Five faculty earn endowed positions within Bagley College

May 1, 2013

Five faculty members have earned new endowed professorship and chair positions in the Bagley College of Engineering.

Jenny Du, Isaac L. Howard, Jonathan W. Pote, David S. Thompson Hossein Toghiani formally accepted these positions April 23 at the Faculty Excellence Dinner.

There are 17 endowed chair positions and 14 endowed professorships within the BCoE, each named for teachers, companies and individuals who have excelled in their fields and want to ensure continued development and growth in engineering.

The five recently endowed faculty members are (alphabetically):

Jenny Du has earned the Bobby Shackouls Endowed Professorship. She currently serves as an electrical and computer engineering associate professor. Her research focuses on areas of remote sensing image processing and analysis, such as target and change detection. She earned her doctoral degree in electrical engineering in 2000 from the University of Maryland.

An active member of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society and the International Society of Optical Engineering, she currently serves as the chair for the remote sensing and mapping technical committee of International Association of Pattern Recognition and the co-chair of the data fusion technical committee. Author or co-author of more than 200 scientific publications, Du earned the organization’s best reviewer award in 2010. She is associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing and Signal Processing Letters, as well as being guest editor for five journal special issues.

Isaac L. Howard, an associate professor, has been named the Materials and Construction Industries Endowed Chair in civil engineering. The Construction Materials Research Center is a part of the civil and environmental engineering department and focuses on improving the quality of transportation systems and infrastructure through education and research.

Howard has been vital in the development of a four-course engineering graduate program focused on paving materials with classes including pavement materials and design, and material characterization. He has authored more than 50 peer reviewed papers including several published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists and the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. He received his doctoral from the University of Arkansas in 2006.

Jonathan W. Pote became the first recipient of the William and Sherry Berry Chair. Now in his 28th year at Mississippi State, he currently serves as the head of the department of agricultural and biological engineering. Among other leadership roles he’s help at the university, he most recently spent four years as associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

With two patents to his name, Pote is involved in water quality, management and conservation, and environmental planning research. He is also an active member of a variety of professional and academic societies, including the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and the Institute for Biological Engineers. He earned a doctoral degree in biological and agricultural engineering from the University of Arkansas.

The William and Berry Sherry Endowment focuses on improving the agricultural and biological engineering department as a whole.

David S. Thompson was named to the American Eurocopter Professorship, a new professorship for the college. He is an aerospace engineering associate professor and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in the areas of mechanics and aerodynamics. He was inducted into the Bagley College Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2010, He also serves as the associate director and computational fluid dynamics group leader at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems providing oversight and direction in those areas. While at MSU, he has been principal investigator on externally-funded grants and contracts totaling more than $3 million. He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has received two awards from NASA for his work in the field of aircraft icing. He received an aerospace engineering doctoral degree in 1987 from Iowa State University.

Hossein Toghiani is an associate professor in the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering. He has earned the Tommy M. Nusz Endowed Professorship, a new professorship within the BCoE. He has been published 91 times and teaches undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering classes. Inducted into the college’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2007, his extensive materials and energy engineering research has influenced graduate student research and helped secure external funding He also chairs sessions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and serves as the faculty adviser for the MSU chapter of the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. He earned his doctoral degree in 1988 from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

For more information about endowed positions within the Bagley College of Engineering, visit the college’s website at

By Mary Kate McGowan