Honorary Membership Recipient David Wormley

Mar 18, 2011

by ASME.org

David N. Wormley knew early on that he wanted to be an engineer, and as he sees it, this is “a wonderful time in many ways to be an engineer.”

He is the son of an engineer and remembers taking tours of the factory where his father was a manager. He recalls that he was asked in junior high school to write an essay on what he wanted to be. “At that point, I said I wanted to be a mechanical engineer,” he said. “As fate would have it, I have certainly followed that plan.”

Today, David Wormley, Ph.D., is the Harold and Inge Marcus dean of engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. According to Dr. Wormley, “This is an especially propitious time for engineering and mechanical engineering. In these recent times I think it’s very clear that there is much more national appreciation and interest in the contributions that engineering can make both to the national economy and to many of the major pressing issues that we face in the country.” He added, “When we look at the impact, or the potential for impact of engineering in the nation, I think that it’s never been greater.”

Mr. Wormley's research is in the area of dynamic systems and control with applications to transportation systems.
Dr. Wormley is recognized with Honorary Membership in ASME for exceptional leadership in the engineering profession and educational field, including service on numerous governmental and university committees.

Before Dr. Wormley joined Penn State, in 1992, he was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and then as associate dean of engineering.

His research is in the area of dynamic systems and control with applications to transportation systems, fossil fuel power plants, and fluid power systems. He has worked closely with industry and currently serves on the boards of the Michael Baker Corp. and the Sun Hydraulics Corp.

Dr. Wormley has served as chair of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Directorate Advisory Committee and chair of the Executive Committee of the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board. He also served on the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on Assessing the Capacity of U.S. Engineering Research, and the National Research Council’s Committee for a Study of the Motor Vehicle Rollover Rating System.

He has served on numerous university and professional advisory committees, associated with institutions including Carnegie Mellon, Iowa State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas, Boston University, and the National Academy of Engineering Advisory Committee to the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education.

His research is described in more than 100 papers and reports, and he is co-author of the textbook System Dynamics: An Introduction (Prentice Hall, 1996).

An ASME Fellow, Dr. Wormley served as vice president of the Systems and Design Group (1991-92). Earlier activities include chair of the Technical Panel on Transportation (1970-77), member of the Fluidic Committee (1968-76), chair of the Applied Mechanics Committee on Transportation (1979-88), member (1981-89) and chair (1988-89) of the Dynamic Systems and Control Division Executive Committee, and associate editor of the Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control (1977-81). He received a Lewis Moody Award (1970) and Dynamic Systems and Control Education Award (1998).

Dr. Wormley is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education, where he served as president (2006-07). He also served on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Engineering Education (1991-2002), and was chair of the Engineering Deans Council (2001-04) and the Council’s Public Policy Committee (2000-01).

He received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at MIT in 1962, 1964, and 1968, respectively.

There is much more national appreciation and interest in the contributions that engineering can make.David N. Wormley