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tennessee technological university

Mechanical Engineering

Dean of Engineering, Prof. of Mechanical Engineering



  • Boundary Elements
  • Finite Elements
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Multiscale Modeling
  • Engineering Education


  • Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1985.
  • M.S. Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, 1982.
  • B.S. Architectural and Building Construction Engineering Technology, Milwaukee School of Engineering, 1980.
  • A.A.S. Architectural and Building Construction Engineering Technology, Milwaukee School of Engineering, 1978.


Dr. Joseph J. Rencis, born and raised in Northwestern New Jersey, received B.S. degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering, M.S. from Northwestern University, and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. From 1985 to 2004 he was an Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). At WPI he was Director of Engineering Mechanics from 1995 to 2004. From 2004 to 2010 he was Department Head and the inaugural holder of the Twenty-first Century Leadership Chair in Mechanical Engineering from 2007 to 2010 at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Rencis was a tenured Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Arkansas. He is an inaugural fellow of the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium Leadership Development Program. Since 2011 he has been the Dean of Engineering, the inaugural holder of the Clay N. Hixson Chair for Engineering Leadership, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rencis’ principal research interests have been in boundary elements, finite elements, mechanics of materials, multiscale modeling, and engineering education. His research is supported by National Science Foundation and industry. Dr. Rencis has published over thirty five journal articles and over one hundred and ten conference articles. He is an associate editor of the International Series on Advances in Boundary Elements and Journal of Online Engineering Education. Dr. Rencis serves on the editorial board of Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements, The Open Mechanics Journal, and ISRN Applied Mathematics. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), and Wessex Institute of Great Britain. Dr. Rencis was recognized as theCambridge Professional of the Year in Mechanical Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts. Dr. Rencis received the ASEE New England Section Outstanding Teaching Award.

Dr. Rencis is active in various professional organizations at the local and national levels. He was the Chair of the ASME Mechanical Engineering Department Heads Committee and member of the ASME Board of Directors for the Center for Education. Rencis currently serves on the ASEE Professional Interest Council III Chair, ASEE Board of Directors, member of the ASEE Engineering Deans Council Public Policy Committee, and Board of Directors for Advancement Scientific and Engineering Technology of Tennessee. He is currently a candidate for ASEE President-elect. Other past positions include Chair of ASEE Mechanical Engineering Division, Chair of ASEE Mechanics Division, and member ASME National Nominating Committee. Dr. Rencis has been a ABET program evaluator and member of the National Collaborative for Engineering Graduate Education Reform. He has conducted reviews of new M.S. and Ph.D. engineering programs. Dr. Rencis has served on the advisory boards of United Joseph J.Rencis, Ph.D. Dean of Engineering, Clay N. Hixson Chair for Engineering Leadership, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Highest Degree University: Case Western Reserve University Arab Emirates University, John Brown University (past President), and three high schools. He received the ASEE New England Section Outstanding Leader Award, ASEE Mechanics Division James L. Meriam Service Award, and ASEE Midwest Section Outstanding Service Award. Rencis is listed in several Who’s Who publications. Dr. Rencis, his spouse Minerva, a community volunteer, and child, Christina, a senior at Boston University majoring in film and television, enjoy a variety of recreational, film, and theater activities.