Long-time faculty member and administrator John-David “JD” Yoder, Ph.D., has been named dean of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University, effective June 19. Yoder, who joined the ONU faculty in 2001, is currently professor of mechanical engineering and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“I am confident that Dr. Yoder has the ideal professional and personal attributes to provide effective leadership for the College of Engineering,” said ONU President Daniel DiBiasio, Ph.D. “JD is a well-regarded and highly respected member of the campus community who is known for his collaborative leadership efforts involving faculty and staff members from colleges across campus.”
Yoder was chosen for this leadership position after DiBiasio and Provost Maria Cronley, Ph.D., conferred with faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders of the college.
“Following these meetings, it became apparent that Dr. Yoder is the right person to sustain the success of the College of Engineering and ensure that it remains on the forefront of engineering education in the future,” Cronley said.
“He possesses the engineering knowledge, professional experience, teaching and scholarly abilities as well as leadership skills to succeed as dean. In addition, given that the college is operating from a position of strength with growing enrollment and a new facility imminent, maintaining stability and continuity are high priorities we feel can best be achieved with Dr. Yoder’s leadership and commitment to ONU,” DiBiasio said.
Yoder has been closely involved with the KEEN (Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network) program at ONU. KEEN is a network of 29 institutions that is focused on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset among engineering students. This type of approach, which encourages students to identify and solve problems from a variety of perspectives, is a hallmark of the ONU College of Engineering educational experience. Yoder works extensively in the area of entrepreneurial engineering and is the recipient of several grants from the Kern Family Foundation.
“I am honored to have this opportunity and look forward to working with faculty and staff in the college and across campus as we continue to engage students in the type of well-rounded educational experience that provides them for rewarding careers and fulfilling lives,” Yoder said. “We want to enable our graduates to have impact in their workplaces and communities. It is important that we work with our students to develop the engineering abilities and the entrepreneurial mindset that will help them maximize their success.”
Yoder earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. His primary research interests center on guidance systems in robotic and automated systems, with a number of patents in this area. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, including IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems; Journal of Field Robotics; IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation; and the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics. In addition to his research, Yoder has been engaged in industry consulting for more than two decades.
He replaces Eric Baumgartner, who has accepted a position as vice president of academics at the Milwaukee School of Engineering after leading the college since 2006.
The ONU T.J. Smull College of Engineering continues to distinguish itself as one of the finest engineering programs in the nation. In its 2017 Best Colleges rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks the College of Engineering 31st nationally among programs that offer the bachelor’s or master’s as the highest degree. This is the ninth time in the last 10 years that ONU’s College of Engineering has been ranked as a top-50 undergraduate program. Its graduates are highly regarded, as evidenced by the 97 percent placement rate of its most recent graduating class.