Dr. Joseph Ritter became academic dean in fall 2014. He joined the faculty in 1995 as an assistant professor of chemistry, attaining the rank of professor a decade later. He has served as chair of the Chemistry Department, director of the Engineering Science Program, and faculty advisor to the Principia College Solar Car Project. He is the Edith and Lewis White Distinguished Professor. A longtime faculty mentor with invaluable experience and irrepressible enthusiasm for project-based learning, he assumed the post of assistant dean of academics in 2008 and associate dean of academics in 2010.
Before coming to Principia, Dr. Ritter earned a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and a PhD in chemical engineering, along with an MS in computer and information science, from the University of Delaware. In 1989, he joined the Amoco Oil Research and Development Department in Naperville, Illinois, where he worked in artificial intelligence and directed the cooperative education program. In 1992, he moved to the Whiting (Indiana) Refinery as a process control engineer and, later, an operations engineer.