Dr. Joseph Barba, a professor of Electrical Engineering and former Dean of Engineering, is a key mentor to our STEM student entrepreneurs. He is a visionary and a pillar for the CCNY community.
Dr. Barba is a first-generation Latino whose mother was from Nicaragua and father from Mexico. He is the eldest of four children and attributes the success of all four siblings (brother and sisters are successful medical doctors) to his parents who instilled lessons of hard work and the need for education. Dr. Barba also credits his high school physics and math teachers who encouraged him to study engineering at CCNY instead of following a vocational occupation. Dr. Barba received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Electrical Engineering from the City College, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the City University.
Dr. Barba joined the CCNY faculty as an Adjunct Lecturer in Electrical Engineering in 1977 and in 1982 became a tenure-track Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1987 and to full Professor in 1992. Dr. Barba authored over 100 scientific papers and has served as Principal Investigator for both research and institutional grants. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering, from 2002 to 2004 he served in Deputy Provost at CCNY, and from 2004 to 2013 he served as the dean of the School of Engineering.
During his tenure as dean he became the founding dean of the Grove School of Engineering in 2005 with a gift of $26 million and the renaming of the school in honor of Dr. Andrew S. Grove, Intel co-founder and 1960 alumnus. Dr. Barba also spearheaded the development of the Grove School of Engineering student entrepreneurship program and procured funds for these activities. He instituted the $50,000 annual endowed Harvey and Gloria Kaylie IDEAS Entrepreneurship Prize (Kaylie Prize) made possible by an endowment from Dr. Harvey Kaylie, founder and CEO of Mini-Circuits, in 2010. He also led the establishment of the Zahn Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship with grants from alumnus Dr. Irwin Zahn ’48, the Moxie Foundation and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, which opened in October 2013.
Along with being an educator, Dr. Barba has been involved in a number of initiatives whose primary objectives have been to promote innovative engineering education and increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in science and engineering. Examples relating to the STEM Institute include:
- Serve as director of the New York STEM Institute (1995- present). Barba served as PI (with Charles Vela) on Advancing Minorities in Science and Engineering Education funded by NASA (1994 – August 2005) awarded to CCNY in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Hispanics in Science and Engineering Education (CAHSEE) to establish the STEM Institute, a summer outreach program to promote STEM education among minority high school students.
- Served (1994-2006) as the Vice-president and Academic Director for the Center for the Advancement of Hispanics in Science and Engineering (CAHSEE). The Center established STEM Institute programs at the City College of New York, the George Washington University, the University of Illinois- Chicago, the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Merrimac College in Lawrence Massachusetts. CAHSEE received the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring. The 2004 Building Engineering & Science Talent (BEST) Blue Ribbon Panel cited CAHSEE’s pre-college program (the STEM Institute) for increasing undergraduate admission and retention in science and engineering as a model that works.
- Serve as the faculty advisor for the Latin American Engineering Student Association – Society of Professional Engineers (LAESA-SHPE) (1984-present). LAESA is one of the most active student organizations at the college and SHPE and is engaged in outreach programs to local high schools.