Engineering design faculty member awarded early career professorship

Chris McComb, assistant professor of engineering design, recently received the James L. Henderson Jr. Memorial Professorship. Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Christopher McComb, assistant professor of engineering design in the Penn State School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP), recently received the James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Professorship.

The James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Professorship in Engineering, made possible through support from Anne Henderson and Robinson Industries Inc., provides outstanding College of Engineering faculty members with supplemental resources during the early years of their academic careers. 

This endowment provides faculty with funding to support aspects of their researching, teaching and professional development such as research expenses, educational and travel expenses and graduate and undergraduate student support.

McComb joined SEDTAPP in fall 2017 as an assistant professor after completing a postdoctoral research position at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. 

“I am so excited to receive this professorship, and very grateful to Anne Henderson and Robinson Industries,” McComb said. “My research is all about using computation and design to help people be better at what they do, and that’s exactly what I plan to use this support for — helping people.”

McComb serves as a co-director of the Technology and Human Research in Engineering Design (THRED) Group, an interdisciplinary research collective that explores people, products and processes and the interactions between each of them. 

His research interests include human social systems in design and engineering; machine learning for engineering design; human-AI collaboration and teaming; and STEM (science, technology, education and mathematics) education. 

“The Henderson Professorship recognizes the impactful contributions that Chris has already made in his research and teaching and will provide support for him as he continues to grow that impact,” said Sven Bilén, head of SEDTAPP and professor of engineering design, electrical engineering and aerospace engineering. “We are extremely pleased that the college has recognized Chris in this manner.”

McComb is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, Chi Epsilon, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Design Society. 

He received his master of science and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and bachelor of science degrees in civil engineering and mechanical engineering from California State University, Fresno in 2012. 


Last Updated January 25, 2021