Montana State University

College of Engineering

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173820
Bozeman, MT 59717-3820

Tel: (406) 994-2272
Fax: (406) 994-6665
Location: 212 Roberts Hall

Dean and Director:

Brett Gunnink

Robert J. Marley, Ph.D.

Robert J. Marley

As of July 1, 2013, Dr. Marley is Montana State University's Interim VP for Student Success.

Beginning July 14, 2014, Marley will assume the role of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo. Read the details in a new window...

Robert J. Marley
212 Roberts Hall

B.S. Wichita State University 1983  
M.S. Wichita State University 1987  
Ph.D. Wichita State University 1990  

Dr. Robert J. Marley served as the Dean of the College of Engineering at Montana State University from 2001 until 2013. Dean Marley began his professional career in 1983 at the Rehabilitation Engineering Center in Wichita, Kansas, where he helped design adaptive technologies to allow severely disabled adults to perform simple occupational and home tasks. This led him to pursue advanced degrees in industrial engineering specializing in ergonomics and human factors engineering.

After completion of his doctoral studies, Marley began an academic career at Montana State University in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department in 1990. His early career research focused on the areas of upper-extremity and low-back cumulative trauma disorders as well as work measurement and engineering safety. This work has resulted in several notable achievements including numerous citations in landmark OSHA publications related to ergonomics. He is author of over 70 refereed publications including one textbook, recently released in a 2nd edition. A new Spanish language version of this book is also now being utilized throughout Mexico, Central America and Spain.

Dr. Marley continues with limited teaching and research activities in the department. For example, he has begun to focus on ergonomic design and human factors engineering in surface transportation systems, particularly related to special populations (e.g., elderly and disabled). He is also collaborating with other engineers and scientists in an attempt to better understand biomechanical effects upon the human body when captured by snow avalanche flows. Fatalities and serious injuries as a result of avalanche are among the most common resulting from exposure to any other natural force. Yet little is known about the biomechanical aspects during such exposure and how special technologies may help mitigate the hazard. Dr. Marley is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Ergonomics Society, the Institute for Industrial Engineers, and other related professional organizations and he is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE).

Dean Marley has also maintained a keen interest in engineering education issues, particularly those related to the management of higher education and mechanisms to improve opportunities for women and minorities in science and engineering fields. In this capacity, he has been either Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on several Federal and privately funded projects totaling over $2.3 million.

Marley has been active in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and was awarded the Dow ASEE Outstanding New Faculty Award in 1994 in addition to serving as Section Chair and winning the Outstanding Campus Representative award in the Pacific Northwest Section in 1999. From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Marley served on the Board of Directors of ASEE as Chair of Zone IV where he represented the interests of engineering educators in 15 western U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

On a personal side, Dr. Marley's family roots run deep in Oklahoma, Kansas and Kentucky, though he can't think of a more fantastic place to live and work than Montana! He is a tribal member of The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and proud that the Cherokee were among the first Native American peoples to have a written language and an established constitution.

When not at the office, Dr. Marley is probably at home--working. And when not in the office or at home, he is likely traveling for work. But despite a hectic schedule, Dr. Marley and his wife, Margaret, enjoy many outdoor activities in Montana including hiking, biking, skiing, rock and ice climbing and hunting. They both also enjoy collecting old junk (Margaret refers to these as antiques) including furniture, firearms and some classic "muscle cars" (they might even accomplish rebuilding one someday).