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K-State Today

August 25, 2020

Eckels named department head of mechanical and nuclear engineering

Submitted by Mary Rankin

Steve Eckels, department head, mechanical and nuclear engineering

Steve Eckels, professor and director of the Institute for Environmental Research at Kansas State University, has been named department head of the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, effective Aug. 9. He will also hold the title of the Steven M. and Kay L. Theede chair in engineering.

The announcement was made by Matt O'Keefe, dean of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. Eckels had been serving as the interim head of the department since July 1, 2019.

Having joined the faculty in mechanical and nuclear in 1993, Eckels went on to become director of the Institute for Environmental Research in 2001. His research interests there have been focused on the human interface with the built environment and the systems that make the environment sustainable. A primary interest involves modeling the heat transfer, mass transfer and fluid flow that occurs in and between the human body and the surrounding environment.

Active in the international ASHRAE organization, he was the first recipient of the ASHRAE New Investigator Award and in 2014 received the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award. In another leadership role, he has served as chair of the graduate committee for mechanical and nuclear engineering since 2007.

Eckels has received the College of Engineering Hollis Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, the President's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Meyers-Alford Teaching Award. He has also received two Faculty Appreciation Day Awards for Outstanding Leadership by a Faculty Member, awarded by the Student Advisory Council for the College of Engineering, as well as being a recipient of the department’s Outstanding Educator Award.