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New director named to lead UMaine’s Brunswick Engineering Program

An aeronautical engineer whose research focuses on engineering education as well as aerodynamics and energy efficiency has been named director of the University of Maine’s new Brunswick Engineering Program.

Wilhelm Friess, who will join the UMaine faculty in April 2012, has been teaching mechanical engineering for the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) at its campus in Dubai since 2009.

Friess will direct the innovative Brunswick Engineering Program, located at the newly renovated Brunswick Landing in Brunswick, Maine. The program is now accepting students for fall 2012.

“Dr. Friess has a distinguished record as an innovative teacher and international engineering experience, including being part of the seven-person team that designed the 2007 America’s Cup sailboat from South Africa,” says Dana Humphrey, dean of UMaine’s College of Engineering. “He’ll create a hands-on curriculum that integrates math, science and engineering, allowing students to discover the challenges and joys of being an engineer. We are very excited that Dr. Friess will be joining the UMaine Engineering Team.”

At RIT, Friess taught courses in such topics as mechanical engineering design, renewable energy systems, wind turbine aerodynamics and sustainable energy management. As part of his research, he led the RIT Dubai Residential Energy Efficiency Center, where the focus included building envelop optimization and solar module dust deposition in the desert environment.

Friess also conducts research in engineering education, sailing telemetry, and yacht and sail design. He was a design engineer for Team Shosholoza, the 2007 South African America’s Cup Challenger.

A native of Germany, Friess received his master’s and Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

Friess is the first director of Brunswick Engineering, a two-year, nonresidential program offered by UMaine’s College of Engineering that features small classes and an integrated, hands-on approach that leads to a four-year engineering degree. Taught by internationally recognized faculty, the curriculum offers a world-class, affordable engineering education in a convenient location for students in southern Maine.

After two years of course work in Brunswick, students complete their four-year degrees in civil, mechanical, electrical or computer engineering at the University of Maine, or transfer to the University of Southern Maine.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777

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