June 4, 2007
By Colleen Girton
James Rankin, interim vice president for research at Ohio University and director of the Russ College's Avionics Engineering Center, will become associate dean for research, graduate studies and planning in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
Rankin will replace Angie Bukley, who is leaving the university to pursue her life's passion of space research as assistant vice president for research and development at The University of Tennessee Space Institute. Rankin will begin his new duties Jan. 1 following the conclusion of the search for a vice president for research.
Rankin, who joined the Avionics Engineering Center in 1997, has nearly 30 years of experience in avionics research and design in both academic and industrial positions. He has been involved with numerous NASA and FAA grants and contracts.
"I hope my experience as a center director and researcher, and my service to the vice president for research office will be an asset to the Russ College as we seek to increase research and creative activity," Rankin said.
Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin pointed to Rankin's wide range of knowledge of Russ College research activity. "That, and the organizational skills he has developed over a long career of university administration," Irwin said, "make him an ideal choice for this important position."
Bukley, who hopes one day to perform research in space, is eager to again work on satellites and space transportation systems. "Coming to Ohio University literally changed my life. While I'll miss it ever so much, I'm thrilled by the opportunity to again pursue my dreams," Bukley said.
Rankin previously chaired the Department of Electrical Engineering at St. Cloud (Minn.) State University. He holds aircraft single-engine, multi-engine and instrument ratings and is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of many engineering and aviation organizations.
He holds a master's degree and doctorate in electrical engineering, with emphasis in control systems, from Iowa State University. His bachelor's degree is from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Interim Avionics Engineering Center Director Michael Braasch will continue in that role while a national search for a permanent director is conducted. Michael Prudich, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Russ College, will become interim associate dean for research and graduate studies for the Russ College.