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Kon-Well Wang to lead NSF Division of Engineering Education and Centers

Kon-Well Wang

Kon-Well Wang begins his term as NSF division director for EEC in January 2019.

October 17, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected Kon-Well Wang of the University of Michigan as division director of the Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) in the Directorate for Engineering. Wang, who begins his NSF appointment on January 7, 2019, is the Stephen P. Timoshenko Collegiate Professor in the University of Michigan (U-M) department of mechanical engineering and for 10 years served as the U-M Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering.

“NSF welcomes Dr. Wang’s capabilities for strategic leadership, collegiality, and community engagement, as well as his deep expertise in research and engineering education,” says Linda Blevins, NSF deputy assistant director for engineering. “He will use his cross-disciplinary experience to strengthen engineering collaborations and develop emerging opportunities for EEC-funded research and education.”   

After joining U-M in 2008, Wang spearheaded development of a strategic plan that resulted in unique research opportunities for the department, implemented faculty mentoring and development activities, and grew and improved the graduate and undergraduate educational programs, while building new and renovated research and education facilities.

Previously, Wang spent 20 years at Penn State University, rising from assistant professor in 1988 to hold the William E. Diefenderfer Endowed Chair Professor in Mechanical Engineering beginning in 2000. At Penn State, Wang held leadership positions in the Center for Acoustics and Vibrations and the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence, where he led various interdisciplinary research and education activities.

Wang’s main research interests are in structural dynamics and vibration, including metastructures, origami mechanics and dynamics, and adaptive structural and materials systems, which have potential applications in vibration and wave controls, energy harvesting, structural health monitoring, and vehicle dynamics and controls. He holds a dozen patents and invention disclosures, has published more than 380 technical articles, and has advised over 50 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in research. 

Wang earned his Bachelor of Science at National Taiwan University and his Master of Science and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, all in mechanical engineering. Prior to joining academia as a faculty member, he spent several years as a senior research engineer at General Motors Research Laboratories.

Wang is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and other professional societies, and he has made notable contributions for the modernization of mechanical engineering education. He is a Fellow of ASME, the Institute of Physics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been chief editor for the ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics. Wang has received numerous awards, including the ASME J. P. Den Hartog Award, the ASME Adaptive Structures and Materials System Award and the Pi Tau Sigma-ASME Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award.

The NSF Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) in the Directorate for Engineering invests in the creation of 21st century engineers and the discovery of technologies through transformational center-based research including the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) program, research in education and inclusion, and research opportunities for students and teachers.



Media Contact
Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738,

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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