Carnegie Mellon University has named Jonathan (Jon) Cagan, the George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering, interim dean of the College of Engineering. He will assume the duties of interim dean on Jan. 1, 2019, when current dean, James H. Garrett Jr., begins his tenure as provost.

The announcement was made by CMU President Farnam Jahanian, after consultation with Garrett and Interim Provost Laurie R. Weingart.

“Jon is the ideal person to step into this role,” Jahanian said. “With almost 30 years of experience at CMU, he brings extraordinary passion and expertise to this position, as well as a legacy of leadership to the College of Engineering that has enhanced its research and education mission.”

Cagan currently serves as associate dean for graduate and faculty affairs and chief academic officer of the College of Engineering. Among other efforts, he co-led the strategic plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and its implementation, including the formation of the new dual Ph.D. partnership with Howard University; developed a new integrated master’s program with Computer Science; and oversaw the revision of core faculty and student policies.

Jon brings extraordinary passion and expertise to this position, as well as a legacy of leadership to the College of Engineering.

Farnam Jahanian, President, Carnegie Mellon University

He also has served as associate dean for strategic initiatives where, in part, he focused on enhancing Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Silicon Valley. Cagan also co-led the 2013 strategic planning process for the College of Engineering, helping to set the stage for new college initiatives.

Cagan started as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at CMU in 1990 after completing his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. His personal research interests are in engineering design automation and methods—merging AI, machine learning, and optimization methods with cognitive science problem solving. He co-founded and co-directed the Integrated Innovation Institute and two of its programs as an outgrowth of his teaching and research in design methodology and practice. Cagan is the epitome of advanced collaboration, having worked with engineers, psychologists, neuro-scientists, marketers, designers, and architects in his work. 

For media inquiries, please contact Sherry Stokes at stokes@cmu.edu.