February 13, 2017
Jim Meagher, professor and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, has been named interim dean of the College of Engineering by Cal Poly Provost Kathleen Enz-Finken. Meagher follows former Dean Debra Larson, who recently left Cal Poly to take a position as provost at CSU Chico. Meagher’s appointment was effective Feb. 13.
“Jim has provided excellent leadership and outreach throughout his time on campus,” said Enz-Finken. “His measured and collaborative approach to leadership, support for diversity and inclusion efforts, and experiences in philanthropy will be assets at the college level.”
Meagher joined the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1988 as an assistant professor; he was awarded tenure and promotion to full professor in 1994. For the past three years, Meagher served as department chair. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Akron and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of scholarship include rotor dynamics and modeling of high-speed rotating machinery.
During his career at Cal Poly, Meagher helped establish the Donald E. Bently Center for Engineering Innovation, a research center in the Mechanical Engineering Department, the Bently Computational Facility, and the Solar Turbines/Bently Nevada Vibrations and Rotor Dynamics Laboratory.
“It was a great privilege to work with Don Bently, a giant of industry,” said Meagher. “I am also gratified that my early collaboration with Munich University of Applied Sciences evolved into a rich exchange of students and faculty. Hundreds of students and half of the mechanical engineering faculty have had the opportunity to study and teach abroad as a result of this ongoing partnership.”
In addition to his teaching and research activities, Meagher served as faculty advisor to the Cal Poly chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for 25 years. “In this position, I’ve seen first-hand how Cal Poly engineering students collaborate on award-winning projects,” he said. “In fact, what brought me to Cal Poly in 1988 still motivates me today: contributing to student success along with a passion for the discipline.
“As interim dean, I want to continue the positive trajectory set by Dean Larson. I hope, especially, to add momentum to the development of a new Engineering Projects Center, and to enhance diversity and promote inclusivity in the college.”
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