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Chip Ferguson

Chip Ferguson


College of Engineering and Technology

Engineering and Technology

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.7368
Office: 161 Belk Building


Dr. Chip W. Ferguson is an Associate Dean in the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) and a Full-Professor in the School of Engineering + Technology at Western Carolina University (WCU). With over 25 years of higher education experience, he has received numerous awards for his professional work, including the George Reeser Outstanding Faculty Award (1 of 4 in 20 years); WCU’s Innovative Scholarship Award; The Chancellor’s Meritorious Award for Engaged Teaching; CET’s Board of Governor’s Faculty Teaching Award; MARC Industries Inc. Association for Rehabilitation Centers, Directors Award; and the CET’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising.<br><br>Dr. Ferguson has held several leadership positions in higher education and has served on numerous regional, state, and national boards. He has also led (PI) or co-led (Co-PI) multiple grant projects totaling over 3.7 million in external funding from the National Science Foundation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory WHD; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Golden LEAF Foundation, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Dr. Ferguson has also mentored multiple student engineering design teams working on externally funded design projects that sought to develop new products for both the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and the Army Research Office. Two project resulted in U.S. patent applications. He has published more than forty articles in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and in 2022 he and three co-authors received the Journal of Engineering Technology’s Best Paper Award. Dr. Ferguson’s past industry experience was in the design/development of hydrostatic drive and automated fluid power systems for applications in manufacturing, agricultural, and construction environments.<br><br>Dr. Ferguson’s current professional passion is found in helping and mentoring students and junior faculty. His current scholarship and funded project interests are focused on technical design/product innovations that benefit society, and working to improve the access, development, and retention of engineering and engineering technology students. With full understanding of the power of the engineering degree to open incredible career and socioeconomic opportunities for graduates, where they can help others through innovative designs and work in one of the highest paying professions, his continued work seeks to better understand the hurdles and interventions needed to increase engineering graduation rates for rural first-generation college students, females, and other under-served groups.


  • EDD, Western Carolina University, Educational Leadership - Higher Education Curriculum and Instruction
  • MS, University of Southern Mississippi, Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • BS, University of Southern Mississippi, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Teaching Interests

Engineering design graphics, 3D constraint-based computer modeling, engineering fundamentals, engineering statics, strengths of materials, fluid power, and new product design and development.

Research Interests

Applied research areas include product design and development, SoTL research areas include STEM education, undergraduate research, Project Based Learning, and Spatial visualization skills development

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