Dean's Bio

James M. Meagher, Ph.D.
Interim Dean

James (Jim) Meagher joined the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1988 as an assistant professor; he was awarded tenure and promotion to full professor in 1994. Meagher served as acting department chair during the 2004-2005 academic year, and as the chair from 2014 until 2017. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Akron and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Meagher’s areas of scholarship include rotor dynamics and modeling of high-speed rotating machinery. During his career at Cal Poly, Meagher helped establish the Donald E. Bently Center for Engineering Innovation, serving as founding director of the mechanical engineering research center from 2004-09. He also helped found the Bently Computational Facility and the Solar Turbines/Bently Nevada Vibrations and Rotor Dynamics Laboratory, one of the foremost undergraduate facilities of its kind.

In 2005, Meagher worked with Dr. Rolf Hertz of the Munich University of Applied Sciences to create a summer short course in Munich, Germany. That program evolved into a partnership in which more than 100 Cal Poly and half of the mechanical engineering faculty have participated.

In addition to his teaching and research activities, Meagher served as faculty advisor to the Cal Poly chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for 25 years, earning him the ASME Dedicated Service Award in 2004, the Engineering Student Council Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award in 1996 and 2002, and the ASME Region IX Richard A. Fritz Faculty Advisor Award in 1996.

As interim dean, Meagher hopes to add momentum to the development of a new Engineering Projects Center, and to enhance diversity and promote inclusivity in the college.