Kenneth Van Treuren, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, has been named interim chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science. He replaces William Jordan, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, who became the department’s first chair in 2005.
“Dr. Van Treuren is a respected scholar in the field of turbomachinery and has been a valued faculty member in the department," said Dennis O’Neal, Ph.D., dean of the Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science. "Serving as the associate dean of research and faculty development, Ken has been an integral part of the leadership team at the Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science and has the administrative and research expertise to lead the department in the coming year."
Van Treuren earned his D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1994. After serving in the Air Force and at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., he joined the School of Engineering and Computer Science on faculty in 1998 as an associate professor of mechanical engineering.
"I consider it a great honor to serve Baylor, the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering as interim chair for the next year," said Van Treuren. "I have been a part of Baylor for eighteen years and have seen many changes. Through it all, we seek to prepare our students to make a difference in the world around them. This is done through the important elements of teaching, research, and service. I want the Department of Mechanical Engineering to build on its past successes and continue to do great things for the glory of God."
Van Treuren’s research is focused on low-momentum flow over an airfoil that is susceptible to separation. Current research projects include the design of new propellers for unmanned aerial systems; the design and optimization of a small wind turbine; and the research of low-pressure turbine flow separation in jet engines, particularly when flying at high-altitude cruise.
Dr. Jordan will take a short research sabbatical at Villanova University before returning to Baylor as a professor of mechanical engineering in 2017. A national search for a permanent chair has been initiated to fill the position.
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With more than 10 percent of Baylor University’s freshman class pursuing major courses of study in the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), the focus remains on preparing graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian world view. ECS majors include bioinformatics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, general engineering, and mechanical engineering. Among ECS graduate programs are Master of Science degrees in biomedical engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering, Ph.D. programs in computer science, electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering, and several dual degree programs. The Teal Residential College, in which engineering and computer science students and faculty live, fosters the pursuit of wisdom, academic excellence, and meaningful relationships for the development of diverse, innovative leaders.