Harwell to rejoin faculty as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Published: Jun 4, 2008 3:30:00 PM
Media Contact: Sally Credille, src0007@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

Ken Harwell

Kenneth E. Harwell

Kenneth E. Harwell has rejoined the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering's faculty as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Aerospace Engineering. His return to Auburn University will support the advancement of research efforts within the college and the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

"We anticipate many benefits to the department in assisting engineering faculty members in research planning and development based upon Ken's experience as an academician and research administrator," said John Cochran, head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

Harwell was a member of the Auburn faculty from 1963-1976, where he led the efforts to found the aerospace engineering doctoral program during the 1960s. As the dean and head of the University of Tennessee Space Institute, he led its advancement into an internationally recognized research and development institution. During his tenure at the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), Harwell helped to establish a unique partnership between NASA, six major research universities and the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC). Under his leadership as senior vice president of research and associate provost, UAH was consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally for NASA funding to universities.

After 35 years in higher education, Harwell joined the new $2 billion Air Force Research Laboratory as its first chief scientist and later became the senior science advisor for basic research and director of defense laboratory programs in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Laboratories and Basic Sciences for the Department of Defense. He filled a critical and productive role in assuring that the defense agenda, policies and programs provided the research and development outcomes required to keep America's warfighters the best in the world.

"There are many friends and colleagues across campus and in the Auburn community who I look forward to seeing and working with again," said Harwell. "I am excited to be back in Auburn and am eager to begin interacting with students, faculty and staff."

Harwell is a native of Wetumpka, Ala. and graduate of the University of Alabama and the California Institute of Technology.