Engineering dean Wormley to retire

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Following a distinguished career as a researcher, professor and the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Penn State's College of Engineering, David N. Wormley has announced his retirement effective this summer.

"The college is in a very good situation," Wormley said of his decision to retire. "It has a strong foundation with great faculty, staff and students. It is a favorable time to have this transition in leadership."

Wormley was appointed dean of the College of Engineering on July 1, 1992. Prior to coming to Penn State, he served as a faculty member, department head for mechanical engineering and associate dean of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from M.I.T.

Wormley has been a champion of engineering education. During his tenure, the College of Engineering has sought to develop world-class engineers by emphasizing student experiences in globalization, innovation and leadership.

“In advancing the Learning Factory and The Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, Dean Wormley has created an innovative model for other engineering schools to follow,” said Rob Pangborn, interim executive vice president and provost.

The college has strengthened its graduate program and enhanced outreach in Pennsylvania, across the nation and around the world. In recent years the college has emphasized new research efforts in energy and the environment, health care, new materials applications, cyber infrastructure and civil infrastructure. During his tenure, the departments of chemical engineering and industrial and manufacturing engineering were endowed. A four-year undergraduate degree program was created in the newly formed department of bioengineering.

The department combining computer science and computer engineering and the department combining mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering also were established during Wormley’s tenure.

Today the College of Engineering enrolls 6,800 undergraduate students and more than 1,300 graduate students in highly regarded programs that annually rate among the best in national and international rankings.

Since Wormley became dean, College of Engineering research expenditures have grown from $32 million to $131 million and the college’s endowment has increased from $14 million to $173 million.

"The fields of engineering have seen enormous changes in the past two decades, and under David Wormley's leadership the College of Engineering has not only kept pace but emerged as a global leader in teaching, research and service in these many areas," Penn State President Rodney Erickson said. "He has been a terrific colleague and an outstanding researcher, educator, administrator and member of the Penn State community. His commitment to the College of Engineering and to Penn State will be felt by many for years to come."

Erickson said the University will conduct a national search for Wormley's successor.

As a professor and researcher, Wormley's work has focused on dynamic systems and control with applications to transportation systems, fossil fuel power plants and fluid power systems. He has supervised 23 doctoral students and 72 master’s research theses. His research is described in more than 100 papers and reports, and he is the co-author of the textbook, “System Dynamics: An Introduction.”

Wormley has a prominent national profile, having served on the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Assessing the Capacity of U.S. Engineering Research. He was chair of both the National Science Foundation Engineering Directorate Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee of the National Research Council Transportation Research Board. He chaired the National Research Council’s Committee for a Study of a Motor Vehicle Rollover Rating System and served as president of the American Society for Engineering Education. Wormley was elected an honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2010.

A fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Society for Engineering Education, he has received a NASA Certificate of Recognition, an ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Education Award and the ASME Lewis Moody Award.

"I'm very appreciative of the faculty, staff and administrators I have worked with," Wormley said. "The time has been very productive and a pleasure because of the quality and dedication of these outstanding people."

Penn State College of Engineering Dean David Wormley Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated February 04, 2013