University Affairs

USU Names David Jones as Dean for College of Engineering

By Marcus Jensen |

David Jones has been named as the dean of the College of Engineering. Jones joins USU after serving as a professor in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From 2017-23, Jones was the department head of the UNL Biological Systems Engineering Department from 2017-2023. (Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

LOGAN, Utah — After a national search, Utah State University has selected David Jones to lead the College of Engineering as dean. Jones will assume the position on October 1, 2024.

“As a trained engineer myself, I can say unequivocally that the fields of engineering are vital for both our state and national economy,” said USU President Elizabeth R. Cantwell. “By bringing in Dr. Jones– a respected expert in the field– we are strategically positioning our College of Engineering for the future. Dr. Jones’s leadership will empower our students to create that future.”

Jones joins USU after serving as a professor in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His specializations include mathematical modeling, food engineering, and risk assessment. He has made many contributions in the areas of processing alternative crops, thermochemical conversions, circular bioeconomy systems, and developing models for risk-based decision making. He has published over 100 refereed articles and book chapters, has advised numerous postgraduate students, and received numerous awards for teaching and service to students.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Jones will be the next dean of the USU College of Engineering,” said university Provost Laurens H. Smith. “David’s career experience, leadership talent, and passion for engineering and its place in the world makes him a perfect fit for the future of the college. David brings his devotion to student and faculty success to USU, and he will lead with a clear understanding of the present landscape of higher education, its challenges, and its incalculable benefit to society. I am confident the college will be in great hands.”

Jones has held several positions of leadership at his previous institution. Most recently, he served as the department head of the UNL Biological Systems Engineering Department from 2017-2023.

“I am pleased to join President Cantwell, Provost Smith, and their team in helping lead Utah State University,” said Jones. “My interest in the role of dean stems from the challenges and opportunities of leading a vibrant college that is expanding impact in Utah, the nation, and world. The USU College of Engineering is grounded in the heritage of the land-grant system and is an ideal platform for service and leadership. I am looking forward to joining the students, staff, and faculty in fulfilling our potential.”

During his tenure at UNL, Jones was instrumental in developing the Biological Systems Engineering curriculum and provided vision and leadership in delivering excellence in undergraduate engineering education. He led the Biological Systems Engineering Department to record research expenditures.

His leadership prompted adoption of best practices in continuous improvement of courses and curricula; increasing the number and quality of undergraduate engineering students; and developing culture and practices to deliver engineering curricula on multiple campuses. He led the imagination and implementation of the Complete Engineer Initiative, a framework to enhance academic, professional, and personal development of engineering students.

Prior to this position, he was the associate dean for undergraduate programs in the UNL College of Engineering. Jones was made a professor in 2004 and has been teaching full time since 1989. He began his work in education as a teaching and research assistant at Texas A&M University in 1984.

He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University and a doctorate in Agricultural Engineering from Oklahoma State University.

Jones will succeed Jagath Kaluarachchi, who has served as dean of the College of Engineering for the past eight years. Kaluarachchi announced he would step down as dean in November 2023, effective June 30, 2024. Until Jones begins his deanship, Thom Fronk, associate dean for the College of Engineering, will act as interim dean.


Marcus Jensen
News Coordinator
University Marketing and Communications


Matt Jensen
Public Relations and Marketing Director
College of Engineering

Logan Wilber
News Director
University Marketing & Communications


New Leadership 16stories

Comments and questions regarding this article may be directed to the contact person listed on this page.

Next Story in University Affairs

See Also