March 17-18, 2005
ITEM 126-2002-R0305 Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering upon Michael Wells; Montana State University-Bozeman
THAT: Upon the occasion of the retirement of Michael Wells from the faculty of Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for his services to the University, the Montana University System, and the people of the State of Montana.
EXPLANATION: Michael Wells has had a distinguished career in
mechanical engineering and engineering education. He
received Bachelor’s degrees from both Occidental College and the California Institute of Technology and Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. Dr. Wells held positions at Litton Industries (1969-1970), NASA Ames Research Center (1970-1971), The Ohio State University (1971-1973) and Colorado State University (1973-1981) before joining the MSU College of Engineering in 1981.
During the 1970s Dr. Wells and his colleagues were engaged in groundbreaking research in cardiovascular dynamics and diagnostic ultrasound. He and his students were the first to measure the hydrodynamic details of coronary artery blood flow. His research in biomedical engineering contributed to the development of several of today’s clinical tools and techniques for the noninvasive assessment of cardiac performance.
At MSU, Professor Wells established funded programs for designing and providing assistive technology to individuals with physical disabilities. Most noteworthy was the USDA-funded Montana Agribility Program which ran for eight years in conjunction with the MSU Cooperative Extension. Agribility targeted farmers and ranchers with disabilities and provided education, information and assistive technology to numerous individuals and families throughout Montana. Wells was also active in science education and, for several years, worked with high school science and math teachers to incorporate aspects of engineering and design in high school curricula.
Dr. Wells served on numerous department, college, and university committees. He was instrumental in designing the first MSU Core Curriculum and, along with three other appointed faculty, established initial goals and procedures for the first MSU Long Range Planning Committee.
At the national level, Dr. Wells was active with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and served as Bioengineering Division Program Chair, founding member of the ASME Board on Minorities and Women, member of the Board on Pre-College Education, and member of the Council on Education. Dr. Wells was elected Fellow of the ASME in 1992.
Professor Wells’s teaching specialties are in mechanics and design. He is known as “a teacher who cares” and his innovative approaches to teaching engineering and enthusiasm for the subjects have earned him numerous awards from ME students. For 20 years, Dr. Wells supervised the capstone engineering design course in mechanical engineering and worked with industrial sponsors to provide real-world engineering problems for the senior students. He also coordinated the ME Internship Program. Several student design teams supervised by Dr. Wells have won awards in national student design competitions. Wells held two teaching appointments at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand (1996 and 1998). He was instrumental in establishing the MSU-University of Canterbury Exchange Program for undergraduate engineering students. Dr. Wells has taught students throughout the US and in New Zealand via internet-based distance education. Currently, Dr. Wells holds an appointment of Honorary Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Professor Wells has been recognized for his contributions to the practice and teaching of mechanical engineering: Erskine Scholar, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1996); Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (elected 1992); MSU College of Engineering Outstanding Instructor (two awards); MSU and Bozeman Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence (6 awards).
For these and other contributions, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer upon Dr. Michael Wells the rank of Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at Montana State University and wishes him/her well for many years in the future.