Q&A with Dr. Jennie Gallimore
Dean of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering is excited about all the opportunities in the college
By Bob Cunningham ’18
Dr. Jennie Gallimore is the new dean of the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering. This past fall semester was her first at Bowling Green State University. Gallimore came to BGSU from Wright State University, where she held a number of leadership positions, including associate dean for research and graduate studies since 2015. Before serving in that role, she was executive director for professional development in the college from 2012-15. She also was director of the Ohio Center for Excellence in Human-Centered Innovation from 2009-12. Gallimore has the distinction of being the first tenure-track female faculty member in her college at Wright State. Her administrative experience includes developing partnerships with external groups such as the Air Force Research Laboratory, serving as director of a center comprising representatives from industry and academia, and, internally, participating in negotiations for Wright State’s collective bargaining agreement. She is experienced in the accreditation process, including ABET, which is also held by BGSU’s electronics and computer engineering technology and engineering technology programs. As a professor of industrial and human-factors engineering, she held joint appointments as a professor of surgery in Wright State’s Boonshoft School of Medicine and professor of computer science and engineering. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in experimental psychology, both from California State University, Northridge, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research from Virginia Tech.
Q. Now that you’re in your second semester here at BGSU, what were your first impressions of the University in the fall?
A. The first thing that comes to mind is, Bowling Green State University has a beautiful campus. Everyone is friendly and open, and it’s easy to see how much everybody here really cares about the students and wants to help the University do great things. I’ve felt very welcome here from the beginning. I’ve talked to faculty, staff and other deans, and they’ve been very helpful and welcoming. The faculty and staff here in technology care about the students and they really want to see this college move forward. They are excited about new opportunities that we are going to be working on for new programs. I think that this college is going to change in many ways moving forward.
Q. Can you speak to your impressive background in technology?
A. I am very interested in how humans interact with systems. My engineering degree was very focused on industrial, human factors and systems engineering. The whole idea is that when we design things, we design them for human use. That’s why I focused toward technology and engineering and design of systems because we, as people, can’t change, and we often have to interact with technology that is poorly designed. Technology is fast-growing and changes very quickly. We have to think about who will be using these systems in the future. I use scientific knowledge about humans and apply it to different types of systems, including health care systems or computer-interfaced systems. I’ve worked in aviation quite a bit. All systems have to be designed with the user in mind. That’s why my research looks very diverse, and yet it’s really about how do you design systems for people?
Q. Was BGSU’s on-campus airport a big draw for you?
Q. I was excited about this college because it has such a diverse portfolio. It has many different areas in engineering and technology. Aviation, of course, is an area in which I have conducted research. For aviation to be safe and efficient, how we teach aviation, the design of aircraft and the design of national airspace system are all important. The fact that aviation is one area of education that the college provides was a draw for me. The college, in general, has so much opportunity. There are so many ways that this college can grow, so that’s what excited me about coming to BGSU — the opportunities for us to grow as a college. We’re doing really well in the flight training area, but we have other programs, including aviation management and airport operations that are also doing well. There are a lot of opportunities in advanced manufacturing, in construction and in architecture, as well as various types of engineering technologies. Our VCT department studies not only how people interact with technology, but how people communicate through technology. All of those things are really exciting areas.
Q. How important is it for current and prospective students to be involved in the growing robotics program on campus?
A. Our mechatronics program has a strong focus on robotics. Industry is developing more technology that designed to be autonomous, meaning robotic or automated. For example, in manufacturing robots, airplanes and cars that drive themselves, these systems require human supervision and intervention. So, it’s really important for students to consider how to design autonomous systems for safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The more we automate tasks humans can’t do well, such as lifting heavy objects or viewing objects in remote places, the more opportunities there are for humans to focus on decision making, judgment and design — human skills in which machines do not excel. There are many considerations about how humans interact with these technologies, and it’s an area ripe for growth.
Q. How will all the college’s new construction benefit the students as it moves forward?
A. The Technology Building is going to be renovated starting in the summer and lasting through the summer of 2020. The building can help us change the way we do business with more collaborative classrooms, spaces and labs that are really the next level in education and technology. We’re actively looking for industrial partners to talk to about our programs. We want to engage all of our stakeholders: the students, faculty, community and industries as we build toward the future. We want our partners to help us design our future programs and workspaces so our students have the best education and best job opportunities when they graduate. The idea is to obtain state-of-the-art technologies for this building. We’re ready to renovate the building, start new programs and take off.