Faculty Profile: Dr. Gary McDonald, UC Foundation Associate Professor; Department Head of Mechanical Engineering; and Director of Freshman Engineering and Transfer Students
Dr. Gary McDonald marks his thirty-second year of service to UTC as a member of the CECS faculty. After earning his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Tech, Dr. McDonald came to the College with expertise in the areas of thermal science and engineering mechanics. Dr. McDonald has led student orientations, helped with advisement, developed the College’s course schedule and room assignments, and coordinated Math Counts (a 7th and 8th grade math competition). While serving as the Head of the College’s largest academic unit, he still teaches each semester, and can be found on the first floor of EMCS in the Mechanical Engineering experimentation lab. As this photo depicts, one of his favorite service roles is that of Commencement Marshal. Over his three decades with the College, he has assisted in more than 30 commencement ceremonies.
Dr. McDonald service to the College and the University and his accomplishments include:
- A two-time recipient of University Outstanding Advisor Award, Outstanding Engineering Faculty member, Engineering Student Service Award, Young Engineer of the Year Award from the Chattanooga Area Engineers Club, Student Government Association Outstanding Professor Award;
- Advisor to Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society for over two decades;
- Coordinator of the Chattanooga Link of the Order of the Engineer;
- Former Advisor to the Society of Women Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; and
- Director of advisement, orientation, and outreach commitments of the freshman engineering programs of the College.
In nominating Dr. McDonald for the 2016 University Serving Students and the Public Award, Dean Pack said, “Throughout his more than three decades of service to UTC, Dr. McDonald’s work as teacher, scholar, and mentor, as well as his commitment to community service have been exemplary. Under his on-going leadership from 2000 as Director of Freshman Engineering and Advisement, he has been the primary point of contact for student advisement, course scheduling, student recruitment, and orientation for the entire College. In addition to his contributions to student matriculation and transition, Dr. McDonald’s work as advisor to student organizations, and service on University governing bodies and committees is extensive. In support of the College’s efforts in community partnerships in the public and private sectors, Dr. McDonald has strengthened the University’s relationship with Chattanooga State and other area community colleges, as well as middle and high schools. He has also fostered the expansion of beneficial partnerships with industry and local government. The range and depth of his commitments to our students and area partners for over three decades are truly outstanding.”
Dr. McDonald and his wife, Shirley, live in Ooltewah. Shirley is a middle school math teacher at Ringgold Middle School. Their daughter, Emily, is a high school math teacher at Red Bank High School.