Jeffrey Phillips, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer, power industry expert and former National Science Foundation Fellow, has been named the first director of Hanover College’s engineering program.
Phillips, who will begin his role at Hanover June 1, comes to the College after serving as a senior project manager at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent, nonprofit organization for public interest energy and environmental research.
For the past 10 years, Phillips has led EPRI’s Charlotte, N.C.-based research and development programs in advance fossil and renewable power generation. He is a recognized expert in carbon dioxide capture and storage. He also has substantial experience in the electric power, oil and gas, petrochemical and waste-to-energy industries.
“Hanover is very excited to have recruited such an experienced engineering professional to lead our new program,” said Hanover President Lake Lambert. “Dr. Phillips shares our vision for an engineering program with extensive industry partnership locally and regionally.”
Steve Jobe, the College’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, adds that Phillips "stood out in a pool of talented candidates because of his close acquaintance with and strong commitment to the values and the value of a liberal arts education."
Phillips combines his global energy experience with a passion for academia. In addition to his work with EPRI, he has also served as an adjunct instructor of engineering at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and as a guest lecturer in energy-related engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Lehigh University and Georgia Institute of Technology.
He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics at Austin College.
“I am excited by the challenge of starting a brand new engineering program, and the fact that it will entail merging the liberal arts with engineering is even more intriguing to me,” said Phillips. “For me, merging engineering with the liberal arts is not just an intellectual concept, it has been my life. Not only did I start my college career at a small liberal arts college founded by the Presbyterian Church in the 1800s, I was raised by a father who was an American history professor at that college.”
Hanover’s newly launched program is grounded in the ideas, skills and experience of engineering within a liberal arts environment. Critical thinking and creative problem-solving are emphasized, with a challenge to students to collaborate, communicate effectively, complete research projects and receive career training before graduation.
“All engineers are good at math and science,” adds Phillips. “If they were not, they never would have passed their engineering courses and graduated. What will set Hanover engineers apart is their ability to communicate, their ability to collaborate with other engineers and non-engineers, and their understanding of the wider world.”
The College’s engineering department offers two engineering degrees, the bachelor of science degree in engineering and the bachelor of arts degree in engineering science.
Hanover’s bachelor of science degree program offers coursework in mechanical, electrical, electromechanical and computer engineering. The track is designed for students who wish to pursue career paths in engineering or applied science working in industry, research or entrepreneurial endeavors. It prepares students for both advanced studies and professional employment.
The bachelor of arts degree program provides an interdisciplinary education in mathematics, science and engineering. The track encourages students to incorporate diverse cognate areas, such as business, economics or art and design. The curriculum prepares students to effectively pursue careers in engineering management, public service, business or entrepreneurship.
Prior to joining Electric Power Research Institute in 2004, Phillips worked as a vice president at Fern Engineering in Pocasset, Mass., (1998-2004) and as a senior research engineer at Molten Metal Technology in Fall River, Mass. (1996-97).
Phillips previously served as a mechanical engineer for the Shell Chemical Company in Belpre, Ohio (1995-96.), a technologist for Shell International in the Netherlands (1991-95) and as a research engineer for Shell Development Company in Texas (1986-91).