College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Govindarasu, Mirka receive top faculty promotions

Two Cyclone Engineers have received top faculty promotions, recognizing outstanding excellence in teaching, research, service and professional practice.

Manimaran Govindarasu has been named an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor. Gary Mirka has been named University Professor.

“Manimaran and Gary have both demonstrated exceptional commitment and success in groundbreaking research, educating future engineers, making a difference and improving lives. They really exemplify leadership in all cornerstones of our Cyclone Engineering mission,” said W. Samuel Easterling, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering. “These recognitions illustrate that Iowa State engineering students are truly learning from some of the most innovative and talented faculty in their fields.”

Manimaran Govindarasu, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor

The title of Distinguished Professor, first awarded in 1956, is Iowa State’s highest academic honor. It recognizes a faculty member whose accomplishments in research or creative activities have had a significant impact on his or her discipline and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility. Nominees must hold the rank of professor and have served at least five years on the Iowa State faculty.

Govindarasu, Ross Martin Mehl and Marylyne Munas Mehl Professor in Computer Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a world-class expert in cyber security for the smart electric grid and for advanced manufacturing. He has “put Iowa State on the map” in this area of work, recognized internationally for his leadership in cyber security education, research and industrial partnerships.

Govindarasu has graduated 15 Ph.D. and 33 master’s students. He has as an h-index of 38 and over 6,900 citations of his published research work, supported by over $11 million in external funding.

He has also been recognized for his contributions to the field and to IEEE with a prestigious IEEE Fellowship. He has delivered more than a dozen industry training sessions that benefited more than 300 industry professionals, both in Iowa and nationwide.

“The selection process for Anson Marston Distinguished Professor is highly competitive. This is a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Manimaran Govindarasu’s long career in cyber security, and it is a high honor to have yet another Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in the ECpE department,” said Ashfaq Khokhar, Palmer Department Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Gary Mirka, University Professor

The title of University Professor is awarded to a faculty member who has acted as a change agent by making significant contributions to improve the university and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility. Nominees must hold the rank of professor and have served at least 10 years on the Iowa State faculty.

Mirka, John Ryder Professor in Engineering in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Systems, has created positive change for students across Iowa State with his exceptional vision, leadership and commitment to student success.

Mirka is well known for putting the best interests of students first, in his highly ranked teaching of students spanning sophomores to doctoral candidates. But his impact does not end in his own classrooms. Mirka has served many university-wide efforts to develop innovative changes in student programs and services.

He was instrumental in the creation of Iowa State’s interdisciplinary leadership studies program, which has hundreds of participants from across all undergraduate colleges each year. Mirka has been a member of the program’s advisory board since 2009.

Mirka has also chaired the Iowa State Orientation Committee since 2012, helping to streamline and improve communication to new students; has served as faculty representative to the Athletics Council since 2016 and chaired the Academic Performance Committee since 2017; and chaired the Residency Review Committee.

“This well-deserved recognition of Dr. Mirka is a testament to his broad impact on our campus, touching many aspects of student life, including orientation, athletics and leadership development. He is a true citizen of our beloved university and role model to us all. IMSE faculty, staff and students are indeed proud of him,” said Gül Kremer, C.G. (Turk) and Joyce A. Therkildsen Department Chair in Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.