College appoints Cox assistant dean for economic development

The Iowa State University College of Engineering announced Monday that Ron Cox has been named the college’s assistant dean for economic development.

Cox, the director of the ISU Extension Center for Industrial Research and Service, will retain his position at CIRAS, with a partial appointment in the engineering college.

“Through this appointment, Ron will strengthen and communicate the contributions made by the College of Engineering to Iowa’s economy and beyond,” said Jonathan Wickert, dean of engineering. “This is an area of significant and timely importance to both the state and university. Ron’s insights and experience will benefit us greatly, and I welcome him to our team.”

In this new role, Cox joins the college leadership of Wickert; Diane Rover, associate dean for academic and student affairs; Balaji Narasimhan, associate dean for research and economic development; Derrick Rollins, assistant dean for diversity; and Loren Zachary, assistant dean for engineering education.

As a member of the college’s leadership team, Cox will build and manage relationships between the college, ISU Extension, industry, and state agencies. In his capacity as assistant dean, Cox will have a partial appointment in the engineering college.

“Iowa State’s College of Engineering includes a vast resource base of knowledge, expertise, and labs,” said Cox. “Reaching out to connect those resources to industry will help the college fulfill its responsibility to the citizens of Iowa by enhancing our economic development.”

According to Wickert, Cox will develop a liaison between the college and the Iowa Department of Economic Development, Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Business Council, Office of Energy Independence, and other stakeholders. In addition, he will support specific aspects of the college’s industrial relations, including distance education, research opportunities, and student design projects.

Cox’s industrial experience includes work in the aerospace industry on transonic aircraft wing design and wind tunnel testing. He was vice president of engineering for a manufacturer of cooling towers prior to joining CIRAS. He also taught and conducted research while on the aerospace and mechanical engineering faculty at the University of Oklahoma. His research work focused on numerical modeling and hypersonic vehicle design. Cox was an extension field agent in the Mason City area for four years before assuming his current position as director of CIRAS in 2001. He holds three degrees in aerospace engineering, including a BS (1979) and PhD (1989) from Iowa State and an MS (1983) from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jonathan Wickert, College of Engineering, (515) 294-9988,
Ron Cox, CIRAS, (515) 294-9592,
Eric Dieterle, Engineering Communications, (515) 294-4881,