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An Introduction from the Dean It is with great pride and excitement that we celebrate 130 years of excellence in engineering education here at Ohio Northern University. This milestone not only marks the passage of time, but also recognizes the tremendous level of commitment that faculty, staff and administrators have given over the years to make ONU’s T.J. Smull College of Engineering what it is today – a student-centered, student-focused educational institution that strives to graduate engineers who will positively impact society through their professional endeavors and who will do so with a great deal of character, morals and ethics. The college also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Order of the Engineer on the ONU campus. This rite of passage, which began in 1971, provides our graduating engineers with a strong sense of commitment to their profession, which is symbolized by the small, stainless-steel ring worn on the pinky finger of the working hand. The memory book that unfolds before you represents a collection of stories and events that have shaped the engineering program’s legacy at ONU. As you read, you will find examples of individuals who have served as trailblazers for the engineering program, people who have exhibited tremendous character and purpose in what they have accomplished, the strong personal relationships that have endured both within and outside the walls of the engineering college, the knowledge that has been gained over the years by our faculty, students and alumni, the incredible motivation of our students through their endeavors on the athletic fields and in national design competitions, and, finally, the drive towards creating innovative solutions to the many engineering challenges that we face. I am deeply honored to serve as the 12th dean of ONU’s College of Engineering and to serve in the footsteps of the greats such as Smull, Alden, Archer and Burton. Through their efforts and the efforts of many others who have been associated with the college, we stand on the precipice of greatness as we together build the future of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University.

Eric T. Baumgartner, Ph.D. Dean of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering

Trail blaz “Living as an engineer today is a most exciting adventure.” –Dean Lawrence Archer, BSCE ’47, ACIT ’82, H of F ’88

l zers ONU engineers blaze trails to the future. They design and construct the technologies and systems that shape the world.

Henry Solomon Lehr, ONU’s founder, surely never imagined the magnitude of his legacy. Possessing wisdom and foresight, he built a progressive University amid the wooded lands and farms of Northwest Ohio at a time when few institutions of higher education existed in the country. Thus, he provided a pathway to knowledge and achievement for scores of promising young men and women, many who hailed from modest means. ONU first offered an engineering program 130 years ago, when people traveled by horse and homes did not have electricity. Since that time, ONU has graduated over 6,290 engineers who have helped transform America’s landscape by linking the scientific discoveries of their times to everyday life. They have built bridges, buildings, engines, steel mills, railroads, highways and dams. They have designed rockets, assembly lines, communication systems, electrical grids and much more. And, in the process, they have earned a stellar reputation for strength of purpose, knowledge and vision.

ENGINEERING TIMELINE WORLD INVENTIONS See the world’s timeline during our 130 years

1871 Henry Solomon Lehr established the Northwestern Ohio Normal School, later named Ohio Normal University, in Ada, Ohio. Lehr envisioned an institution of higher education that would combine the liberal arts with training for professions.


1881 First professional school The University formed the Department of Engineering, which later became the College of Engineering. Engineering gained the distinction of being the first professional program established at ONU. Pharmacy (1884) and Law (1885) followed.


Periodic table (1871)

Phonograph (1877)

Telephone (1876)

1892 ONU awarded its first civil engineering degree to J.M. DeFord, BSCE 1882, who completed a 60-week curriculum.

1892 Photographic film (1884)

Light bulb, incandescent (1879)

Motion picture camera (1891) Automobile (1889)



“Father” and “Mother” Maglott Frederick Maglott, BA 1877, became the college’s first dean, serving for just one year. Maglott was one of the four original owners of ONU. Known for his vast learning and versatility, he could teach any class if a professor called in sick. He taught at ONU for 36 years, retiring in 1911. Frederick’s wife, Eva Maglott, Hon. D. 1909, also taught at ONU. Engineering students called her “mother,” and she called them “her boys.” Like her husband, Eva possessed a brilliant mind. She taught astronomy and math during a time when few women specialized in these fields. In 1883, representatives from ONU attended the Chicago World’s Fair. The mathematical display model Eva created won several awards and topped students from the Ivy League Schools.

1903 Name change Engineering students, led by Thomas Jefferson Smull, CE 1904, ME 1906, Hon. D. ’47, lobbied to have the University’s name changed. They claimed engineering degrees from a “normal” school, a name associated with teacher training, did not receive due respect. The University trustees agreed and changed the name of Ohio Normal University to Ohio Northern University, thereby keeping the initials ONU.

