ME Ph.D. Graduate Selected for the John P. and Mary Jane Swanson Endowed Professorship

We are proud to announce that Bucknell University recently selected one of our outstanding Ph.D. graduates, Ben Wheatley, ’17, for the John P. and Mary Jane Swanson Endowed Professorship position.

Dr. Wheatley will begin at Bucknell University’s mechanical engineering department this fall as a tenure-track assistant professor. Along with his academic and research achievements at CSU, Dr. Wheatley was a Mechanical Engineering Graduate Ambassador, the vice president of finance for the Graduate Student Council, a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the CSU Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, and was published for his orthopaedic and education research. He was also highly involved in extracurricular activities throughout his undergraduate career, and he believes that these invaluable experiences contributed to his hiring at Bucknell.

Dr. Wheatley knew he wanted to pursue academia as a career during his time at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., as an undergraduate engineering student. “I always thought my professors had the best job – performing research, educating young minds, and having the freedom to define their own path in many ways,” he said.

When Dr. Wheatley was accepted into CSU’s graduate program, his research interests aligned with Dr. Tammy Haut Donahue’s and he began working in her lab, focusing on the characterization and modeling of the mechanical properties of skeletal muscle and understanding its function in the human body.

“Ben has truly been a pleasure to work with for the last fi ve years. He has excelled in research, teaching, and service. His scientific advances in the area of muscle mechanics and modeling will revolutionize the field and be cited as a major advancement in the understanding of skeletal muscle behavior in the 21st century. His contributions to the development of a flipped, active learning classroom for our Introduction to Mechanical Engineering freshman course will lead the way as the department continues to bring new education techniques into the curriculum. I have no doubt that Ben will be a leader at Bucknell University as he moves into an independent academic career,” said Dr. Haut Donahue.

The John P. and Mary Jane Swanson Endowed Professorship is designed to assist young faculty in both their research and teaching endeavors, and we have no doubt Dr. Wheatley will shine in this role, and continue to make an impact just as he did at CSU. “The commitment of the department, particularly by Dr. Haut Donahue, to my success has enabled me to take the next step in my career. If I had chosen another program, I am certain I would not be where I am today, and for that I am very thankful,” Dr. Wheatley said.