The First Woman to Be Named Dean of the College of Engineering at Ohio State University

Ayanna Howard will be the next dean of the College of Engineering at Ohio State University. The college serves more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students; employs 950 faculty, research scientists and staff; and operates a $150 million-a-year research program.

Dr. Howard will begin her duties at Ohio State on March 1. She will be the first woman to hold the position. Dr. Howard 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.

“I’m thrilled to join Ohio State at a time in which there is so much potential to strengthen and build new partnerships in order to expand access and enhance opportunities for the next generation of students, alumni, and for economic development throughout Ohio,” said Professor Howard.

Dr. Howard is currently chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where she is the founder and director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab. She is the founder and president of the board of directors of Zyrobotics, a Georgia Tech spin-off company that develops mobile therapy and educational products for children with special needs. Zyrobotics products are based on Dr. Howard’s research.

From 1993 to 2005, Dr. Howard worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she held multiple roles including senior robotics researcher and deputy manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist. There she developed small robotic devices for research on Mars.

Dr. Howard is a graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. She also holds an MBA from Claremont Graduate University in California.

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