Rajala reappointed as Engineering dean

Sarah RajalaSarah Rajala, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering at Iowa State University, has been reappointed for another five-year term.

During her initial term, Dean Rajala managed the college through a period of unprecedented enrollment growth, increased recruitment of diverse faculty and students, and enhanced the quality of the college’s facilities. She also maintained a high level of engagement with alumni, donors, and business and industry leaders; and facilitated strong philanthropic support.

“Engineering has always been one of Iowa State’s core strengths, as evidenced by its record enrollments, research funding, and highly successful alumni,” said President Wendy Wintersteen. “I very much appreciate Sarah’s leadership, and I know it will continue during her next term as dean.”

Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert expressed thanks to students, faculty and staff in the college who participated in the review process, as well as to the College of Engineering Dean Evaluation Committee for managing the comprehensive review process.

Committee members included Steve Mickelson (chair), agricultural and biosystems engineering; Degang Chen, electrical and computer engineering; Arne Hallam, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences administration; Balaji Narasimhan, chemical and biological engineering; Iris Rivero, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering; and David Wohlsdorf, Danfoss Power Solutions.

Rajala earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University in Houston. She joined Iowa State in 2013 after serving as dean of engineering, and chair of electrical and computer engineering at Mississippi State University; and associate dean for research and graduate programs at North Carolina State University.

“It is a great privilege to lead the college’s 9,600 students and 500 faculty and staff,” said Rajala. “I am proud of our work to this point, and look forward to even greater accomplishments in the years to come.”