Professor Kivanc Ekici has been named the next head of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, dropping the interim designation that he has held since February 2021.
“I am honored and humbled to have been chosen as the next leader of this department,” said Ekici. “We have been fortunate to have grown stronger as a department and reputationally, and I will work to continue those trends. I view it as a true team effort, and I am open to dialogue and ideas from anyone with a fresh perspective. I will be an advocate for our department and will represent faculty, students, and staff wherever and however I can be.”
“Kivanc is someone who has a strong connection to the department and knows the people within it well,” said Matthew Mench, dean and Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair of the Tickle College of Engineering. “I am excited to have Dr. Ekici on the team as we embark on the next phase of the Tickle College of Engineering Strategic Plan and move forward together.”
Ekici actually served two stints as interim leader for the department, the first coming when Mench served as interim vice chancellor for research and engagement for eight months beginning in November, 2019, and this more recent one when Mench became interim dean.
He has served the department in several roles since coming to UT in 2008, including director of graduate programs and as associate department head. Prior to that, Ekici was a research associate at Duke University from 2001-08, a research and teaching assistant while earning his doctorate at Purdue University from 1997-2001, and a research and teaching assistant while earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, from 1990-97.
His research interests include unsteady aerodynamics, fluid-structure interactions, and computational fluid dynamics. In recent years, he has been involved in projects seeking to make wind turbines more efficient, as well as being a key member on a $50 million US Army-sponsored project the university is developing.
Ekici is the recipient of several awards, including an NSF CAREER Award, a 2015 MABE Department Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, a 2013 MABE Department Outstanding Young Investigator Award, and a 2012 MABE Department Outstanding Teacher Award.
He is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, Sigma Xi, and Sigma Gamma Tau.