Swalm School names new director

August 8, 2011

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A scholar from the Great Lakes region is the new Earnest W. Deavenport Jr. Chair and director of Mississippi State University’s Dave. C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering.

Jason M. Keith officially joins the Bagley College of Engineering department August 1. He replaces Mark White who served as director from 2006 until his retirement in 2010. White continues his research as an emeritus faculty member with the college.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Keith to our college,” Dean Sarah Rajala said. “His passion for teaching and engineering research will help ensure that the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering maintains its momentum and continues to grow as an academic leader for chemical engineering.”

Keith earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, with minors in mathematics and chemistry, from the University of Akron in 1995. In 2000, he completed a chemical engineering doctoral degree at the University of Notre Dame. That same year he joined the faculty of Michigan Technological University as an assistant professor. He earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2006, and full professor status in 2011.

His research uses mathematical modeling to improve air quality and energy efficiency through the applied fields of reactor design and alternative energy. Keith has also spent time studying, evaluating and implementing faculty development programs. He is an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Society for Engineering Education.

The School of Chemical Engineering and the building it is housed in, are named for the late Dave C. Swalm, an influential alumnus who founded one of the nation’s largest privately held petrochemical companies. His donations to the university not only named the BCoE department and built the building, but also provides for scholarships and state-of-the-art lab equipment. The school currently has more than 260 students enrolled in its bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Composed of eight academic departments, the Bagley College of Engineering is Mississippi State’s third largest college. It currently ranks 34th among all engineering colleges nationally in research and development expenditures according to the National Science Foundation.

For more information about the school, visit www.che.msstate.edu. More information about the BCoE can be found at www.bagley.msstate.edu.