Worek Named Michigan Tech Dean of Engineering

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Michigan Technological University has a new dean of engineering. William M. Worek, professor and former head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), has accepted the post effective July 1. In addition, Worek will serve as the Dave House Professor.

Worek has been on the UIC faculty since 1986. He served as department head from 2000 to 2009; during his tenure, research funding per faculty member increased from $80,000 to $200,000, and he led development of a new strategic plan with significant input from the private sector, which resulted in closer ties with industry.

“I’m excited about this opportunity, and I look forward to building on the success of the College’s undergraduate program to further the growth and reputation of its graduate program,” Worek said. “In addition, Michigan Tech is well-placed to expand its role as a research arm of industry, and I also look forward to facilitating that effort.”

From 1998 to 2009, Worek also was director of UIC’s Energy Resources Center, overseeing an increase in outside research funding from $500,000 to $3.5 million and a tripling in the number of professional staff. In addition, Worek served as director of graduate studies and is currently a visiting scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Sustainable Technology Department.

He was previously on the faculty of the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Worek’s research focuses on heat and mass transfer, fluid flow, thermodynamics as it relates to energy efficiency, and renewable and sustainable energy systems. He is currently principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several projects with funding totaling $8.8 million.

He has received the Harold A. Simon Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded by UIC’s College of Engineering, and has been nominated for the UIC Excellence in Teaching Award.

“Bill Worek is an excellent choice to lead the College of Engineering,” said Max Seel, Michigan Tech provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He has a strong base of support among the department chairs, faculty, staff, students, and administrators. And, I am excited about his vision, which integrates the academic mission of undergraduate education with a vision for research, graduate education, and interaction with industry and national laboratories, while capitalizing on the College’s expertise and Michigan Tech’s location. I look forward to a long and productive working relationship with Bill.”

Worek is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. He is the American editor for the Applied Thermal Engineering Journal, coordinating editor for the journal Heat Transfer—Asian Research, associate editor of Energy—The International Journal, and serves on the editorial advisory boards of the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, and the Journal of Power Technologies.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.