Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Wade Troxell


Office: 330 Scott Building, MS 1301

Phone: 970-491-6618


Dr. Wade O. Troxell

Associate Professor

Mechanical Engineering

School of Biomedical Engineering

Systems Engineering

Dr. Wade Troxell is an associate professor of mechanical engineering with affiliations with systems engineering, biomedical engineering, the Nancy Richardson Design Center, the Center for Ethics and Human Rights, and the master’s program in Public Policy Administration.  His research interests are AI -incorporated design and intelligent robotic systems.  His teaching interest are in AI and Design, design as exploration, and capstone design.  He is a Fellow and lifetime member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.  He was a NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow in the department of artificial intelligence at Edinburgh University, Scotland.

Dr. Troxell established NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in Colorado and Wyoming and served as the Executive Director for five years. He was the founding director of the CSU Manufacturing Excellence Center. He served as Walter Scott College of Engineering associate dean for research and economic development for ten years. During this time, he helped to form the Systems Engineering department and the Biomedical Engineering program. 

Dr. Troxell is a past Mayor of the City of Fort Collins, the fourth largest city in Colorado.  He served three terms as Fort Collins’ 56th mayor. He received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizing the City for its unceasing drive for innovation, leadership, and continuous improvement. He received the US Mayors Challenge recognition with the Champion City Award from Bloomberg Philanthropies. He was in the first cohort of 40 mayors in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, an executive program of Harvard School of Business and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He currently serves on the board as vice chair for Realities for Children.

Mayor Troxell is past president of the Colorado Municipal League that represents Colorado’s 272 cities and towns. He served as chair of the board on the Platte River Power Authority, chaired the National League of Cities – University Communities Council and co-chaired the Transportation & Infrastructure Services Committee, and chaired the Northern Colorado Regional Airport Commission. He served on the FAA Drone Advisory Committee appointed by US DOT Secretary Chao. Before serving as mayor, he was twice elected as a Fort Collins City Council member.

Dr. Troxell co-founded Sixth Dimension, Inc., a provider of a communications and control network for the electric power industry integrating distributed energy resources into the grid. As president/COO, he led the company through three rounds of venture financing ($18 million). Sixth Dimension was acquired by Comverge.  He is an emeritus founding member of the GridWise Architectural Council and a past board member of the GridWise Alliance. He is the principal of Distributed Energy Futures, LLC.


  • Executive LeadershipBloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, 2015-2021, Harvard School of Business and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, 1987-1988, Department of Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh University. 
  • Ph.D. 1987, Colorado State University—Mechanical Engineering
    • Dissertation title, “Systematics for Automatic Planning in Robotic Assembly.”  The primary contribution was a generative artificial intelligent (AI) planner to task level robotic assembly processes. Major advisor: Dr. Gearold R. Johnson, Abell Professor of Computer Assisted Engineering.
  • M.S. 1982, Colorado State University—Mechanical Engineering
    • Thesis title, “An Interactive Variable Force Exercise System.”  Major advisor: Dr. Gearold R. Johnson.
  • B.S. 1980, Colorado State University—Engineering Science


Honors and Awards

  • 2021 – awarded the “Sam Mamet Good Governance Award” by the Colorado Municipal League honoring a Colorado elected official who exemplifies and seeks to expand the application of principles of good governance. 
  • 2018 – awarded the US Mayor’s Challenge by the Bloomberg Philanthropies of $1.1 million as Champion City.
  • 2018 – appointment to the FAA Drone Advisory Committee by US Secretary of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.  
  • 2017 – Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizing the City for its unceasing drive for innovation, leadership, and continuous improvement.
  • 2017 and 2007 – Twice awarded the university’s Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, Colorado State University
  • 2007  – elected Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • 2007 – awarded the George T. Abell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Economic Development, College of Engineering, Colorado State University
  • 2007 and 1999 – Twice recognized with the Distinguished Service Award. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.