Search begins for Iowa State's next engineering dean

AMES, Iowa -- The search for the next dean of the College of Engineering is under way. Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Hoffman has identified a 20-member search committee to seek a successor to Jonathan Wickert, who will become senior vice president and provost on July 30.

Search committee co-chairs are David Holger, associate provost for academic programs and dean of the Graduate College; and Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of the College of Design. Penni Bryant, administrative specialist in the provost’s office, will assist the committee with its work.

Mufit Akinc, professor of materials science and engineering and an associate scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, will serve as interim dean beginning July 30.

Search committee

Additional members of the search committee include:

  • Peggy Boylan-Ashraf, senior lecturer, aerospace engineering
  • Sandy Bremer, teaching lab coordinator, mechanical engineering
  • Ian Dobson, Arend and Verna Sandbulte Professor, electrical and computer engineering
  • Rachel Dudley, graduate student, mechanical engineering
  • Shauna Hallmark, professor, civil, construction and environmental engineering
  • Mark Henthorn, vice president, Stanley Consultants, and chair, College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Council
  • Hui Hu, associate professor, aerospace engineering
  • Cynthia Jenks, assistant director for scientific planning and division director of chemical and biological sciences, U.S. Department of Energy Ames Laboratory
  • Joel Johnson, director of student engagement, College of Engineering
  • Song-Charng Kong, associate professor, mechanical engineering
  • Adam Laug, development director, Iowa State University Foundation
  • Austin Laugen, president, Engineering Student Council, and undergraduate student, computer engineering
  • Diane Meyer, program coordinator, Engineering Research Institute, College of Engineering
  • Gary Mirka, associate dean for education, and John Ryder Professor and Chair, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering
  • Ralph Napolitano, chair, Engineering Caucus of the Faculty Senate, and the Al and Julie Renken Professor of materials science and engineering
  • Michael O’Donnell, industrial specialist, Center for Industrial Research and Service, extension and outreach
  • Brent Shanks, director, NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals and the Mike and Jean Steffenson Professor of chemical and biological engineering
  • Michelle Soupir, assistant professor, agricultural and biosystems engineering
  • Janis Terpenny, Joseph Walkup Professor and Chair, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering
  • Pat Thiel, Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences, the John D. Corbett Professor in Chemistry, professor of materials science and engineering, and a faculty scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory

The search committee will begin its work this summer by actively soliciting nominations from across engineering disciplines. Nominations may be submitted to Holger (, Rico-Gutierrez ( and Bryant (