Ayanna Howard to lead College of Engineering

From the Provost — November 30, 2020

Ayanna Howard to lead College of Engineering

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share the news that Ayanna Howard, PhD, has accepted our offer to serve as the 23rd dean of the College of Engineering, following two terms of David Williams' impactful leadership. Subject to Board of Trustees approval, her appointment will be effective from March 1, 2021, through June 30, 2026. She will also be a tenured professor in the college's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a joint appointment in Computer Science and Engineering.

As the Ohio State News story reflects, Dr. Howard is a world renowned expert in robotics, autonomous systems and machine learning who will be joining the university from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she is chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing as well as founder and director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab (HumAnS). Dr. Howard is also the founder and president of the board of directors of Zyrobotics, a nonprofit that spun off from Georgia Tech to develop mobile therapy and educational products for children with special needs.

Throughout her career, Dr. Howard has published research in more than 250 peer-reviewed publications while advancing applications of technology that include artificial intelligence, computer vision and robotics. She also focused on the education and mentoring of students in the engineering and computing fields, with a particular focus increasing the diversity of the profession.

Dr. Howard holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Brown University, a master's degree and PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, and an MBA from Claremont Graduate University.

She will join a college that has grown substantially in size, stature and impact. With Dean Williams' leadership, the college implemented its first strategic plan, with an emphasis on engineering innovation in materials, manufacturing, mobility and medicine; expanded its annual budget by more than 40%; increased the diversity of its student body; and created new career opportunities through programs such as the engineering technology degree now available on the Lima, Mansfield and Marion campuses.

Dean Williams' legacy also includes improvements to the Advanced Materials Corridor, the construction of the Austin E. Knowlton Executive Terminal and Aviation Learning Center at the Ohio State University Airport, and enhanced facilities at the Transportation Research Center.

Please join me in welcoming Ayanna to Ohio State and congratulating David on his accomplishments. I also thank the committee, led by Executive Dean Gretchen Ritter of the College of Arts and Sciences, for their valuable contributions to this search.

Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost