Royce Bowden has been named dean of Wichita State University's College of Engineering, effective Jan. 16, 2014. Bowden has been associate dean for Academic Affairs at Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University since 2011, also serving briefly as interim dean.
"Royce exhibits the professionalism, integrity and compassion that will be required to advance the College of Engineering to the next level," said Anthony Vizzini, vice president for Academic Affairs at Wichita State. "He has been successful at generating resources for his department, while empowering his faculty to achieve greater heights. I am excited that he is joining the WSU team."
Prior to his current position, Bowden served as the head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Mississippi State from 2005-2011. He also has served as professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Mississippi State from 2002 to the present.
"The College of Engineering's tradition of excellence is well known," said Bowden. "By graduating top-flight engineers with its experience-based education model, disseminating innovative research, and providing important outreach to industry and area schools, the college is integral to Wichita State University's significant future.
"I am honored to have been selected as dean of the College of Engineering and am eager to join the team of faculty, staff, students and government and industry partners working together with the Wichita State University administration and the engineering alumni to propel the college higher."
Among Bowden's accomplishments, he was co-developer of a $6 million proposal awarded in 2013 by the Hearin Foundation to develop innovative programs aimed at improving student retention and graduation rates, educating a more diverse and robust workforce, expanding K-12 outreach to teachers and students, and growing industrial research for increased economic development.
As a department head, Bowden cited success in increasing undergraduate enrollment 55 percent from 2005-2011. He also grew graduate enrollment by 93 percent during that period.
In addition, Bowden increased the number of tenure-track faculty and significantly improved the diversity of the faculty by increasing the number of women tenure-track faculty members from zero to three.
Bowden's research centered on the development of algorithms that seek optimal solutions for the design of complex systems and provided the foundation for the first widely used commercial discrete-event simulation optimization software. His engineering scholarship is reported in popular textbooks used in industrial and systems engineering curricula globally.
Although most of his career has been in academia, Bowden began in industry with Martin Marietta in New Orleans and Texas Instruments in Dallas.
Bowden earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1984, his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering at Mississippi State University in 1989, and his Ph.D. in Engineering, with an industrial engineering concentration at Mississippi State in 1992.
Bowden replaces Vish Prasad, who has served Wichita State as interim dean of the College of Engineering since Jan. 28. Prasad had taken a leave of absence from the University of North Texas to serve Wichita State University, and he will be returning to UNT.
Under Prasad's leadership, WSU's College of Engineering has made substantial progress in the areas of reorganization of engineering programs, faculty and staff hiring, and accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology as well as efforts to meet the goals of the University of Engineering Initiative Act of the state of Kansas.