Short Bio


Extended Bio (For a Copy of Dr. Noori’s CV, you may contact him at: mohammad.noori@gmail.com)

Dr. Noori is an experienced and visionary academic leader, educator and an accomplished scholar.  Most recently, he served as the Dean of Engineering at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), 2005-2010.  During Noori’s tenure as the dean, the College of Engineering at Cal Poly grew to become the 6th largest college of engineering in North America in undergraduate enrollment and was ranked by the US News and World Report, three times, as the best college of engineering among all public non-doctoral granting institutions. During a sabbatical leave in 2010-11, he served as a special advisor to the Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SNUST) and Seoul Techno Park, Seoul, Korea assisting them to develop innovative multi-disciplinary programs through a partnership with the research centers and industries in the Techno Park.    Prior to joining Cal Poly, Noori served as the RJ Reynolds Professor and the Head of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University (1999-2004), and as the John Woodman Higgins Professor and the Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1991-1999).  Dr. Noori has also been invited as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar by top universities in Japan and China. He received his BS degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1977, and his MS from Oklahoma State University in 1980 and his PhD from the University of Virginia in 1984; all three degrees in Civil Engineering.

Engineering Education - Throughout his university career, Noori has spearheaded innovative endeavors for improving engineering education through innovative strategic partnerships between academia and industry. He has spearheaded and promoted interdisciplinary project-based education programs that incorporate social and technical challenges.  He has also developed innovative outreach programs to promote STEM education.  He is an active member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and has served as the secretary and the program chair and presently serves as the Chair of the Graduate Studies Division of ASEE. Noori was a founding member of ASEE National Collaborative Task Force for Engineering Graduate Education Reform.  He is an ABET evaluator and has chaired external review teams for the assessment of graduate and research programs.   Noori was elected and served as a member of the Executive Board of the Engineering Deans Council (EDC),  the leadership body of all engineering colleges in the U.S. and Canada.  Most recently, Noori was the keynote speaker at the Annual Conference of Korean Society for Engineering Education and a plenary speaker at the International Capstone Design Fair in Seoul, Korea. He has also been invited to the California State Senate and Congressional hearings on STEM education and presented a testimony at a State Senate hearing.  Noori has also presented several invited and keynote talks on the impact of Engineering Grand Challenges on engineering education.  Noori has received prestigious awards in recognition of his teaching.

Industry-Government-University Partnerships and Outreach – Noori has been a pioneer in establishing Industry-Government-University partnerships, and has spearheaded the creation of industry-university-government consortia, and global collaborations. These partnerships have resulted in innovative industry sponsored interdisciplinary project-based undergraduate and graduate programs, innovative curriculum, graduate fellowships, applied research, founding industry project centers, and outreach programs.  He founded and served as the director of a multi-university-industry consortium, the Center for Loss Prevention and Structural Integrity (CLPSI-http://clpsi.ceng.calpoly.edu/), headquartered at WPI.  He initiated a unique collaborative education program between WPI, the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, and several other universities that was supported by several major corporations. He also served as one of the seven members of a multi-university team that prepared the winning proposal that founded the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA- http://www.ncsu.edu/nia/), in Hampton, Virginia in September 2002.  NIA is a consortium of six universities (Georgia Tech, Univ. of Maryland, Virginia Tech, Univ. of Virginia, NC State Univ., and North Carolina A&T) and AIAA Foundation, in partnership with NASA Langley. As announced by NASA in September 2002, “…The [NIA] contract could be worth as much as $379 million… over 15 years.” NIA was originally awarded $69 million from NASA for cooperative research and $49 million for task order contracts for the first five years of operation. Noori also served as a founding member of the NIA Board of Directors, a member of the NIA Technical Advisory Committee, and as one of six NIA Liaison Professors.

At Cal Poly, Noori created a Project Based Learning Institute (PBLI); an academic “incubator” and a catalyst for university-industry-government partnership for multi-disciplinary education, research and engineering workforce preparation. By its third year of operation, PBLI brought in $600,000 per year in industry funds to support the faculty, projects and innovative programs.  Noori also served as a member of the Board of Directors of California Space Authority (CSA), a nonprofit organization representing the commercial, civil, and national defense/homeland security interests of California’s diverse space enterprise community. Noori has also served as an advisor to the Seoul Techno Park, in Seoul, Korea. He has also developed other multi-university academic programs including a doctoral program between Cal Poly and the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, and initiated a plan to develop a joint doctoral degree program between Cal Poly and Naval Post Graduate School in California. By capitalizing on unique partnerships with industry, at all three institutions where he has worked, Noori has introduced innovative programs that directly involved industry in all aspects of curriculum, outreach, teaching, research and facilitated professional development opportunities for faculty. For instance, among other accomplishments, these partnerships resulted in innovative outreach efforts that increased the female freshman enrollment in the College of Engineering at Cal Poly by 42% and the Hispanic enrollment by 22%.  In a report, “Top 100 Degree Producers” published by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine in August 2010, Cal Poly Engineering ranked 7th in the US in undergraduate degrees to Hispanic students.  Overall, the diversity in the college increased to an all-time record of 43% minority, international, and non-white; the most diverse College at Cal Poly.  In addition, during a serious fiscal crisis, industry partnerships initiated by Noori helped the college to sustain its eminence in engineering education through significant financial support and leverages provided by industry.  His exemplary collaborative efforts have resulted in educating a better-rounded engineering workforce, have inspired innovation, and have resulted in enhancing the learning, scholarship and engagement practices within the national engineering education community.

