Candidates for engineering dean position set for campus visits

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Three candidates for the position of dean of Western Michigan University's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences will visit campus in November to meet with campus and community leaders and make public presentations.

Each candidate will spend a day on campus meeting with a variety of campus personnel, and each will make a public presentation that will allow members of the campus and business communities the opportunity to get to know the candidates and their views. All presentations will take place at 2 p.m. in the Parkview Room of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences building on WMU's Parkview Campus. The candidates and the days and dates of their presentations are:

  • Dr. Houssam A. Toutanji, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Thursday, Nov. 6;
  • Dr. James F. Klausner, Ebaugh Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida and program director with the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency, Tuesday, Nov. 11; 
  • Dr. John W. Nicklow, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University and professor of civil and environmental engineering, Tuesday, Nov. 18.

The successful candidate will succeed Dr. Anthony Vizzini, who is now provost and vice president for academic affairs at Wichita State University. WMU's Dr. Edmund Tsang has been serving as interim dean since July 2013.

Houssam A. Toutanji has been chair of his department since 2008 and, in addition, has served since 2013 as associate dean for graduate education and research at Alabama-Huntsville. He has been a faculty member there since 1997. His previous academic appointments have included a four-year faculty appointment at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and international visiting professor appointments at France's University of Cergy-Pontoise and Belgium's Ghent University. He also has served as a faculty fellow at NASA's Marshal Space Flight Center and a post-doctoral fellow at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. An accomplished researcher in such areas as concrete and composite structures, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Northeastern University and a doctoral degree from Worcester.

James F. Klausner has been a member of the faculty at the University of Florida since 1989 and, since 2012, also has been program director with the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency. He also has been an active consultant for auto and aircraft manufacturers, energy exploration companies and such federal agencies as NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. An active researcher, his research interests and activities range from boiling heat transfer and solar fuel to water desalination and biomedical engineering. He earned a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and both master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

John W. Nicklow has been provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois since 2011 and is scheduled to serve through June 2015. He has been a member of the SIU faculty since 1998. In his current role, he oversees academic affairs, information technology, enrollment management, student affairs and a number of new centers focused on such areas as inclusion, research and creative activities, service learning, and international education. Prior to becoming provost, he spent a year as assistant provost for enrollment management and four years as associate engineering dean. An active researcher in such areas as water resource management, climate change and transportation, Nicklow earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Bucknell University and a doctoral degree from Arizona State University.

To view the candidates' complete credentials, visit wmich.edu/provost/administrativesearches.html.

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