Scott R. Hummel, professor of mechanical engineering, has been named the Interim William Jeffers Director of the Engineering Division for a term of two years. The appointment is effective July 9. The announcement was made by Wendy L. Hill, provost and dean of the faculty.
Hummel served as co-chair of the College’s recent Engineering Vision efforts to more effectively promote and build upon the College’s unique blend of discipline-specific undergraduate-only engineering along with the arts and sciences. He will lead the division in implementing recommendations made during that process, including a divisional curriculum review consistent with the objective for “increased curricular flexibility to provide for new pedagogical initiatives” that was identified in the Engineering Division’s 2010-15 Strategic Plan.
“I am pleased that Scott will serve the engineering division and the College in this important role. Among the major goals of his interim directorship will be to strengthen the engineering division within the liberal arts context of the College and to enhance the interdisciplinary connections both within the engineering division and with other programs,” Hill said.
“This goal is central to the College’s strategic plan, and I know that Scott can count on the support and help of his colleagues both within the division and across the College. Building real and lasting connections among our strengths as a community remains a compelling vision for us,” Hill said. “To help the division and provide valuable perspective in pursuing our vision, I have asked Scott to create and convene an Engineering Division Advisory Committee, similar to those already in existence at the department level.”
The Jeffers Director position honors the memory of the late William A. Jeffers, a professor of physics whose career as a faculty member and administrator spanned 35 years and whose service to the College was characterized by an unwavering interest in the intellectual and personal development of undergraduates in all disciplines. The directorship is being endowed in Jeffers’ memory by two former students for whom he exemplified the type of teaching and mentoring that set Lafayette apart.
The College will conduct a national search beginning in fall 2013 with the aim of appointing a permanent Jeffers Director effective July 1, 2014.
Hummel holds a Ph.D. from Lehigh University, an M.S. from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a B.S. from the University of Hartford. A member of the faculty since 1998, he chaired the faculty’s Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee for two years during the development of the new Common Course of Study. He has served as head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering since 2006.
Hummel teaches courses ranging from introductory engineering courses to senior project seminars. He also has taught in the Values and Science/Technology program and led the College’s study-abroad semester in Brussels. He is the recipient of the College’s Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Faculty Lecture Award, in recognition of excellence in teaching and scholarship, and Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award, for excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to campus life.
Hummel’s research is in the area of wear of materials. He has published extensively in this area and is recognized as a worldwide leader in adhesive wear testing. Since 2008 he has served as the elected chair of the ASTM Technical Committee on Wear and Erosion, which develops internationally accepted standard test methods for determining the wear properties of materials.