Van Treuren to Lead Research and Faculty Development Effort at School of Engineering and Computer Science

Sept. 6, 2007
News Photo 4256Kenneth Van Treuren

by Frank Raczkiewicz

Dr. Benjamin Kelley, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Baylor University, has announced the appointment of Dr. Kenneth Van Treuren, professor of mechanical engineering, as associate dean of research and faculty development of the School.

"Dr. Van Treuren is one of the most thoughtful individuals I've ever encountered. His experience and his passion of Baylor's mission equip him to be successful as associate dean," Kelley said. "Expanding faculty resources for research is a major element of Vision 2012, and I am confident he will take the challenge head-on."

"I am thoroughly excited," Van Treuren said. "I see this as a dynamic position that will grow with the expansion of the School. It is my desire to help the faculty develop their research and teaching skills to the best of their ability. Doing so will help the faculty to better serve our students and support the mission of the university."

Van Treuren's duties will revolve around assisting the School's faculty in identifying and pursuing funded research and project opportunities. This will, in turn, attract more graduate students to the School and provide faculty with more summer salary support, laboratory equipment and opportunities to present papers at conferences, Van Treuren said.

While pursuing research initiatives will dominate Van Treuren's early efforts, he also will facilitate faculty development and will work to develop communication between researchers when they are faced with challenges in their research projects. His goal is to establish a "culture of scholarship" that will inspire both research and teaching.

Over the last few months, Van Treuren has spent a considerable amount of effort examining approaches by other prominent universities and compiled those that best fit the School's situation and needs. He will be using that list as the School's initial roadmap and then adjusting it as things progress.

One example administrators point to as evidence of this work is the new Energy and Society Engaged Learning Group that started this fall. The group is led by professors across several disciplines - from engineering to environmental studies - and the students who take part in the group not only live together in a residential community, but they also will begin conducting research during their sophomore year.

Van Treuren came to Baylor in the fall of 1998 after retiring from the Air Force where he spent 21 years. While in the Air Force, he piloted operational aircraft such as the KC-10A and the KC-135. He also taught at the Air Force Academy and at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He has authored or co-authored dozens of publications ranging from military defense research to how to increase the retention rates of engineering students. His current research projects are in the areas of heat transfer and fluid mechanics.

He is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a lifetime member of the Air Force Association and holds membership in the American Society of Engineering Education, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He received his bachelor's degree from Air Force Academy, his master's degree from Princeton University and his doctorate from Oxford.

For more information, contact Dr. Van Treuren at (254) 710-6659.

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