Jane Cleland-Huang appointed chair of Computer Science and Engineering at Notre Dame

Jane Cleland-Huang inspecting a large drone

Jane Cleland-Huang, professor of computer science and engineering, has been appointed chair of the Notre Dame Department of Computer Science and Engineering, effective July 1, 2022.

She replaces Patrick Flynn, the Fritz Duda Family Professor of Engineering, who returns to teaching and research after five years as department chair.

Cleland-Huang joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2016 after 14 years on the faculty at DePaul University. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has worked in industry as a computer software engineer.

Her research focuses on safety assurance for cyber-physical systems. She is the lead researcher of DroneResponse — a small Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) developed by her research group at Notre Dame for managing and monitoring the flights of semi-autonomous small drones.

DroneResponse is both a research environment for studying software and systems engineering as well as a framework for controlling and coordinating flights of autonomous UAS formations and swarms for use in search-and-rescue, surveillance, and scientific data collection

Cleland-Huang and her students have a vision for “smart” and safe drones that can be real team players in search and rescue, fire surveillance, environmental sampling, and medical delivery. In September 2021, undergraduate students in the UAVND club, advised by Cleland-Huang, received a NASA research award for drone scoop-and grab technology.

She also serves as director of graduate studies in the department.

“I’m very grateful that someone of Jane’s caliber, commitment, and stature in the field of computer science and engineering has agreed to take on this leadership role,” said Patricia J. Culligan, the Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of the College of Engineering.

“Our CSE department is undergoing tremendous growth in terms of student interest and research impact. I want to thank Pat Flynn for his exemplary leadership — we all owe him a debt for his contributions to our college and the university at large.

“Now Jane Cleland-Huang is exactly the right person to take on the leadership of the department as it continues on its upward trajectory.”

— College of Engineering

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