Mary Wickham has been named associate dean for operations and planning at the Iowa State University College of Engineering. Wickham spent 20 years in management and leadership positions at Caterpillar, Inc. before retiring in 2014. She joined Iowa State in 2015 as an adjunct associate professor in the department of aerospace engineering. She began her new position on Jan. 25.
Wickham will oversee operations and strategic planning for the largest college on campus at Iowa State, including finance, human resources, information technology, planning and strategy.
“Mary is an outstanding addition to our college leadership team,” said Sarah Rajala, dean of the College of Engineering. “Her combined academic and corporate experience gives her multiple unique skills to help us advance our mission of educating future engineering leaders. Mary enjoys extremely strong support from faculty, staff, students, industry leaders and our alumni.”
Wickham retired from Caterpillar in 2014 as division manager of Structures, Dynamics and Noise Control where she led a global team of engineers and staff accountable for worldwide product validation. She returned to Ames to be closer to family and later accepted the position of aerospace adjunct professor. In that role she served as director of Make to Innovate, a cross-disciplinary innovation and design course with students from seven different majors across the university.
Wickham’s career history also includes positions Deere & Co., University of Minnesota and AT&T Bell Laboratories. She received her bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University, and her doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She is a member of SAE International, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Society for Engineering Education, as well as several professional honorary societies.
The Iowa State University College of Engineering is the largest on campus with a record enrollment of 9,312 students, and offers 12 engineering majors and five minors. Iowa State has a total enrollment of 36,001.