By Bob Mihalek
Wright State University
FAIRBORN — Darryl K. Ahner, Ph.D., dean for research at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, has been appointed dean of the Wright State University College of Engineering and Computer Science, effective July 3.
Michael L. Raymer, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is serving as the college’s interim dean during the 2022–2023 academic year.
“Dr. Ahner’s combination of leadership, scholarship and service experiences makes him uniquely qualified to lead the College of Engineering and Computer Science,” said Wright State Provost Amy Thompson. “He aims to create an environment where faculty, students and staff can thrive. As dean, he will foster a community that values inclusiveness, integrity, ingenuity, accountability, competence and honesty.”
Ahner said he is excited about the opportunity to work with students, faculty and staff and local community members to advance the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS).
“There is a strong demand for engineers and computer scientists across the region and nationally,” Ahner said “I look forward to leading the College of Engineering and Computer Science in providing transformative opportunities for our students, both in and out of the classroom, as they develop into competent, confident problem-solvers to meet this need. President Susan Edwards and Provost Amy Thompson have built a strong foundation of recruitment, retention and relationships toward ensuring student success, and I plan to continue this work with the staff and faculty of CECS in enabling our students to excel in their lives and chosen careers.”
As dean for research at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Graduate School of Engineering and Management, Ahner leads the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and manages a $36 million research program. He provides advice and assistance to the chancellor, administrators and faculty on research, technology transfer, strategic communications, outreach and partnership activities.
In addition to serving as dean, Ahner is a professor of stochastic operations research.
Since he joined AFIT in 2010, he has also served as the director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Scientific Test and Analysis Techniques in the Test and Evaluation Center of Excellence, director of the Center for Operational Analysis and professor in the Department of Operational Sciences.
In 2021, he received the Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service — the Secretary of Defense’s highest civilian award — for workforce development and consulting activities.
Before joining AFIT, Ahner served on the faculty and as director of the Army Research Laboratory Mathematical Center of Excellence at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and as director of research of the U.S. Army Research Center at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Ahner’s research emphasizes the optimization of test and evaluation, autonomous systems, big data analytics, reliability, stochastic models, simulation and military operations research applications. He has written 35 peer-reviewed articles, 28 proceedings and several book chapters.
A first-generation college student, Ahner graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (aerospace). He then served 22 years in the U.S. Army in leadership and technically demanding positions, retiring from the Army in 2012.
Ahner earned a Ph.D. in systems engineering from Boston University, a master’s degree in operations research and statistics and a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a graduate certificate in computer engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.