T. Dwayne McCay (Ph.D., Auburn University, 1974) became president and CEO of Florida Institute of Technology on July 1, 2016. Under his leadership, Florida Tech established a faculty tenure program, constructed the Gordon L. Nelson Health Sciences building, a multi-million dollar center for biomedical engineering and research, and weathered two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. McCay came to Florida Tech in July 2003 as its provost and chief academic officer. He became the executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO) in January 2011. As COO, Dr. McCay was responsible for all operating units of the university and reported directly to the president as the number two executive in the university.
Prior to Dr. McCay’s position at Florida Tech, he served as vice president for research and information technology for The University of Tennessee System where he was responsible for oversight of statewide UT research and information technology (IT) and the UT-Battelle management contract for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Dr. McCay was previously at The University of Tennessee Space Institute, where he served as Alumni Distinguished Service Professor of Engineering Science and program chair of engineering science and mechanics, and was chosen in a national search in 1993 as the chief executive officer for the campus.
Prior to joining The University of Tennessee in 1986, he served in several organizations: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (senior engineer, branch chief, division chief), the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (senior research physical scientist) and ARO Inc. (research engineer).
He taught as an adjunct professor at several universities (Auburn University, California State at Fresno, University of Alabama at Huntsville) and has more than 100 technical publications to his credit including two books. In addition, he has been awarded 16 patents (two of which have resulted in spin-off companies) and served as a reviewer for several journals. He was associate editor for the Journal of Propulsion and Power from 1991–1993.
While in both Florida and Tennessee, Dr. McCay served on numerous economic development boards and chaired the Tennessee Valley Aerospace Region board, as well as serving as chairman of The University of Tennessee Research Corporation board, the intellectual property agent for The University of Tennessee. In 2009, he was appointed by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to serve on the Education and Outreach Committee of the NASA Advisory Council.
Dr. McCay is a Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inductee (2017) and is a National Academy of Inventors Fellow.