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About Jim Conwell

Dr. James C. Conwell is a native of McMurray, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh.  He is the 15th President of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, ranked as the top undergraduate engineering school in America for each of the last 19 years.

Dr. Conwell received a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee. Following his time in Knoxville, he began a professional career with Procter and Gamble, where he served as both a project engineer and an engineering manager.  In 1986, he enrolled at Vanderbilt University, where he completed his PhD in 1989.  In addition to educational and research opportunities, Vanderbilt also provided him the opportunity to serve as the instructor for a number of undergraduate classes. 

Upon graduation from Vanderbilt, Dr. Conwell took a faculty position at Louisiana State University and ultimately, Grove City College. His research at both of these institutions focused on developing assistive devices for the disabled.  At Grove City College, he held several administrative positions, which included serving as the Mechanical Engineering Department Head and as the College’s Director of Computing Initiatives.

The next step in his professional career was as principal in a start-up specializing in the design and build of specialized test facilities, including jet engine test stands, rocket engine test stands, and both high-speed and low-speed wind tunnels.  He has worked in more than 25 countries and was licensed in a number of states and the European Union as a professional engineer. His company was sold to Jacobs Engineering, where Dr. Conwell then served as a senior vice president overseeing design/build projects in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and mining industries.

Dr. Conwell began his tenure at Rose-Hulman on May 1, 2013, after a national search, bringing to the Terre Haute campus both academic and industrial experience, including a successful 20-year global engineering career. His focus at Rose-Hulman is on growing the name recognition of the school and increasing the opportunities for students from across the world to attend the nation’s top undergraduate engineering school.

He and his wife Angela, also a mechanical engineer, have two adult children—Anne, who is finishing her doctorate of nurse practitioner, and James, a third-year medical school student.


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