1898 ONU awarded its first electrical engineering degree.




1898 Air conditioning (1902) Radio (1896)

Airplane, engine-powered (1903)

1903 Dukes Building opened and became a central place for engineering courses.

“Prof” leaves his mark “Be here dead or alive Sept. 8, 1905,” read the telegram that summoned Thomas Jefferson Smull, CE 1904, ME 1906, Hon. D. ’47, to the deanship of ONU’s College of Engineering. Smull had graciously turned down two previous job offers from Dr. Leroy Belt, ONU’s president. But Belt, who surely recognized Smull’s leadership potential, apparently refused to take “no” for an answer. Smull accepted the job offer and became a transformative figure at ONU. He served the University in a variety of administrative capacities until 1942. Intelligent, down-to-earth, personable and tenacious, Smull made an indelible impression on everyone he encountered. His colleagues, friends and students affectionately called him “Tommy” or “Prof.”

Smull earned the title “Father of Athletics” for championing ONU’s intercollegiate athletic program in its early days. He loved sports and was a standout athlete at ONU, playing football, baseball and basketball. He served as faculty manager of athletics (known today as athletic director) at ONU for many years and headed the Ohio Athletic Conference in its early days. Despite his many duties at ONU, Smull managed to be active in the engineering profession. He championed professionalism in the field, serving as chairman and chief examiner of Ohio’s Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors. Smull died in 1962 at age 86. A decade after his death, the University named the College of Engineering in his honor.

1904 P.P. Stewart, CE 1902, ME 1905, Hon. D. 1905, became college dean, serving for one year.

1904 Silicone (1904)

1904 ONU awarded its first mechanical engineering degrees to three worthy students.

1908 First female graduate ONU awarded its first engineering degree to a female student. Anna A. Cassat, CE 1908, majored in civil engineering and supervised the paving of brick streets in Ada for her senior project.

1908 Neon lighting (1910) Outboard motor (1907)




Lightning expert Dr. Karl McEachron, ME 1913, EE 1913, Hon. D. ’38, a prominent General Electric researcher, pioneered ways to keep electric lines and power facilities safe from damage during electrical storms. He graduated from ONU in 1913 and joined Northern’s engineering faculty from 1914 to 1918. McEachron engaged in groundbreaking research at the Empire State Building that is still referenced today. He made the first known oscillograms of direct lightning strokes, identified the continuous stroke lightning bolt, and explained the phenomenon of “silent” lightning (lightning without a thunder clap). For the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, McEachron designed a spectacular display of man-made lightning that astounded visitors. He also oversaw a GE high-voltage laboratory in Pittsfield, Mass., where he produced man-made lightning that split tree trunks.

1917 ONU awarded its first chemical engineering degree. The University dropped the chemical engineering program in the early 1940s. A total of 95 students graduated from the program. Other engineering programs offered over the years: architectural (1900-16), municipal (1908-14) and mining (190409). Only a handful of students graduated from these programs.



1917 Electric razor (1917) Windshield wiper (1917)

1918 Charles Addison Miller was appointed college dean. He served until 1920. A graduate of Ohio State University, Miller taught engineering courses at ONU from 1913 to 1920.


World War I ONU received word that it had been authorized by the U.S. government to train engineers for war-related work. An engineering student could receive a deferment from the draft if he studied in an area deemed necessary for defense. This welcome news helped ease World War I’s impact on ONU’s enrollment.

America learned about lightning safety from McEachron. New York City sought his advice on how to keep its beach swimmers safe. He advised swimmers to stay out of the water and golfers to drop their clubs and umbrellas. He offered prudent advice to people nervous about thunderstorms: “If you hear thunder, the lightning did not strike you. If you saw the lightning, it missed you. And, if it did strike you, you would not have known it.”

1919 Short-wave radio (1919)

“The work of the world moves steadily along, creating new problems and demanding that these problems be solved by men technically trained and thoroughly grounded in engineering facts and principles.” – Dean John A. Needy, BSEd ’40

1929 Bad timing The College of Engineering launched a $175,000 campaign to construct and equip a new engineering building to be named in honor of T.J. Smull, CE 1904, ME 1906, Hon. D. ’47.

1920 Carroll R. Alden, BSEE 1915, BSME 1916, became dean. During his tenure, he redesigned the heating, lighting and water systems for the campus, housing them in a new power plant. The plant became a practical laboratory for ONU engineering students. Alden served until 1923 and then joined Ex-Cell-O Corporation in Detroit, Mich. He obtained 38 patents, including ones for a diesel fuel pump and a cardboard milk carton. After retiring from Ex-Cell-O, he returned to ONU in 1955 and taught until 1965. He died in 1970 at age 80.

1920 Band-Aid (1920)

1924 Guy Elbin, BSCE 1916, Hon. D. ’72, became acting dean. He served as a professor of civil engineering at ONU from 1920 until the early 1930s.


