University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering faculty, staff, alumni and friends, along with several university administrators, gathered at the Petroleum Club of Houston on Tuesday evening, July 31, to celebrate the accomplishments of the college's fifth dean, Raymond Flumerfelt, as he officially steps down from his leadership position after nine years.
"This has been a rewarding experience, though I'm looking forward to returning to research once again," he said.
The evening was filled with anecdotes and well-wishes from colleagues and friends, many of whom share a long history with Flumerfelt, including Ernest Henley, retired professor, and Dan Luss, professor, both of chemical engineering. Before being appointed dean of engineering at UH, Flumerfelt served as a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1967-1985 during the department's rise to a top-ten rated program nationally. He left UH to begin his administrative career, which led him to the University of Tulsa, Texas A&M University and the University of Alabama before returning to UH in 1998 as dean.
After a nine-year tenure, Flumerfelt announced his retirement as dean last December. He will be on sabbatical for the upcoming academic year before returning as a professor in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. During this time, he will also serve as the vice director of the new National Large Wind Turbine Research and Test Center granted to the university by the U.S. Department of Energy in July.
On Monday, UH Provost Donald Foss appointed Cullen College's Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Fritz Claydon, to serve as interim dean until a new dean of engineering is named.