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Mechanical engineering associate professor Christopher Rylander has stepped into the new role of associate chair for undergraduate education. The position combines the previous roles of undergraduate faculty advisor and undergraduate curriculum committee chair, held most recently by Harovel Wheat and Desi Kovar, respectively. 

The goal of the new position is to more closely tie the undergraduate advising office with undergraduate curriculum development. As an alumnus of the department, Rylander brings the passion and vision to further enhance the undergraduate experience for mechanical engineering students and to continue to raise the program’s profile.

Rylander himself graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from UT Austin. He also received his Ph.D. from the Cockrell School’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, and he now heads the Medical Device Laboratory on campus. 

Remembering his undergraduate years, Rylander said, “It was a new world for me at the time. As an undergraduate student I was constantly learning new things, and I thought the environment here was great. I enjoyed those years, but they were challenging, too, so I know what our students may be going through now.”

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