Associate Department Head Kivanc Ekici will serve as the interim head of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, effective December 1, 2019.
Current Department Head and Condra Chair of Excellence Professor Matthew Mench is assuming the role of Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement for the Knoxville campus. Mench will return to his role as department head at the end of this appointment.
“The college is thrilled for Dr. Mench to lead the greater campus in this role,” said Tickle College of Engineering Dean and Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair Janis Terpenny. “His years of experience and notable contributions to research make him the right person to serve during this time of transition.”
Ekici joined the department in 2008 and was promoted to full professor earlier this year. Since August 2018, he has been serving as the department’s associate department head. In 2013, he took over the role of director of graduate programs for the department, and has provided guidance to students who have entered the mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering graduate programs.
He is the recipient of several awards including the 2012 MABE Department Outstanding Teacher Award, 2013 MABE Department Outstanding Young Investigator Award, 2015 MABE Department Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, and an NSF CAREER Award.
“Dr. Ekici has served our department well as both associate department head and director of graduate programs, and I know he will be excellent in this role as well,” Mench said. “His familiarity with MABE will allow for him to be up and running very quickly, and we will work together to ensure a smooth transition.”