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Larry Howell new BYU associate academic vice president

Academic Vice President C. Shane Reese has announced the appointment of Larry L. Howell as the new associate academic vice president for research and graduate studies at Brigham Young University.

Howell fills the post left by Alan R. Harker, who is retiring after nearly 25 years at BYU. The appointment is effective July 1, 2019.

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A professor of mechanical engineering, Howell was most recently an associate dean in the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering.

“Larry Howell is a respected teacher with a distinguished research career as a pioneer in the use of origami-like structures in compliant mechanisms; he brings tremendous experience and expertise to the research endeavor at BYU,” said Reese. “I am thrilled with his willingness to take the reins from Alan Harker, whose wonderful contributions to research and graduate studies spanned almost 9 years, including a significant period of construction and growth at the University. Alan’s impact on BYU is significant and his contributions to the AVP office will be missed.”

The former chair of the mechanical engineering department, Howell received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from BYU, and master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.

Howell’s research focuses on compliant mechanisms, including origami-inspired mechanisms, space mechanisms, microelectromechanical systems and medical devices. He is the co-editor of the Handbook of Compliant Mechanisms and the author of Compliant Mechanisms, which are published in both English and Chinese . His lab’s work has also been reported in popular venues such as Newsweek, Scientific American, The Economist, Smithsonian Magazine and the PBS documentary program NOVA.​

Prior to joining BYU in 1994, Howell was a visiting professor at Purdue University, a finite element analysis consultant for Engineering Methods, Inc. and an engineer on the design of the YF-22 (the prototype for the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor). He is a Fellow of the American Society of mechanical Engineers (ASME), past chair of the ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Committee and has been an associate editor for the Journal of Mechanisms & Robotics and the Journal of Mechanical Design. He is the recipient of the ASME Machine Design Award, ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Award, Theodore von Kármán Fellowship, NSF Career Award, Purdue Outstanding Mechanical Engineer (alumni award) and the BYU Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Lecturer Award (BYU’s highest faculty award).