Office of the Provost

College of Engineering Dean Search

About the College of Engineering

The mission of the College of Engineering is to graduate innovative engineers who solve technological challenges to meet societal needs.

The College has seven academic departments supporting eight undergraduate degree programs, all accredited by ABET. These seven departments support six master’s degrees, while the College, as a whole, supports a Ph.D. in Engineering with several concentrations. Three research centers are housed in the College, along with numerous laboratories within the centers and the academic departments. As of Fall 2018, there are 2,509 undergraduate and 224 graduate students in the College. These students interact with 85 full-time faculty and 44 support staff within the College. Five of the University’s top 10 undergraduate programs by enrollment are in the College, and the overall undergraduate engineering program is the second largest among public universities in the state.

The undergraduate engineering curricula at Tennessee Tech emphasize the mastery of mathematical, scientific, and professional knowledge that contribute to the various fields and the acquisition of experience in decision making through the analysis and solution of engineering problems. Many students take advantage of the Cooperative Education Program that allows students to integrate off-campus employment in industry or government with their undergraduate studies. Other students participate in summer internships. The College supports the broad needs of students through the Clay N. Hixson Student Success Center, providing free peer tutoring, advising, outreach, and an ambassador program. An engineering residence hall is home to approximately 150 students who live and study together. More than thirty professional student organizations operate within the College. Students in the College collaborate with other TTU students through a variety of activities and facilities, such as the iMakerSpace, which supports innovation and entrepreneurship on a university-wide level.

The graduate programs in the College include the engineering disciplines (chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical), manufacturing and engineering technology, and computer science. Graduate student enrollment has increased by more than 50% over the past five years. During this period, the Ph.D. program has more than doubled, and an onsite Ph.D. program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) was established. The College’s external funding is primarily from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) with additional funds received from the DOD, NIH, U.S. Air Force, and industry.

The State of Tennessee recently made a major investment in the College by providing $3 million in additional recurring annual funds to be used for strategic engineering initiatives. The State also provides nearly $2.5 million annually to the College’s two state-funded Centers of Excellence: the Center for Energy Systems Research (CESR) and the Center for Manufacturing Research (CMR). The College is also home to the Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC), which has received $1 million in funding from the State, and is scheduled to receive an additional $1 million in the next two years. The College partners with a third, interdisciplinary state-funded Center of Excellence (the Center for the Management, Utilization, and Protection of Water Resources), and partners with the interdisciplinary Millard Oakley Center for the Teaching and Learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Undergraduate Majors & Concentrations

  • Basic Engineering (freshmen year program only)
  • Chemical Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Bio-molecular Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Structural Engineering
    • Structural Mechanics
    • Transportation Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
    • Cybersecurity
    • Data Science
    • Parallel, Distributed and High Performance Computing
    • Software and Scientific Applications
  • Electrical Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Mechatronics
    • Vehicle Engineering
  • Engineering Technology
    • Mechatronics Engineering Technology
    • Technology Management
  • General Engineering (BSE program, joint with East Tennessee State University)
  • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechatronics
    • Vehicle Engineering
Master of Science Programs
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Professional Science (Manufacturing Sustainability concentration, housed in Engineering Technology)
Doctor of Philosophy Program

The Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering is an interdisciplinary degree program that offers specialization in computer science, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering.

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Paul Semmes - Co-Chair
Sharon Huo – Co-Chair
Chris Wilson
Joe Biernacki
Daniel Badoe
Ambareen Siraj
Ismail Fidan
Steve Anton
Melanie Hutcherson
Harry Ingle
Joshua Egwuatu
Tom Jones 

Phil Wilbourn


Tennessee Tech University seeks an exceptional leader to serve as its next Dean of the College of Engineering. Reporting to and working with the Provost, and in coordination with the Deans from other Colleges, the Dean will have responsibility for the strategic, programmatic, financial, fundraising, accreditation and management operations that support the mission and vision of the College of Engineering and its role within Tennessee Tech University.


