Long-time engineering science and mechanics professor Joseph Rose retires

January 09, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — During his 45 years of teaching, with 27 of them at Penn State, Joseph Rose often used storytelling and his own life’s lessons in class to help students transition from academia to the “real world.” Now, Rose has added a new chapter to his story — retirement.

An international leader in the fields of wave mechanics, ultrasound and ultrasonic guided waves, Rose served in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) since 1992 as the Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Design and Manufacturing in the College of Engineering. He has applied for a professor emeritus position within the ESM department.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Penn State and all my years of teaching — the work was like being on a vacation every day, as I could work on projects or teach courses that I was passionate about,” said Rose.

During his time with the department, Rose was the principal adviser to 40 doctoral students and more than 60 master’s students. He has been honored by the University for his teaching and research with a 2011 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award, a 2002 Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Premier Research Award, a 1997 PSEAS Outstanding Research Award and a 1996 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement.

Rose has also received numerous industry awards for his innovative work in ultrasonic guided waves for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring, including the 2014 Roy Sharpe Prize from The British Institute for Non-destructive Testing (BINT), the 2014 Mentoring Award from the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), the 2011 International Society for Optics and Photonics Smart Structures/ NDE Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2006 ASNT Research Council Award for Innovation and the 2003 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nondestructive Evaluation Engineering Division Founders Award. He was also honored for his accomplishments in ultrasonics at the 16th U.S. National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 2010.

Rose began his academic career at Drexel University as an assistant professor in 1970. In 1988, he was named Albert and Harriet Soffa Professor in Mechanical Engineering, a position he held for three years. While at Drexel, he advised 20 doctoral students. Rose also worked in industry for several years at Hale Fire Pump (known today as Hale Products) and SKF Group.

He earned a doctorate in applied mechanics from Drexel University in 1970 and a master’s degree in applied mechanics from Drexel Institute of Technology (DIT), now named Drexel University, in 1967.

Rose is a Fellow of ASNT, ASME, BINT and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He holds 30 patents, has authored five text books and published more than 600 articles on such topics as ultrasonic NDE, wave mechanics, medical ultrasound, adhesive bonding, pipe and tubing inspection, bridge and rail inspection, composite material inspection, ice detection, structural health monitoring, signal processing and pattern recognition. His publication work has received more than 18,000 citations.

Rose is also the founder and chief technology officer for Guidewave (FBS, Inc.), which plans, designs, builds and maintains guided wave solutions for pipeline, rail, aviation, power generation, manufacturing, civil infrastructure, natural gas and oil, nuclear and military industries.

At Penn State, Rose taught a class titled Business Opportunities in Engineering, where he alerted students to the many entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship paths to success. One of his most famous quotations for both engineering and business students that he’ll be remembered for is “Failure is on the path to success. If you’ve never failed, it means that you are not doing anything.”

Rose said he will certainly not be sitting still in his retirement. He intends to continue guided wave research and product development as it relates to structural health monitoring. He also plans to interact with Cliff Lissenden, professor of engineering science and mechanics, and the department’s four new ultrasonics faculty members.   

He also will spend more time doing the things he loves — spending time with his family, being involved with church activities, golfing, reading and enjoying the mountains and seashores.

“I will miss many things and many people, but mostly, I will miss my interaction with graduate students and helping prepare them for successful careers,” he said.

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Last Updated October 17, 2019