Professor Guy Elbin, BSCE 1916, Hon. D. ’72, mailed an appeal letter and building plans to 1,000 engineering alumni on Oct. 10, 1929. The timing could not have been more ill-fated. Days later, the stock market crashed on Black Tuesday, ushering in the dark period of the Great Depression. The college scrapped its plans for the new building.

1926 John A. Needy became dean and served until 1944. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and Purdue University, he guided the college through its darkest hours during World War II.


1926 Television (1927)

Audiotape (1928)

Liquid-fueled rocket engine (1926)


Particle accelerator (1929)



CHARACT & PURP 1931 ONU purchased the McCurdy Manufacturing Plant in Ada to use as an engineering laboratory. The former plant contained outdated equipment that the college replaced.




Electron microscope (1933)

1934 The College of Engineering moved out of Dukes and into Hill Memorial.

1942 Joseph Daniel Nave, BSME ’40, age 24, became the first ONU alumni reported killed in action during World War II. An army bomber co-pilot, Nave died in the Pacific theater. Just days before he died, he penned a letter to Bert McBride, ONU’s plant engineer, under whom he worked as a student assistant. Nave was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

1934 Nylon (1934) Fiberglass (1938) Light bulb, fluorescent (1934)

1942 Nuclear reactor (1942) Guided missile (1942)

1944 Alexander Webb was appointed college dean. He served until 1951 when he died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Webb joined the civil engineering faculty at ONU in 1924 and continued to teach courses after becoming dean.


1944 Saving the College World War II negatively impacted enrollment. The College of Engineering reached an all-time low of just 15 students. Serious proposals circulated to discontinue the professional colleges and turn ONU into a strictly liberal arts institution. Dr. Robert McClure, ONU’s president, fought this direction. Engineering faculty, along with many other ONU professors, accepted drastic pay cuts and took on second jobs. The ONU Loyalty Fund, which many engineering alumni generously supported, also helped keep ONU afloat.


Duty to country ONU engineers who were members of the “Greatest Generation” valiantly served their country during one of its most difficult trials. The roll call included James Eicher, BSCE ’41, who stormed the beaches of Normandy and stayed on Omaha Beach for more than three months coordinating pontoon boats; Floyd Spar, BSCHE ’36, who served as chief engineer on a destroyer in the Pacific; and future faculty member James Klingenberger, BSEE ’49, ACIT ’82, Hon. D. ’95, who was taken prisoner of war during the Battle of the Bulge. The College of Engineering showed its patriotism by training more than 100 pilots, many who later served in the armed forces. Students completed ground instruction at ONU and flying instruction at the Lima Airport.

ONU engineers serve humankind with passion.

An institution built on faith, ONU calls its students to a higher purpose. At heart, ONU engineers are more than problem solvers or science whizzes. They are compassionate individuals who seek to harness the power of invention to improve people’s lives.

As war clouds hovered, the college also trained civil engineers to support the country’s war production needs. The U.S. Congress, concerned about an engineer shortage, authorized one of the largest educational initiatives in U.S. history. The Engineering, Science, Management War Training (ESMWT) program provided free, college-level engineering courses to men and women across the country. ONU became one of 227 colleges and universities to join the ESMWT. From 1941 to 1945, the College of Engineering trained more than 5,400 civilians in Northwest Ohio to meet the urgent need for technical and scientific workers. ONU engineering professors went directly to the students, teaching classes in factories, high schools and city engineer offices in 18 towns and 14 counties.

Perhaps no period exemplified the strong character of ONU engineers better than World War II. Professors, alumni and students made tremendous contributions, some even sacrificing their lives, to bring about peace. Three decades later, ONU engineers began publicly professing their commitment to service and ethics in the Order of the Engineer ring ceremony. Today, ONU engineering students tackle humanitarian projects across the globe. From building wheelchair ramps for the handicapped to designing water systems for Third World villages, they continue the quest to make the world a better place. 1949 The “G.I. Bill,” which paid a government stipend to veterans to help with college costs, spurred a rebound in ONU’s enrollment. By 1949, the College of Engineering swelled to 298 students. ONU purchased trailer colonies and barracks from the U.S. government to house the returning servicemen and their families.

1945 Lawrence “Larry” Archer, BSCE ’47, ACIT ’82, H of F ’88, became the first veteran to return to ONU after the war. A tail gunner on 35 combat missions, he pursued a degree in civil engineering. He later became the College of Engineering’s longest serving dean.



Atomic bomb (1945)


Transistor (1947) Mobile telephone (1946)



relations The Archer Era

The University appointed Lawrence “Larry” Archer, BSCE ’47, ACIT ’82, H of F ’88, just 28 years old, as dean of the College of Engineering in 1952. He became the youngest dean of engineering in the country. He would serve in this position for an impressive 34 years, becoming a beloved and towering figure in the college’s history. During World War II, Archer participated in more than 30 combat missions into enemy territory in the Aleutian Islands. Seriously injured in a crash, he spent months in the hospital before being honorably discharged and enrolling at Northern. Archer taught engineering classes while still a student. He became dean only five years after earning his civil engineering degree.

