College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Hayes renewed as mechanical engineering department chair

Caroline Hayes smiles and poses for the camera outside of Black Engineering Building

Caroline Hayes smiles and poses for the camera outside of Black Engineering Building

Caroline Hayes, chair of the mechanical engineering (ME) department, has been reappointed to another five-year term. Her new appointment begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2027.  

Hayes, who also serves as the Lynn Gleason Professor of Interdisciplinary Engineering, has led the ME department since she arrived on campus in 2012. During her tenure, the department has seen significant growth both in terms of faculty and student enrollment, particularly female enrollment at the undergraduate level. Hayes has strongly supported department student organizations such as Women in Mechanical Engineering and the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. She has also led major building, classroom and laboratory improvement projects in the Black Engineering Building and Hoover Hall.

“Dr. Hayes has been a strong leader and an effective manager for our college’s largest department and Iowa State’s largest undergraduate program,” said W. Samuel Easterling, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering. “She is a champion for our students, faculty and staff and committed to excellent academic teaching and outcomes. We are excited to see what new ideas and efforts she brings to the department and our college going forward.”

Hayes holds a B.S. in computer science, a M.S. in knowledge-based systems, and a Ph.D. in robotics, all from Carnegie Mellon University. As a researcher, she examined how to design effective systems of people and technology by combining elements of engineering, computer science, psychology and management science.

“I am happy, proud and honored to have the opportunity to lead the department for another five years,” said Hayes. “We have a great group of faculty, staff and students who are all willing to work together with me to achieve bigger goals.”