Engineering professor named associate dean of the college for research | Jobs Vox

University Park, PA – Across Eric DonnellIn his academic career, two things have been consistent: transportation and Penn State. It was at Penn State that Donnell earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering with a focus on transportation. And it was to Penn State that he returned for a career devoted to teaching, research, and leadership. Now, Donnell is ready for his next Penn State challenge. Effective January 1, 2023, he will begin his term as associate dean for research in Penn State’s College of Engineering.

“The College of Engineering is fortunate to have a dedicated, lifelong Penn Stater at the helm of our research and graduate programs,” said Anthony Achley, acting dean of the College of Engineering. “Dr. Donnell’s successes as a faculty member, researcher, and leader Larsen Transportation Institute (LTI) will increase its impact on the strategic goals of the College and University.

Currently the director of LTI, Donnell first joined the Penn State faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor in Penn State’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2010 and became full professor in 2015.

“I really enjoyed going to school here,” Donnell said. “I received a terrible education in civil engineering from terrible instructors. When I saw the announcement that Penn State was hiring for an assistant professorship, I applied immediately and luckily I was accepted into the position.

In August 2016, Donnell was named director of LTI, which is known for its research in the areas of transportation infrastructure, transportation system performance and advanced vehicle technologies, as well as its infrastructure-related educational and outreach activities . Donnell worked at the LTI when he was a graduate student, and the research he has done as a faculty member falls under the LTI’s administration.

“The Larsen Transportation Institute was looking for a new director,” Donnell said. “I was eager to take on a new challenge and felt that the technical focus of my education and research was an excellent fit.”

Now, as the incoming associate dean for research of the College of Engineering, Donnell said his first order of business is getting to know the departments, faculty and graduate students.

“I want to build relationships with the faculty and students in the College of Engineering,” he said. “I want to learn more about the research they are conducting and find ways to support them. And I look forward to continuing to develop partnerships with the college as well as with external stakeholders across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the country.

Donnell will follow George Lesieutre, who has held the position since August 2016 and is returning to research in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Donnell said he looks forward to leveraging the college’s ongoing research successes to promote Penn State as a leader in the field of engineering.

“I’ve always felt that Penn State, and the College of Engineering in particular, has such a wide range of expertise,” he said. “This role includes the administrative research piece as well as the graduate program educational piece. They are tied together, and I really want to understand who our stakeholders are and our office is able to build and maintain strong collaborations with them. What can contribute?

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