About Jim Conwell
President Jim Conwell is passionate about science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. When he took office as Rose-Hulman’s president in 2013, Conwell brought with him a commitment to lift the quality and quantity of STEM-graduates in the United States. A member of the STEM Higher Education Council, he joins a national effort to improve STEM education to keep America competitive.
“Rose-Hulman is uniquely positioned to help shape the next generation of scientific and engineering problem solvers with the institute’s environment of individualized student attention and support,” Conwell said when appointed to the STEM council in 2014.
Conwell brings to this mission years of Fortune 500 business and academic success. As vice president of Jacobs Engineering Group, he led one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of engineering and technical services to primary markets. He led engineering projects around the world in automotive, defense, mining, oil/gas, aerospace and pharmaceuticals.
After earning his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University, Conwell moved to Louisiana State University where, as an associate professor of mechanical engineering, he developed a funded center for technology to assist disabled individuals, a special interest he continued to pursue later as chairman of the department of mechanical engineering at Grove City College. As an educator, Conwell’s teaching skills were recognized with awards at Vanderbilt and Louisiana State.
In addition to his research and teaching, Conwell assisted Sverdrup Engineering, a company known for wind tunnel technology, to design and build new test facilities, including wind, thermal and other environments for the automotive industry. Sverdrup later merged into Jacobs Engineering, where, in 1999, Conwell became vice president and one of three original members of a special unit that would grow to a workforce of more than 400 with annual revenues of more than $100 million.
The Rose-Hulman board of trustees, with the help of alumni and campus communities, selected Conwell as the institute’s 15th president in 2013 with an eye to expanding global outreach as envisioned in Rose-Hulman’s strategic plan.
“I share a common aspiration with Rose-Hulman: a knowledge and passion that meeting the next wave of global challenges will require strong technical, creative thinkers who can work with diverse groups to bring results and solutions,” Conwell said when named president.
Conwell and his wife, Angela, a mechanical engineer, have two grown children. In his spare time, he enjoys flying as an instrument-rated private pilot.