Strategic Planning Interests – Noori has also led, or has been a member of the development team for, several successful strategic plans for academic institutions and other organizations.  He spearheaded several strategic planning efforts at WPI and NC State which resulted in significant expansion and enhancement of the graduate programs, creating faculty and graduate student fellowships, multi-million dollar research and educational facilities, and extensive sponsorship of projects, laboratory facilities, scholarships and endowed programs, through partnerships with industry.   He was a member of the team that developed the first Strategic Plan for NIA,  a plan that positioned NIA as a key partner with NASA for implementing President Bush’s Exploration Initiative for Space. He also served as a member of the team that developed the Space Enterprise Strategic Plans 2007-2010 and 2010-12 for the California Space Authority. At Cal Poly, Noori initiated a strategic plan with the goal of establishing the College of Engineering as a leader in multi-disciplinary project based education and applied research. The plan was built on four major interdisciplinary thrust areas and created the Vision, Lead Engineering Education and Innovation to Serve Humanity. He established a Project-Based-Learning  Institute (PBLI) as a vehicle for implementing this plan.  Among other accomplishments, PBLI spearheaded  the development of several innovative programs in partnership with industry and created the first multi-disciplinary senior design program at a major university in the US. Recently, Noori has been assisting two major universities in Korea and China to develop five year strategic plans.

University Administration, Fund-Raising, and Leadership- In his nineteen years of administrative experience as a department head at both private and state institutions, directing two multi-university research centers and programs, and as a dean of one of the largest colleges of engineering, Noori’s leadership has resulted in enhancing the national visibility and ranking of his organizations, the development of creative educational and research programs and building strong partnerships. He has also led major fund-raisings that have generated over $38 million dollars in support of academic programs, faculty, and infrastructure. He served as one of the seven members of the Cal Poly Steering Committee for a $450 million dollar Capital Campaign. He also served as a member of the WPI Steering Committee for a $200M Centennial Capital Campaign, and served as a member of the College of Engineering Steering Committee for a $275 million fund raising campaign as part of NC State’s one billion dollar Capital Campaign. He has also headed other major successful fund raising endeavors.   During Noori’s tenure as a dean, despite the challenges facing Cal Poly and the State of California, and limited infrastructure support, under Noori’s leadership College of Engineering raised over $25 million, of which over $22.5M was in cash and equivalent. This amount was close to the total cash raised by the College during a University-wide Capital Campaign in 1998-05.

Noori has also served on several external advisory boards, including the advisory board of the colleges of engineering at Virginia Tech and Clarkson University. He has also served in other administrative capacities and has led several major university-wide planning committees and task forces. He has also participated in academic, government and industry advisory boards, such as serving as a member of the US delegation and NSF planning committees for US-Japan and US-China Cooperative Research programs. Noori also had the honor of being invited by President Clinton’s Special Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, to present a Testimony. Noori has been a keynote speaker and a panelist at numerous national and international conferences, NSF workshops, and symposia, including the biennial International Symposium for Engineering Education (ISEE), held in Seoul, Korea.

Research- Noori’s primary research interests are in random vibrations,  uncertainty quantification, multifunctional materials and adaptive structures, structural health monitoring, and earthquake engineering. Over the past twenty-seven years, he has received over $12 million in support of his research (excluding the NIA’s $379 million dollar program) from NSF, ONR, NASA, National Sea Grant and industry. Noori has supervised over sixty post-doctoral and graduate students research projects, has published over 200 journal and conference proceedings papers with his co-workers and holds two patents. Noori has served as the guest editor of several journal volumes, given over sixty-five invited and keynote lectures, serves as the associate editor of a journal in stochastic mechanics, as the technical editor of another international journal, and as a member of the editorial board of four other scientific journals.  Noori has served as a member of numerous proposal review panels for NSF, NASA, NRC, Arizona Science Foundation, Japan Society for Promotion of Science, Canada Research Council, North Carolina Board of Science and Technology,   Louisiana Board of Regents Research and Development Program, ASME Pressure Vessels Research Council and others. He has founded and chaired the ASME Committee on Uncertainty and Probabilistic and served on other technical committees and has chaired or co-chaired over 20 scientific and organizing committees of major international conferences.

Professional activities- Noori is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and has been the recipient of the prestigious Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Engineering Deans Council, and as the Chair of the ASME National Executive Committee of Mechanical Engineering Department Heads. He has received several service recognitions from ASME, and has been listed in numerous Who Is Who publications. Most recently, he was a member of a Panel on “The Future of Aerospace Industries in California,” along with Major General Thomas Taverney (USAF), Dr. Elachi, Director of NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and Enrico Palermo, COO of SpaceShip Company, at the “California Innovation Economy” workshop in Sacramento, organized by the California Council on Science and Technology and the California Space Authority, per request of Legislature. He has been a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies, he has served as an expert witness, and is a member of Sigma Xi, Pi Tau Sigma, Chi-Epsilon, and Sigma Mu Epsilon honorary societies.