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Kline Passionate About Innovation and Entrepreneurial-Minded Education
December 11, 2014
Building Better Communities: As Dean of Innovation and Engagement, William Kline has helped build a partnership between Rose-Hulman and Shelbyville, Indiana, and Shelby County
William A. Kline came to Rose-Hulman and Terre Haute, Indiana, a city known as the Crossroads of America, when approaching a crossroads in his engineering career.
A global machine monitoring company he co-founded, Montronix, changed ownership and strategic focus at a time of market shifts in the automotive and machine tool industries in 2001.
So, Kline took his expertise in operations management, systems engineering, and quality engineering into the classroom to teach bright, creative, and curious students to become innovators with an entrepreneurial mindset to become future leaders bringing value to their engineering career fields.
As Dean of Innovation and Engagement and professor of engineering management, Kline has a passion for develop student interest in innovation, entrepreneurship, and engagement, and helps lead Rose-Hulman’s efforts in these areas. The initiatives have included supervising a new Branam Innovation Center (BIC); organizing summer Innovation Workshops to encourage academic curriculum development; and encouraging the development of the Rose Innovative Student Entrepreneurs Club, Rose Startup workshops, and TEDx Rose-Hulman event.
Kline is also co-director of ESCALATE, a new living and learning community program that prepares students with a business awareness to become technical leaders. He also helped grow Rose-Hulman’s innovative economic development program with Shelbyville, Indiana, and Shelby County. The Innovative Model: Positioning Communities for Transformation (IMPACT 2016) is a five-year initiative to attract talent and business, and sets a foundation for future growth through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
“Being innovative and having an entrepreneurial mindset are essential qualities in today’s competitive business climate. These are skills that employers are seeking from tomorrow’s industry leaders,” says Kline. “Those engineers bringing value to the workplace will be the most successful in the future.”
With the rapid changes in technology and society today, innovation is a priority for all organizations. Innovation is the invitation to dream, the opportunity to reach, and a priority for all organizations to survive and thrive.
Kline joined Rose-Hulman’s Department of Engineering Management in 2001, teaching courses in systems engineering, quality, manufacturing systems, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In 2005, he was named Associate Dean for Professional Experiences and director of the Rose-Hulman Ventures program, which provides students with internships through sponsorship from leading technology companies. From 2010 to 2012, he served as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Dean of Faculty, providing leadership to 11 academic departments.
Kline was appointed Dean of Innovation and Engagement in 2012, and has promoted a culture and best practices of being innovative to educate students for careers in the ever-changing, high-tech world. That initiative has led to expanded student experiences in the BIC, the development of the Innovation Canvas project development tool, and has featured campus networking events with successful entrepreneurs, intellectual property attorneys, and alumni.
“Innovation is created through experiences,” says Kline, a three-time recipient of Rose-Hulman’s Excellence in Service Award. “Rose-Hulman’s role as a leader in undergraduate engineering, science, and math education will require us to always be on the cutting edge of innovative teaching techniques and learning experiences that deliver more value from every available resource. Engineers, scientists, and mathematicians will be the leaders of this implementation.”
Faculty Profile: William Kline, PhD
Dean of Innovation and Engagement
Professor of Engineering Management
- Bachelor’s Degree, Pre-Engineering, Illinois College, 1977
- Bachelor’s Degree, Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois, 1977
- Master’s Degree, Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois, 1979
- Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1982
Areas of Specialization: Engineering management and innovation, quality, systems engineering, product design methodologies, business and operations management
Courses Taught: Systems engineering, entrepreneurship, operations management, quality, and manufacturing systems