Penn State Great Valley School of  Graduate Professional Studies

John I. McCool Ph.D

Professor of  Engineering
Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies
30 East Swedesford Road Malvern, PA 19355
Phone: (610) 648-3255 Fax: (610) 889-1334

Go to Biography and Publications

John I. McCool is a Professor of Systems Engineering in the  Engineering Division at  Penn State Great Valley and has been a full time faculty member since 1988. His entire career prior to 1988 was spent as a member of the research organization of SKF Industries Inc., a multinational manufacturer of ball and roller bearings.  His last position held at SKF was titled Principal Engineering Scientist.  He was responsible for conducting corporate as well as federally sponsored research projects and was principal investigator for projects with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Naval Air Propulsion Center, the Department of Energy and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.  He holds the B.S and M.S. Degrees in Mechanical Engineering  from Drexel University and the Ph.D in Statistics from Temple University.

Two main themes in his research are 1) the tribology of rolling bearings with emphasis on rough surface contact and 2) reliability with emphasis on statistical inference for the Weibull probability distribution used extensively as a model of random phenomena in science and engineering

In 1991 he received an NSF grant to fund the acquisition of  a stylus instrument for the measurement of surface topography and inaugurated the Great Valley Surface Microtopography Lab.  The lab has conducted a number of projects for Industry.


Dr. McCool teaches graduate courses in applied statistics and operations research and has both lectured in and conducted, continuing education courses in the design of experiments, reliability and bearing technology for Penn State and for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, (ASME). Graduate courses taught include Engineering Statistics, Quality Control, Design of Experiments, Reliability, Decision Analysis, Systems Optimization, Probability Models and Simulation and Applied Data Mining. . 
Service activities have included chairmanship of the Research Committee, joint chairmanship of the Great Valley Budget and Strategic Planning Committee, secretary and vice-chair of the Great Valley Faculty Senate.  From 1988 to 1998 he served as Great Valley coordinator of the program in Industrial Engineering.  In 1994 he founded the Great Valley Student Branch of the American Society of Quality (ASQ) and serves as its faculty advisor.  He is a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of ASQ and since 1997 has been the coordinator of the Chapterís activities in celebration of National Quality Month. He organized and has  lectured in a Symposium on Statistical Methods held annually at Great Valley and jointly sponsored by the Philadelphia Section of ASQ and the PSGV Engineering Division.  He was the recipient of the Great Valley Faculty Senateís award for Service in 1995 and their award for Research in 1999. In 2000 he received the Philadelphia ASQ Section Hoffer award for promoting statistical thinking. In 2005 he was named Fellow of the ASQ.

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