Born in Pittsburg, Kansas, Professor Jered Dean has gone through every level of the Mines experience – student life, graduate studies, and even teaching. He balances a growing family and a dynamic career. Dean’s current life is not what he ever imagined it would be. “Take your master plan with a grain of salt,” he said.
After growing up in a family of five with two older siblings, Dean began his studies at Mines as an undergraduate with a mechanical specialty. Upon graduating, he married his wife who also attended Mines. She currently teaches in the Math department. Dean then worked for a company called Syncroness, starting out as a “CAD jockey.” “My initial responsibility was converting paper schematics into 3D models,” said Dean. As his career progressed he began doing real design work and eventually leading projects. Projects would last from around three to four months up to one and a half years.
Three and a half years later, Dean returned to Mines for two years of graduate school, where he obtained his Masters in Engineering with a systems specialty. “I give a lot of credit to Dr. Muñoz; he let me audit a class which spurred my interest in returning to school. He also facilitated my opportunities for research. I had a great experience working with Dr. Muñoz and Dr. Braun on my graduate research.” In this time, Dean also taught Statics, was a research assistant at NREL, and conducted freelance product design on the side.
After obtaining his Masters degree, Dean once again returned to Syncroness for two and a half years, before coming back to Mines to teach again. He currently teaches statics and is a faculty advisor for Senior Design. As an adjunct, Dean also does product development consulting.
There is more to Dean than just his impressive history of careers and educational achievements. He is also the proud father of three young boys. “Having three boys is kind of crazy; I can’t keep up with the destruction at home,” said Dean. “My 5 year old knows how to patch walls at this point, so that helps.” Although he may be busy, Dean said he would not have it any other way. “I never saw myself being where I am today, but it is better than anything I had planned.”