Retired Army engineer picked to lead School of Engineering
Retired Army Col. Ronald W. Welch began work July 1 as the new dean of The Citadel School of Engineering.
Welch comes to The Citadel from the University of Texas at Tyler where he was a professor and chairman of the newly founded Department of Civil Engineering within the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Before that he was a professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“Ron Welch brings to The Citadel not only an outstanding academic resume but two decades of military leadership and service that combined will enable our School of Engineering to continue to grow and to provide principled leaders for all walks of life. I am happy to welcome him to The Citadel family,” said Sam Hines, provost and dean of the college.
Welch is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he earned a bachelor of science in engineering mechanics. He received his masters and doctor of philosophy in civil engineering from the University of Illinois.
In addition to teaching, Welch’s research focus has been on behavior of structural systems, Homeland Security initiatives, teaching pedagogy and educational activities surrounding faculty development, curriculum redesign associated with the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge, and teaching pedagogy. Since 1999, he has served as a mentor, program developer and coordinator of the nationally renowned Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
During two tours at West Point, Welch served in leadership positions as group director of the Mechanics Group and then the Civil Engineering Design Group, director of the Civil Engineering Division, and deputy head of the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department. After nearly 25 years on active duty he retired in 2007. While in the Army he served in numerous leadership positions, including as an operations officer responsible for the construction of schools, dispensaries and wells in El Salvador and Ecuador and various platoon, company and battalion command positions where he was responsible for training and welfare of soldiers and supported combat engineering operations and construction projects.
Welch succeeds Dennis Fallon, who stepped down in June after 23 years teaching and leading the engineering program. Fallon was the founding dean of the School of Engineering. He will remain on the faculty as distinguished professor of engineering and will teach undergraduate and graduate classes this fall.