  • Define and implement a strategic vision for the future by articulating the distinctive needs and opportunities of the College;
  • Support and continue the collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit and a balance of teaching, research, and service within the College;
  • Promote a diverse, open and inclusive environment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels;
  • Promote the highest commitment to academic and scholarly integrity;
  • Serve as a public voice for the College’s constituents;
  • Attract external funding from federal agencies, corporations, foundations, and interested donors to support the College’s mission and develop relevant industry and professional partnerships;
  • Pursue college fundraising and development activities, in concert with University Advancement;
  • Support and cultivate a distinguished, accomplished, and diverse faculty.
  • Along with department chairs, assure the continued prominence of the faculty by prioritizing the recruitment and retention of distinguished faculty which will promote and enhance a strong research agenda and inspire excellence in teaching and learning best practices;
  • Recruit and recommend candidates for chairperson, director and assistant/ associate dean positions;
  • Identify opportunities in emerging areas of engineering for new academic and research programs and interdisciplinary initiatives;
  • Advocate internally for resources to support a growing research agenda, faculty, and student population; and
  • Manage and provide fiduciary stewardship for all College budgets.


  • An earned doctorate degree in a field related to the College.
  • A record of recognized achievement in teaching, research, and service that qualifies for a tenured appointment at the rank of full professor in the College.
  • Significant leadership experience as a department chair, an associate dean, dean or leadership position with similar levels of responsibility.
  • Demonstrated outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated budgetary/financial management responsibility.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a diverse faculty and student population consistent with university policies.


  • Experience with the ABET accreditation process and commitment to accreditation excellence.
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate vision and goals for the College and to develop and realize a plan to achieve these in conjunction with the faculty and other administrative leaders.
  • Ability to promote the College for its accomplishments, capabilities, areas of interests and needs to a broad range of external constituencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and grow a robust research program.
  • Ability to lead sophisticated and effective development and fundraising activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead by consensus and with transparency.
  • Commitment to both undergraduate and graduate education.
  • Non-academic work experience and/or significant interactions with industry, government, or industrial or government advisory boards.

Institutional Overview:As a comprehensive university, Tennessee Tech offers 42 baccalaureate and 26 graduate degree programs in eight academic divisions: Agriculture & Human Ecology, Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Nursing. The University’s Carnegie classification is Doctoral, Moderate Research.

A university that The Princeton Review consistently calls one of the best in the Southeast, Tennessee Tech offers students the true college experience. The University is committed to the success of students in its undergraduate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degree granting programs through high-quality instruction and learning experiences. All of Tech’s undergraduate programs meet established academic quality standards as rated in external peer reviews.

The University incorporates the latest technology in all disciplines. As Tech focuses on the national priorities of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the university strengthens all programs by infusing technological innovation across campus.

Tennessee Tech holds national rankings for quality while graduates leave with the lightest debt load in the region. Students are immersed in experiential learning, engaged in basic and applied research, creative endeavors, public service, and community and economic development. Tech is committed to public service and economic development in the region.

With a significant percentage of residential students, TTU currently has a six-year graduation rate of 51.1 percent (2010 cohort). Tech has shown significant gains in first-year student retention and currently stands at 78.5 percent. Both of these measures are the second-highest among public universities in the state.

The University recently began its second century. From the first class of 19 students, Tech has grown to more than 10,500 students. Among the 85,000-plus men and women who have received degrees from Tennessee Tech are a former president of Boeing Corporation, two astronauts (including a commander of the International Space Station), a 12-time National Football League pro-bowl player, a New York Times assistant managing editor, and a four-star general.

Tech is consistently rated as “Best Southeastern College” by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report recognizes Tech as a national university. Prior to being elevated to that category in 2016, the publication had ranked Tech as one of the Top Public Schools in the South on multiple occasions. Money magazine ranked Tech as the top public university in Tennessee in 2017. According to, Tech has the highest return on investment of any public university in Tennessee. Other organizations that have recognized Tech’s superior quality and value include the Social Mobility Index, Brookings Institute, G.I. Jobs, and Washington Monthly.

