College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Wickert named College of Engineering dean

Jonathan Wickert, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State and the Larry and Pam Pithan Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been appointed as dean of the College of Engineering effective July 1.

He succeeds Dean Mark J. Kushner, who joined the University of Michigan faculty in September 2008. James Bernard, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering, has served as interim dean.

“Dr. Wickert is an extraordinary communicator, with the ability to bring people together to work toward one common vision,” said Bernard. “His leadership and commitment to success will serve the college and university well.”

In his new role as dean, Wickert will combine the strong legacy of the college with the talents of faculty, researchers, and students to address the current and future needs of society.

“I am grateful for the excellent leadership of the college that Interim Dean Jim Bernard has provided over the past year, and for the impactful and lasting programs, such as the 2050 Challenge, that were developed by Dean Mark Kushner,” said Wickert.

“The College of Engineering is widely recognized for the strength of its educational and research programs and its commitment to technology transfer and economic development. I look forward to working closely with our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends as we build upon that strong legacy and educate the next generation of Cyclone engineers.”

Wickert has nearly 20 years of experience as a mechanical engineering faculty member with Carnegie Mellon University and Iowa State, and he has served as a visiting research fellow at the University of Cambridge, England, and a visiting professor at Helsinki University of Technology, Finland. His research has advanced the technology of high-density computer data storage and improved the design of automotive disk brakes, gas turbine blades, and production equipment for sheet metal, polymer web, and chopped fiber materials.

He joined the Iowa State faculty in 2007 as the mechanical engineering chair. Leading one of the largest mechanical engineering programs in the country, he has encouraged an environment of excellence across the department through the hiring and professional development of faculty and staff, strategic research programs, student recruiting and diversity initiatives, accessibility to new educational opportunities, and communication with stakeholders.

He is the author of the textbook An Introduction to Mechanical Engineering, which has been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Portuguese. Additionally, Wickert has authored 125 scientific articles and is the holder of two U.S. patents.

He has served as an associate editor of the Journal of Vibration and Acoustics and the Journal of Information Storage Systems and is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as well as a member of their Department Chair Executive Committee.

Wickert received bachelor’s (1985), master’s (1987), and doctoral (1989) degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

His wife, Karen, a chemical engineer by training, worked at PPG Industries for 16 years, and together they have one daughter, Rebecca.