB after leading the mechanical and civil engineering departments of Purdue University Northwest (Indiana)—another widely respected engineering school. During his 10+ years at Purdue, Dr. Nnanna oversaw a number of major expansions of the engineering program, including record enrollment numbers, a world-class water research laboratory, a doubling of research opportunities, expanded endowments, and major growth in industry partnerships.

“My time in Indiana was very rewarding—and very instructive,” Dr. Nnanna says. “I learned how to keep engineering education at the leading edge. And with the support of my staff, colleagues, and students, we were able to implement major expansions of our reach and impact.”

While Dr. Nnanna has moved from the Midwest to the real West, his academic history has its origin right here in Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech before achieving both Master and Doctorate degrees in the same discipline from UT-Arlington.

“It’s a delight to come back to Texas, where I spent so much of my academic career, where I learned what it means to be an engineer. And to join The University of Texas System is especially rewarding. There’s no university system like this in the world, and the support we can offer our students is second to none,” Dr. Nnanna explains.

Leading During a Time of Change

Dr. Nnanna couldn’t have come to UTPB at a more exciting time. In the Fall of 2018, we began offering two new engineering programs, Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering in addition to petroleum and mechanical engineering.

“UTPB’s investment in its engineering students is inspiring. With the addition of chemical and electrical engineering programs, we have the opportunity to further cement our school as one of the leading engineering schools in the country. I’m excited to help these two new disciplines grow,” Dr. Nnanna says.

Meanwhile, West Texas’ demand for highly skilled engineers continues to boom.

“There is no more exciting place to be an engineer than here in the Permian Basin. Our school sits alongside the largest, most important source of energy in the world. I’d really like to see us become a one-stop shop where engineers are trained and put in the field.”

And perhaps most importantly, all engineering programs will soon be housed in a brand new, state-of-the-art, three-story complex that’s currently under construction.

“I can’t wait to unveil our new facilities. They will be the finest recruitment tool at our disposal,” Dr. Nnanna points out. “Between our on-campus resources, our deep connection to employers, and our growing commitment to cutting-edge education, the future of the UTPB College of Engineering couldn’t be brighter. We’re building something special here.”

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