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Richard K. Miller, Ph.D.

Richard K. Miller

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and President Emeritus

On Leave


Ph.D., Applied Mechanics, California Institute of Technology
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, MIT
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Davis

Select Courses Taught

Issues in Leadership and Ethics
Mechanics of Solids and Structures


Applied Mechanics
Earthquake Engineering
Design of Deployable Spacecraft


2017 Brock International Prize in Education Laureate
2014 Fellow, National Academy of Inventors
2013 NAE Bernard M. Gordon Prize
2012 Member, National Academy of Engineering
2011 ASEE Donald E. Marlowe Award


Richard K. Miller was appointed President and first employee of Olin College of Engineering in 1999 where he served as the college's founding president until June 2020. Beginning September 2020 he will join MIT as the Jerome C. Hunsaker Visiting Professor of Aerospace Systems.

Prior to joining Olin, he served as Dean of Engineering at the University of Iowa, Associate Dean of Engineering at USC in Los Angeles, and assistant professor of engineering at UCSB in Santa Barbara. With a background in applied mechanics and current interests in innovation in higher education, Miller is the author of more than 100 reviewed journal articles and other technical publications.

He received the 2017 Brock International Prize in Education for his many contributions to the reinvention of engineering education in the 21st century. Together with two Olin colleagues, he received the 2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. Recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a member of both the NAE and the National Academy of Inventors. In 2011, he received the Marlowe Award for creative and distinguished administrative leadership from the American Society for Engineering Education. Miller served as Chair of the National Academies Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW), and Chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Science Foundation.

He has also served on advisory boards and committees for Harvard University, Stanford University, the NAE, NAS, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in addition to others. Furthermore, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank in the establishment of new universities in developing countries. A frequent speaker on engineering education, he received the 2002 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from the University of California at Davis, where he earned his B.S. He earned his M.S. from MIT and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, where he received the 2014 Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award. 

Listen to President Miller's podcast episodes on The Future of Higher Education on the web and listen on Apple Podcasts here.

Select Publications

Miller, R.K., “From the Ground Up” Rethinking Engineering Education in the 21st Century,” (2010) Proc. of the 2010 Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education, Union College, NY, June 3-4, 1-20.
Miller, R.K., “Some Challenges of Creating an Entirely New Academic Institution,” (2011) Chapter 7 in Organizational Learning Contracts, by Paul Goodman, Oxford University Press, 121-138.
Miller, R.K., “Olin College and the Future of Engineering,” (2010), in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11th Edition, by Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen, Pearson Longman, New York.
Curriculum VitaePersonal Website