Widener University Announces New Dean of School of Engineering
Widener University has named Pamela McCauley, a renowned scholar, educator, university administrator and entrepreneur, as dean of the School of Engineering.
McCauley will assume the role on July 1 following the retirement of Fred Akl, who led the school for more than two decades.
MaCauley comes to Widener after serving as associate dean for Academic Programs, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Wilson College of Textiles at North Carolina State University since 2020.
She is an internationally-recognized industrial engineer whose research accomplishments include the development of fuzzy set theory-based mathematical models, human engineering, ergonomics, and biomechanics as well as engineering leadership and women’s leadership in STEM.
In her role as associate dean, McCauley has overseen the college’s academic programs, promoted innovation and entrepreneurship within the college and the university, and led and implemented diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across the college.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. McCauley join the Widener community and lead our esteemed engineering program,” said Andrew Workman, provost of Widener University. “Throughout her extensive career, she has demonstrated herself as an innovator, entrepreneur, researcher, educator, and advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging both in the engineering field and the greater academic community.
Workman described Dr. McCauley as a tremendous asset to enhance the Widener student experience by bringing extensive research and entrepreneurial experiences and championing student-faculty research.
McCauley said she was honored to join Widener’s vibrant community.
“The university’s engineering program has a remarkable legacy of innovation. Engineering changes the world, and Widener students and faculty are cultivating bold ideas in a space where students from diverse backgrounds know they belong and contribute unique perspectives.”
McCauley has developed an impressive catalog of research backed by funding from some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions including NASA, the U.S. State Department, and the National Science Foundation.
She has published and presented findings related to HIV/AIDS healthcare service delivery and ergonomics to support the development of innovative human-centric designs.
In 2012, McCauley was selected as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar and presented her funded research on human factors and ergonomics in disaster management.
Pamela McCauley is also the author of more than 100 technical papers, book chapters, conference proceedings, and the best-selling ergonomics textbook, “Ergonomics: Foundational Principles, Applications, and Technologies.”
McCauley brings more than 25 years of entrepreneurial experience to Widener and has led numerous small businesses. In this capacity, she has developed software and innovative human factors processes for clients in the public and private sectors.
From 1999 to 2001, McCauley led a team of engineers in human factors focused on operational testing and evaluation of the Joint Biological Point Detection System, a suite of automated systems developed for various branches of the Department of Defense to automatically detect the presence of biological threats.
The system received national attention when it was deployed to the Pentagon and other high-risk locations following the attacks of 9/11, to detect the presence of biological threats.
Pamela McCauley is a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion in engineering and higher education, particularly for women and students from groups who are underrepresented in STEM.
While at NC State, she has led efforts to introduce course-specific diversity and inclusion improvements throughout the curriculum in her capacity as co-chair of the college’s DE&I committee.
McCauley previously served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Women in Science and in this capacity was an invited speaker to the U.S. Senate.
Additionally, she has been invited to the United Nations on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Jefferson Science Fellow Program and has participated in international United Nations Women in Science summits.
McCauley is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree in industrial engineering. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, Johnnie O. Michael, Sr.
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