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Spencer Magleby

Director, Honors Program | Brigham Young University


Why Honors? When asked if I would be the Honors Director, I reflected deeply. Could I do a good job? Could I add value for students? Would I like it? Would peers think I was hoity-toity (yes, a term from my ancient childhood)? Here is why I said yes to Honors.

  • Because I wanted to hang out with awesome students engaged in their education.
  • Because I had a real need to push out the boundaries of my own discipline.
  • Because I love the Maeser Building.
  • Because I want to work with faculty across campus who expand my thinking.
  • Because I have a goal to make the world a better place.
  • Because I wanted to be more hip, cool and groovy (more terms from the 70’s that all Honors students should know).

And just so you know, every day I do feel a bit more hip, cool and groovy.

Dr. Magleby is a professor of Mechanical Engineering and was appointed director of the Honors Program in 2016. He was previously the Associate Dean for the College of Engineering and is currently an Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. He came to BYU in 1989 after 6 years in the aircraft industry developing design tools, and has taught engineering design at the graduate and undergraduate level. He is a co-founder of the BYU Capstone Program. As Director of the Honors Program, he has developed and taught new curriculum on Interdisciplinary Thinking and Leadership. In his leadership roles at the College of Engineering he guided development of study abroad programs for engineers. He has advised over 60 graduate students and helped oversee more than 260 undergraduate and graduate design projects. Dr. Magleby received BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from BYU and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A complete CV can be found at

Professor Magleby’s research is aimed at improving the processes and tools of engineering design and technology development with a focus on mechanical systems, compliant mechanisms, product design and collaboration He has also investigated and published on engineering education topics including leadership and global competencies. Recent work has explored the use of origami to inspire innovative mechanisms and product designs. He is the co-inventor on over 20 patents. Lists of his publications and examples of his collaborative work can be found at