FAU Appoints Stella N. Batalama, Ph.D., as Dean

College of Engineering and Computer Science, New Dean

Stella N. Batalama, Ph.D., comes to FAU from the University at Buffalo, a flagship institution of The State University of New York (SUNY) and a premier research-intensive university. (Photo credit: University at Buffalo)

By gisele galoustian | 8/1/2017

Following a national search, Florida Atlantic University has named Stella N. Batalama, Ph.D., as the new dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Batalama, who assumes this role today, comes to FAU from the University at Buffalo, a flagship institution of The State University of New York (SUNY) and a premier research-intensive university. She served most recently as chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo and has held various positions there since 1995, including associate dean for research in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and acting director of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Center for Integrated Transmission and Exploitation (CITE), Rome, NY.

Batalama will spearhead FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science’s robust research and education programs, which include 21 degree programs and disciplines in big data analytics, bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, corrosion, cyber security, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, geomatics engineering, information technology and management, marine engineering management, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.

The College is known for its strong teaching and advising, diversity of the student body, K-12 outreach programs, collaborations with business and industry, and quality and quantity of research. In 2011, the College completed construction of Engineering East, a 97,000-square-foot green building on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, which is the first higher education academic building in the State of Florida designed and built to LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum level standards. The building serves as a living-learning laboratory for sustainable development and course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning.  

“We are very excited that Dr. Stella Batalama decided to join Florida Atlantic University,” said Gary W. Perry, Ph.D., FAU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Batalama is a leader in her field and she brings with her impressive academic and research expertise that will propel our College of Engineering and Computer Science to new heights. We extend our appreciation to Dr. Mohammad Ilyas for his dedicated commitment and many contributions to the College of Engineering and Computer Science in his role as dean.”

Batalama received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and her undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science and engineering from the University of Patras in Greece. She also completed the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. She is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), a member of the Society of Women Engineers, and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Batalama’s technical and research areas of expertise include cognitive and cooperative communications and networks; underwater signal processing, communications and networks; small-sample-support adaptive filtering and receiver design; covert communications and steganography; robust spread-spectrum communications and adaptive multiuser detection; and multimedia security and data hiding. Her work in these fields has been reported in more than 170 technical papers.

Batalama received more than $9 million in sponsored research funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the AFRL, as well as industry. She also serves as a panelist and reviewer for the NSF, AFOSR, and AFRL.

During her tenure as chair and associate dean for research at the University at Buffalo, she led the growth of the department’s research expenditures from an average of $2.3 million in 2004-2009 to an average of $5.6 million in 2010-2015, a 144 percent increase (2.4 fold increase). The active research grants portfolio (as of October 2016) for the department was approximately $21 million.

Batalama was a recipient of the 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

“I am deeply honored for being given the opportunity to lead the College of Engineering and Computer Science of FAU during this exciting time of growth and progress,” said Batalama. “I look forward to working with the University’s visionary and committed leadership team, the College’s exceptional faculty, staff, and students as well as its outstanding South Florida community partners to build upon the many successes and accomplishments of my predecessors.”