University News

leo hanifin reception
Leo Hanifin (center) at a reception that was held in his
honor on May 3, 2012, with Professor of Mechanical
Engineering Arthur Haman (left) and Professor of
Biology R. Gerard Albright, S.J. (right).

Leo Hanifin steps down after 21 years as dean of the College of Engineering & Science

Leo Hanifin stepped down as dean of the College of Engineering & Science in August after serving 21 years at the College where he earned three engineering degrees (BME ’69, Master’s ’72 and D.E. ’75). As dean, he embraced the College’s motto, “Envision a better world, then create it.”

With his leadership as a teaching scholar, Hanifin brought together an exceptional faculty and connected the College with corporations, government agencies and other universities through distinctive partnerships.

He encouraged students to compete in national and international engineering contests such as the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition and the ASME Innovation Show Contest, where they represented the College well and often won.

“He’s done a great job of recruiting faculty and advancing their scholarly research by finding resources in the College to support their goals,” said Pamela Zarkowski, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “He lives the Jesuit-Mercy tradition personally and professionally in the sense of social justice and contributing to the common good. He’s a role model for students and a mentor for other deans.”

Hanifin plans on continuing his contributions to and through UDM by researching and teaching in the areas of transit and innovation, and mentoring students.

As a tribute to Hanifin’s service as dean and his keen interest in workplace innovation, UDM is creating the Leo E. Hanifin Innovation Place (HIP) in the College of Engineering & Science.

Teams of students, faculty and/or staff across the University can collaborate to develop innovative ideas for problem solving, be it design competition, work-process improvement, or creative solutions. Fundraising is already under way; contributions can be made online at or by contacting Barbara Milbauer, interim vice president for University Advancement, at 313-993-1250.

Read more about Leo Hanifin’s numerous contributions to the College of Engineering & Science.

For more information about UDM, or to apply online, go to

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