Christensen named engineering dean at IIT
MechSE alumnus Kenneth T. Christensen (PhDTAM '01), who is also a former MechSE faculty member, has been named the next Carol and Ed Kaplan Armour College Dean of Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Christensen will take over for outgoing Dean Natacha DePaola, who has led the largest college at Illinois Tech for the past 11 years.
Christensen, who will start at Illinois Tech on December 1, 2020, is currently the Viola D. Hank Professor and chair of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. Christensen’s research expertise is in experimental fluid mechanics, with an emphasis on flows central to a range of energy, environmental, and geophysical applications.
At Notre Dame, Christensen leads the Engineering Innovation Hub (EIH), an initiative which aims to partner with industry to create experiential learning opportunities for students and promote entrepreneurship throughout the community. He also was part of a team that secured a grant to promote regional economic development and innovation, for which the first-phase of the EIH will be an important component. As a result, Notre Dame students will have access to the same high-end, next-generation manufacturing equipment being used in industry.
Prior to Notre Dame, Christensen was a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of New Mexico. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from U of I.