Engineering Lab Building to be Named in Honor of Tony England (February 15, 2024)

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that the U-M Board of Regents approved naming the Engineering Lab Building in honor of former Dean Tony England. 

Tony was one of the original Apollo astronauts and was in the control room when Apollo 13 sent out the now-famous distress message, “Houston, we have a problem.”  Tony and his team helped design the LiOH CO2 scrubbers that saved the three stranded astronauts’ lives. He worked for a brief time for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), where he led a scientific expedition crossing  Antarctica at a time when there were no modern-day GPS systems. He returned to NASA to fly on a Space Shuttle Challenger mission.

After his time at NASA and USGS, Tony impacted lives in another powerful way: as a university professor and administrator. Tony retired in 2021 after eight years as dean (including two as interim) of UM-Dearborn’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS). He came to Dearborn from UM-Ann Arbor, where he began his academic career as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science in 1988. In Ann Arbor, he also served as associate dean of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies from 1995-98 and for five years as associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering. 

During his time at UM-Dearborn, Tony boosted industry partnerships, championed diversity and inclusion efforts, and reoriented CECS to offer a more holistic and multidisciplinary education. He also guided the transformation of the environment where education took place, spearheading the redesign and reconstruction of the college’s signature Engineering Lab Building. 

Tony England’s visionary thinking and broad experiences in space and earth sciences and engineering are reflected in the ELB and are a testament to his legacy on our campus. He has equally left his mark on the creative and innovative modes of education and research inside the building and out. I am proud to recognize Tony’s dedication to UM-Dearborn – and to celebrate the many students’ lives he has helped transform – by naming our Engineering Lab Building in his honor.

A renaming celebration is planned for later this spring. Details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Go Blue - Go Dearborn!

Domenico Grasso

Office of the Chancellor

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