Dr. Robert J. Parden is Professor and Chair of the Engineering Management Department, School of Engineering, Santa Clara University. In 1955 he was appointed the second Dean of the School of Engineering and served in that position for 27 years. During this period he played a significant role in the technical and industrial growth of the Silicon Valley.
Dr. Parden was responsible for the planning and construction of the George L. Sullivan Engineering Center, and for bringing the curriculum, faculty and laboratories of the university into the solid-state electronics and computer sciences age. In 1959, Dr. Parden founded the “Early Bird” graduate engineering program within the School of Engineering. This program was the first in the Silicon Valley to offer working professionals the opportunity to earn a graduate degree while employed full time. In 1978 he founded and organized solely within the School of Engineering the Master of Science in Engineering Management program. Through Dr. Parden’s vision, leadership and “customer orientation,” these programs have awarded over 3,500 Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in the fields of Applied Mathematics, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Engineering Mechanics.
Dr. Parden has served on the Planning Commission of the City of Saratoga and the Board of Directors of the Institute for Medical Research of Santa Clara County. Dr. Parden is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, the Engineers Council for Professional Development, the American Institute of Industrial Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Iowa and California, and is cited in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Engineering. Dr. Parden received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa.