Walden takes wheel at CAVS; Dennis to lead CAVS Extension

Contact: Jim Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A major research center at Mississippi State University has a new leader.

Bagley College of Engineering alumnus Clay Walden is the new executive director of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at MSU. He succeeds Roger King, who retired in June after a distinguished career with the university.

“Roger is an outstanding colleague and friend, and all of us wish him the best in retirement,” said David Shaw, Mississippi State’s vice president for research and economic development.

“We believe Clay is the perfect choice to lead CAVS into the future, and are confident he will provide exceptional leadership for one of our most productive research centers,” he said.

CAVS is an interdisciplinary center comprised of research, engineering design and development, and technology transfer teams serving industry and government partners.

Walden has more than 25 years of experience implementing quality and productivity enhancements for a wide range of companies, including Mueller Industries, Nissan, Faurecia, PFG Optics, Dover Elevator, Tower Automotive, Herman Miller, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and others.

At MSU, he has managed more than $20 million in externally funded contracts primarily focused on improving manufacturing performance around the state.

A three-time graduate of MSU — earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering — he also is Six Sigma Black Belt certified.

Walden most recently served as director of CAVS Extension in Canton. Glenn Dennis has been named director of that unit.

CAVS Extension works to develop capabilities based on needs of the manufacturing enterprise, as well as assist Mississippi industries with logistics and risk management solutions, among other projects. It has received state, regional and national recognition for its work with advanced manufacturing companies. Most recently, the Mississippi Economic Development Council awarded CAVS Extension the Community Economic Development Award this past spring for its work to bring advanced manufacturing jobs back to America.

“We’re proud of the work we do to engage industry in order to create new economic opportunities that benefit every Mississippian. CAVS and CAVS Extension are perfect examples of the transformative power of university research and outreach, and I very much appreciate Clay and Glenn’s commitment to leading their teams forward,” Shaw said.

Dennis, who previously served as CAVS Extension associate director, is a registered professional engineer and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from MSU and a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Memphis. He also is a Six Sigma Black Belt with expertise in process engineering, quality engineering, plant master planning and new business startup and commercialization.

Learn more about CAVS at www.cavs.msstate.edu and CAVS Extension at www.cavse.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.