First female chancellor to lead aeronautics finest at Embry-Riddle Prescott

By Victoria Harker of Chamber Business News

Abridged from piece originally published by Chamber Business News on July 24, 2019

A mechanical and aerospace engineer and highly awarded academic has been named the new chancellor of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s campus in Prescott, Arizona.

New Chancellor Anette Karlsson, the first woman to hold the position in the aviation and engineering school’s 41-year history, said she is excited about carrying on its mission to lead research and prepare future leaders for military and private industry. 

“I’m honored to join the dynamic Prescott Campus of the world’s leading aviation and aerospace university,” said Karlsson, a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering who has a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Rutgers University. 

Karlsson said her leadership style will be “highly collaborative.” “As Embry-Riddle’s new chancellor on the Prescott campus, listening, learning and gaining trust will be important first steps for me,” Karlsson said. “That will be an essential foundation for us as we work together to elevate Embry-Riddle’s Prescott campus.” 

As Karlsson steps into her new role, the campus just experienced its largest graduating class since its inception in 1978. More than 400 students graduated. Forty-six received military commissions.

Karlsson arrives from Cleveland where she was a professor and dean of the Washkewicz College of Engineering at Cleveland State University (CSU) for seven years. During her tenure at CSU, the College of Engineering almost doubled the number of undergraduate students, and secured funding for and completed construction of a new, state-of-the-art engineering building, said Jianping Zhu, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Cleveland State. 

Prior to working at CSU, Karlsson chaired the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware. Earlier in her career, she worked as a research and design engineer for Saab Missiles and Saab Aerospace, and as a technical attaché of material science for Sweden’s Embassy in the United States. Her research interests focus on the thermo-mechanical properties of advanced materials with an emphasis on the durability of materials used in clean energy production.

Karlsson’s impressive honors and awards include the U.S. Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and the University of Delaware’s E.A. Trabant Award for Women’s Equity and Young Scholars Award of the Francis Alison Society.

Karlsson succeeds Frank Ayers, who was chancellor for the past decade.

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