Professional Summary

Dr. Jonathan E. Gaines is the inaugural Associate Chair for Inclusive Excellence at the G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. In this role he will collaborate with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to enhance and expand the Woodruff School’s efforts in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). He will also serve as the Chief Diversity Officer for the Woodruff School, helping to empower and advocate for others, considering the Woodruff School’s strategic plan and vision for a culture of inclusive excellence. Dr. Gaines will lead the implementation of this vision through his expertise in asset-based approaches, leadership development, and the leveraging of best practices in DEIB.

Previously, Dr. Gaines was the Assistant Director of Engineering Education Innovation for the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Inc. (AUCC) where he led collaborative initiatives between Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. In this role, Dr. Gaines advised senior leadership on best practices in engineering education and provided a comprehensive vision for the role engineering can play both within the AUC and amongst AUC partner institutions.

He also comes to Georgia Tech after a ten-year career serving as an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of South Florida (USF). There he was the inaugural Director of First Year Experiential Education and Learning, creating the first-year engineering design curriculum around principles of community engaged design. His expertise is in the areas of data acquisition, mechatronics, and engineering education research with emphasis on engineering identity and service-learning. At USF he leveraged these skills to create and develop leadership opportunities and outreach initiatives for underrepresented engineering students.

Before coming to USF, Dr. Gaines earned his doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech in 2011 and graduated from Morehouse College and Georgia Tech through the dual degree engineering program in 2005 with degrees in applied physics and mechanical engineering. He lives by the quote by Morehouse College visionary Benjamin Elijah Mays who once said “Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done”. As such, he strives to lead and inspire others to realize their potential to promote necessary and impactful change within the field of engineering.