STUDENTS: Tech provides outstanding programs of study, enhanced access to education, and distinctive educational and research opportunities to attract students from around the region and the world. Although the majority of students are from Tennessee and the surrounding southeastern region, 35 states and 60 international countries also are represented. More than 67 percent of the University’s students receive federal, state, or private sources of financial aid, and 47 percent graduate debt free.

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FACULTY: Tech’s faculty provide high quality instruction for the University’s diverse academic programs.

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Educational Specialist




Top 10 Undergraduate Programs by Enrollment: Mechanical Engineering; Nursing; Basic Business; Multidisciplinary Studies (Education); Computer Science; Exercise Science, Physical Education & Wellness; Electrical Engineering; Agriculture; Chemical Engineering; Civil & Environmental Engineering

Top 5 Graduate Programs by Enrollment: Curriculum & Instruction; Business; Engineering; Professional Studies; Nursing

ATHLETICS: TTU has fourteen NCAA Division I teams, including men’s baseball, basketball, football, cross country, tennis, and golf, and women’s basketball, cross country, softball, soccer, indoor track, outdoor track, volleyball, and golf. The football team competes in the Football Championship Subdivision and all teams belong to the Ohio Valley Conference.

Student-athletes achieve at a high academic level with the average student-athlete GPA being above a 3.2.

CAMPUS SETTING: Tennessee Tech is undergoing a degree of construction that it hasn’t experienced since the 1960s. Projects include a new $90 million science building, a new $45 million student recreation center, renovation of multiple buildings, parking lot construction, and infrastructure work. Currently, $250 million in campus capital improvements are in either the planning or construction phases. The main university campus in Cookeville has more than 80 buildings and sits on 265 acres. The University also has two agricultural properties in the area, and the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, Tennessee (the home of Tech’s renowned fine craft programs).

COOKEVILLE AREA: Situated upon the Highland Rim of the Cumberland Plateau in Cookeville, Tech lies within one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the United States. Cookeville, a town with a population of roughly 30,000, is the smallest town in America to have its own symphony and PBS affiliate. Cookeville is the center of a thriving art and theater scene with numerous galleries and art events.

The scenic beauty of Cookeville and the Upper Cumberland make it a tourist and retirement destination. Within an hour of the campus are two Corps of Engineers lakes (Center Hill and Dale Hollow), six state/national forests, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, the Obey Scenic National River, the state’s three largest state parks (Cumberland Trail, Frozen Head and Fall Creek Falls), the three newest state parks (Cummins Falls, Short Mountain and Virgin Falls), dozens of golf courses, and other outdoor recreation opportunities.

The city of Cookeville owns and operates the Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC), the largest hospital complex in the region, and has a cooperative partnership with Vanderbilt Medical Center. The cardiac unit at CRMC is ranked in the top five in the state. A number of national companies are headquartered in Cookeville, including Averitt Express and Adams, USA. Cookeville sits roughly equidistant between three of Tennessee’s largest cities, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville.

More information about Cookeville can be found at and


VISION: Tennessee Tech will achieve national prominence and impact through its engaged students, dedicated faculty, and career-ready graduates known for their creativity, tenacity, and analytical approach to problem solving.

MISSION: Tennessee’s technological university creates, advances, and applies knowledge to expand opportunity and economic competitiveness. As a STEM-infused, comprehensive institution, Tennessee Tech delivers enduring education, impactful research, and collaborative service.


Academic Excellence

We expect and produce high academic achievement, foster collaboration, exemplify integrity, and inspire creativity and realized potential for the entire campus community.

Community Engagement

We collaborate with community members and organizations to advance positive societal and economic change.

Meaningful Innovation

We are purposefully innovative in all we do.

Student Success

We empower students to realize their potential, craft individualized experiences, and discover their passion.

Supportive Environment

We are committed to a diverse and welcoming community and provide a campus size and atmosphere

that fosters personal attention and fit.

Value Creation

We provide a high return on investment from our state, tuition, and donor resources and foster productive, responsible, and caring contributors to society.

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