Achille Messac, a New York higher education administrator and faculty member, is Mississippi State University’s new engineering dean. The appointment of to lead the university’s James Worth Bagley College of Engineering is pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning. He will be MSU’s first African American dean.
At Syracuse University, Messac has been serving as chair and distinguished professor of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral graduate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, he previously held administrative and faculty positions at the Troy, N.Y.-based Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was a faculty member at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. Messac, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Haiti and fluent in French, also holds MIT bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering. He began his professional career in 1981 with the internationally recognized Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass.
Messac will succeed Sarah Rajala, who left earlier this year to accept a similar position at Iowa State University.