Dean Saeed Moaveni Announces Retirement

After more than 35 years of service in engineering and higher education, including five years at UVU, Dr. Saeed Moaveni announced his retirement as dean of the UVU College of Engineering and Technology (CET), effective December 31, 2021.


Under Dean Moaveni’s leadership, CET enrollment has grown by 7.3% during the past five years. The college has hired 48 new faculty and staff and undergone a dramatic transformation, including the addition of three new engineering programs (civil, electrical, and mechanical), a new Bachelor of Architecture, a new Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management, a new Bachelor of Applied Science in Transportation Technologies and expansion of the computer science department program offerings in computational data science and software development. CET now offers nine ABET-accredited programs (civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, computer science, information systems, information technology, and construction management), five of which are newly accredited. In October 2021, the Bachelor of Science in Surveying and Mapping (Geomatics) also underwent ABET review with no weaknesses and is expected to receive accreditation. This addition will bring the total number of ABET-accredited programs offered by the college to 10. A new engineering building soon will become a reality on campus as well, thanks to a $25 million gift by the Qualtrics co-founder Scott M. Smith and his wife, Karen Smith.

“I consider myself fortunate and am grateful for the opportunities that I have been granted in my career to serve students, faculty, staff, and other colleagues. I am also very appreciative of the support of past and current administrations. Thank you to Associate Dean Sohraby and all the department chairs, faculty, and staff for all you do for our students to realize their goals and dreams and address our societal needs at the same time. The future of CET is bright! It has been an honor and a privilege serving you during these past wonderful five years. I now look forward to some downtime to recharge my batteries before I look for other ways to serve.”

— Dean Saeed Moaveni

Dean Moaveni worked closely with the engineering community in the state of Utah to understand their workforce demands and to develop relevant new programs that are critical to the needs of the region.

“Dr. Moaveni has been a marvel.  His latest accomplishment, the successful accreditation of the engineering programs, was completed in record time and will benefit UVU engineering students for decades to come.  His hard work and vision have made the expansion of the UVU College of Engineering and Technology a tremendous success.  Hats off to Dr. Moaveni for all he has done to develop the UVU College of Engineering and Technology into what is today — the first choice for many engineering students in Utah.”

— KC Shaw, chair of the Engineering Advisory Board and chief engineer of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District

“For the last four years, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Dean Moaveni. I have always been impressed with his vision, drive, and can-do attitude. He led the college in not only the creation of new engineering programs at UVU but their accreditations as well. While we will miss him, his positive impact will be felt for many years.”

— Dr. Neil Harrison, chair of the CET Department of Computer Science

Dr. Moaveni is a strong advocate of experiential learning to connect students’ academic preparation with their professional and civic duties. He is the author of three popular textbooks —  (1) Finite Element Analysis, Theory, and Application with ANSYS; (2) Engineering Fundamentals: An Introduction to Engineering; and (3) Energy, Environment, and Sustainability — which have been translated into other languages, including traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, and Farsi.

“It is very sad that Dean Moaveni is retiring from UVU. It may be good news for him and his family to keep away from the stress, but not for most of us at UVU. I have worked with many managers and leaders throughout my career and found Dean Moaveni to be truly dedicated to his team with a great vision and sincere passion. He is also very brave in making hard decisions! Dean Moaveni has done so much for UVU, CET, and particularly for the newly established engineering department. I wish him and his family good health, peace, and happiness.”
— Dr. Mohammad Masoum, chair of the CET Department of Engineering

As a well-known educator, researcher, and servant leader, Moaveni has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Southwestern Award of Merit, the Jack Cermak Distinguished Professor Fellowship, the American Society for Engineering Education Outstanding Young Faculty Award, the Inter Faculty Organization (representing approximately 4,000 faculty members at seven Minnesota State Universities) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women’s Advancement in Minnesota State Universities, the International Network for Engineering Education and Research (representing engineering educators and researchers from 98 countries) Recognition Award, and the 2015 Global Citizen Award, recognizing his contributions to globalization efforts at Minnesota State University. Dr. Moaveni has also served as a consultant to several companies and universities and conducted federal- and state-funded workshops related to the economics of large-scale engineering systems and renewable energy technology. He has been a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the state of New York since 1991 and continues to serve as a reviewer and a panelist for the National Science Foundation since 1996.

Dr. Moaveni was appointed as dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at Utah Valley University on December 12, 2016, and made frequent visits to UVU during the spring of 2017 before he moved to Utah in May 2017. He is the former dean of the David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University — one of the oldest engineering schools in the country (founded in 1819) — and past chair of the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Minnesota State University. Moaveni has also held faculty positions at different public and private institutions, including Syracuse University, and his collaborative scholarly activities have been funded by federal and state agencies such as NSF, EPA, NASA, ONR, and Minnesota Department of Energy Security. He has been invited abroad as a visiting scholar at numerous universities, including Kyushu University (Japan), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan), the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at National Taiwan University, American University of Armenia, Shanghai University, Shanghai University of Engineering Science, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana).

Utah Valley University has appointed Dr. Afsaneh Minaie as the interim dean while a national search for a new dean is underway.