A longtime Montana State University professor has been selected to lead MSU’s fastest-growing college.
Brett Gunnink, who has served as a civil engineering professor at MSU for more than 10 years and as acting dean of the MSU College of Engineering since July 2012, has been named the new dean of the College of Engineering, university officials announced Tuesday. He will assume his responsibilities on Jan. 1.
“Dr. Gunnink will be an excellent leader of the College of Engineering,” said MSU Provost Martha Potvin. “He has a wealth of knowledge and experience as an engineering professor that will serve him well in this position, and – as we have already witnessed as he has served as acting dean – his administrative abilities are top-notch.”
A national search for the position resulted in a pool of 50 applicants, Potvin said. Four finalists visited campus last week. Kenning Arlitsch, dean of the MSU Library, was chair of the search committee.
At MSU, Gunnink also served for 10 years as head of the civil engineering department and as Joel T. Long Professor from 2006-2012. Prior to coming to MSU in 2002, Gunnink served for 15 years as a professor in the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as well as a research assistant and teaching assistant at Iowa State University. He has also worked as a geotechnical engineer.
"I am humbled and honored to have been selected to be the next dean of the MSU College of Engineering,” Gunnink said. “The people that comprise the college – the students, staff, faculty and alumni – are extraordinary, and I am very excited to be able to continue to work with the other MSU deans, Provost Potvin and President Cruzado. I am looking forward to leading the College of Engineering as it continues to grow in size and stature.”
Gunnink has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering, a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering, and a doctorate in civil engineering materials, all from Iowa State University. He has been licensed as a professional engineer in the state of Montana since 2002.
Gunnink served as acting dean of the MSU College of Engineering while Dean Robert Marley participated in an American Council on Education fellowship. Gunnink continued to lead the college when Marley assumed the duties of interim vice president for student success.
For the second year in a row, MSU's College of Engineering was recognized this fall as the university's fastest growing college, with 3,102 students declaring an engineering major. That is 12 percent higher than the 2,768 students who enrolled the previous fall. In addition, MSU College of Engineering students have won some of the most prestigious national and international scholarships, including Rhodes, Marshall, Udall and Goldwater scholarships. Last year, MSU engineering students won three of the university's four Goldwater Scholarships.
Contact: Martha Potvin, (406) 994-4371 or firstname.lastname@example.org