Engineering dean Rajala announces her retirement

Sarah Rajala, the James and Katherine Melsa Dean of Engineering, has announced she will retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

Sarah Rajala

Sarah Rajala

Rajala, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has served as dean since 2013. During her tenure, the college has enhanced the breadth and quality of its educational offerings, expanded its research portfolio, renovated and built new facilities, and raised more than $185 million in philanthropic support.

"I greatly appreciate the excellent job Sarah has done, and continues to do, to lead Iowa State's engineering college," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "Sarah is completing an outstanding 40-year career which includes positions of national prominence in engineering education and honors such as the National Engineering Award, and we are fortunate for her leadership."

Search committee leaders

A national search for Rajala's successor will begin immediately. The search committee will be co-chaired by Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of the College of Design, and Gary Mirka, professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and former associate dean and department chair. A search firm will assist the committee in its work.

Wickert is soliciting nominations for the search committee, which will include representation from students, faculty, staff and external stakeholders. Suggestions should be sent to Julie Johnston,, by Monday, Aug. 20.

The committee will begin soliciting candidate nominations and applications this fall, with a target of January-February 2019 for on-campus interviews with finalists.