Illinois Tech Appoints Kenneth T. Christensen as Provost
Illinois Institute of Technology appointed Kenneth T. Christensen to the role of the university’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in June 2023. Christensen had been serving as Illinois Tech’s interim provost.
“Ken has been an exceptional interim provost, leading the university through continued growth in enrollment, the launch of groundbreaking new degree programs with Coursera, and the establishment of important new research and workforce initiatives, such as our partnership with DMG MORI to create a new national center for advanced manufacturing,” says Illinois Tech President Raj Echambadi. “He has an excellent mix of vision and practical experience, combining the strategic planning and institutional expertise needed to help Illinois Tech continue to grow and thrive.”
“I am honored to have been chosen to serve as provost, and I am deeply committed to the mission of advancing technology and innovation for all,” Christensen says. “I am also inspired by our plans for continued growth at Illinois Tech, broadening the impact of our mission by dramatically expanding the number of students we serve.”
Christensen first joined Illinois Tech in November 2020 as the Carol and Ed Kaplan Armour College Dean of Engineering Endowed Chair. He came from the University of Notre Dame, where he was the Viola D. Hank Professor and chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences.
During his time as interim provost, Christensen successfully guided the university through a period of sustained growth and enrollment, including the launch of innovative degree programs with Coursera and forging strategic partnerships such as the alliance with DMG MORI to create a new national center for advanced manufacturing; the Midwest Semiconductor Network; the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2); and Chicago ARC, an initiative to enable market-driven, scalable solutions to address health inequities. As provost, he will continue to oversee key research initiatives, cultivate strategic partnerships, and promote academic offerings that create new revenue streams and expand the university’s reach.
Christensen has authored more than 200 archival journal articles, book chapters, and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. His research focuses on complex interactions within various engineering systems, such as flow interactions with complex bedforms and multi-phase flow within heterogeneous porous structures.