New interim dean named for College of Engineering

Frances Myers

A new interim dean has been named for the College of Engineering.

Mufit Akinc, professor in materials science and engineering, will succeed Dean Jonathan Wickert, effective July 30. Wickert has accepted the position of senior vice president and provost at Iowa State, also effective July 30.

Akinc has been a faculty member at Iowa State since 1981. He has led the college’s international engagement initiative since 2010. Akinc also holds a courtesy appointment in chemical and biological engineering, and is an associate scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory.

Akinc will have the James and Katherine Melsa Professorship in Engineering as part of his new position as interim dean.

According to a news release from the College of Engineering, Akinc’s research includes: “interdisciplinary projects that improve the properties and performance of materials by manipulating chemistry and processing methods, including the synthesis of nanomaterials inspired by biology.”

He has lectured throughout the world, including Switzerland, Japan, China, Turkey and Poland and has been appointed three times as a United Nations consultant to Korea and Turkey.

In 1970, Akinc earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. In 1973, he earned his master’s from the same university. In 1977, he earned his doctorate in ceramic engineering from Iowa State. Before coming to work at Iowa State, Akinc was an assistant professor at Kansas State University, Manhattan, as well as Middle East Technical University.

In 2003, Akinc was elected to the European Academy of Sciences. According to the news release, he is a “Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and ASM International (the Materials Information Society).” In 2008, Akinc was elected to ASM International’s board of trustees. He has also served as associate editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.

Akinc will serve as interim dean of the College of Engineering until a permanent dean is named. That search is scheduled to begin later this summer.