Akinc named interim dean of College of Engineering

Mufit Akinc, an Iowa State faculty member since 1981, has been named interim dean of the College of Engineering effective July 30.

Mufit Akinc

Mufit Akinc

He succeeds Jonathan Wickert, who will assume the role of senior vice president and provost at Iowa State on the same date. The search for a permanent dean will begin later this summer.

“I am very pleased that Mufit has agreed to serve as interim dean,” said current executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman. “He did an excellent job as chair of materials science and engineering from 1995 to 2006, and has continued to serve the college in a leadership role in international programs. He has great relationships with alumni and donors, and works to build bridges across the university.”

Akinc is a professor of materials science and engineering and has led the college’s international engagement initiative since 2010. He 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.

Maintaining college momentum

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as interim dean of one of the largest and most outstanding engineering colleges in the country. I am mindful of the gravity of this responsibility and will do my best to live up to the expectations and trust bestowed on me with this assignment,” Akinc said. “With the support of colleagues and friends of the college and ISU senior leadership, we will maintain the momentum achieved during Dean Wickert’s tenure and transfer the leadership of the college to the permanent dean in a timely fashion.”

As interim dean, Akinc also will hold the James and Katherine Melsa Professorship in Engineering.

Akinc’s research involves interdisciplinary projects that improve the properties and performance of materials by manipulating chemistry and processing methods, including the synthesis of nanomaterials inspired by biology.

Akinc earned bachelor’s (1970) and master’s (1973) degrees in chemistry from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. He received his doctorate (1977) in ceramic engineering from Iowa State. Before joining the ISU faculty, Akinc was an assistant professor at Kansas State University, Manhattan; and Middle East Technical University.

(Mufit Akinc is  pronounced moo-FEET Ah-KINCH.)