1952 The College of Engineering moved into a “temporary” home that turned into a long-term arrangement. ONU purchased an old public school building on North Main Street from the Ada Board of Education for $18,500. The University then completed a top-to-bottom renovation to prepare the building for engineering studies. Engineering alumni generously responded to a plea to help equip the new laboratories. University officials lauded the move to the new location as a giant step forward.




Archer showed a deep concern for students. He always put their needs first. He personally reviewed each and every application for admission and graduation. He knew the names of almost all the students who passed through the college’s doors during his tenure.

1954 Academic excellence The College of Engineering received full accreditation from the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development on its first try. The University, as a whole, had not yet earned regional accreditation, so the college’s achievement was considered remarkable.

A strong and no-nonsense leader, Archer set high standards and expected them to be met. He transformed the College of Engineering into a respected, fully accredited institution. A devoted family man, Archer also dutifully served his church, community and the Boys Scouts of America. He retired in 1985 to return to teaching. Having dedicated his entire professional career to ONU, Archer died in May 1987.

1954 Successful artificial earth satellite (1957) Fiber optics (1955)

Integrated circuit (1958) Laser (1958)

Ultrasound (1959)

ships ONU engineers value relationships.

Relationships form the cornerstone of the ONU experience. A friendly tone permeates the halls of Biggs. Class sizes are small, and people know one another by name. Professors genuinely care about their students. They put teaching first and go the extra mile to help students succeed.

In classrooms, dormitories, playing fields and engineering clubs, ONU engineering students form lasting friendships. They join a close-knit engineering family with ties to the past, present and future. ONU engineers never forget the people who impacted their lives. Throughout history, they have repaid the many kindnesses and opportunities afforded to them. They have graciously supported their alma mater and mentored those that follow. They have kept the experience alive for the next generation.

1963 First computer ONU obtained its first computer, the IBM 1620 Data Processing Unit, and placed it under the auspices of the College of Engineering. The general-purpose data machine operated with a keyboard, paper tape and punch cards. The ONU Alumnus magazine astutely noted: “The process of introducing the computer is irreversible, and the eventual changes are yet to be measured.”

1963 The Engineers’ Council for Professional Development described ONU’s engineering curriculum as “boldly modernized” and reaccredited all programs in the College of Engineering for four years.

1963 Light-emitting diode (1962) Communications satellite (1960)

Computer mouse (1968) Liquid crystal display (1963)



Steel Mogul Benjamin Fairless, BSCE 1913, Hon. D. ’35, lived a remarkable rags-to-riches story. He was born the son of a coal miner. His father struggled to keep food on the table and sent Fairless to live with his aunt and uncle. The couple eventually adopted him, and he assumed their last name. Fairless worked as an attendant in an insane asylum to help pay for his ONU education. Graduating with a civil engineering degree, he stumbled into an entry-level job in the steel industry. His common-sense approach to problem solving propelled him to the top. He became president of U.S. Steel Corporation, the world’s largest producer of steel and iron, in 1938. Fairless oversaw the company during World War II and the post-War period when the military and civilian need for steel exploded. From 1938 to 1952, he boosted steel production by millions of tons. He built the U.S. Steel Fairless Works mill in Pennsylvania, which employed so many people it led to the creation of the Philadelphia suburb of Levittown and the town of Fairless Hills, named in his honor.

Home, sweet home Ninety years after its founding, the College of Engineering received a permanent home on campus. “The hopes, desires and dreams – the blood, sweat and tears – plans, plans and plans – now become a reality,” wrote Lawrence “Larry” Archer, BSCE ’47, ACIT ’82, H of F ’88, about the Robert W. Biggs Engineering Building, which opened in fall 1971. Biggs became the first building on campus designed and built specifically for the College of Engineering. Described as economical and functional, the $1.8 million, two-story building accommodated up to 400 students. The building was named for Dr. Robert Wilder Biggs, chairman of the board of the Brush Wellman Co., in Cleveland, Ohio, University trustee from 1964 to 1978, and generous benefactor.

An industrial giant, Fairless appeared on the cover of Time magazine on Nov. 12, 1951. He served on the board of trustees at ONU and gave ONU’s commencement address in 1960. The University honored him with its first Outstanding Alumni Award.



Carbon fiber (1964)


1969 Videocassette recorder (1969)

Electronic fuel injection system (1966) Electric handheld calculator (1967)

Internet (1969)

CD-ROM (1970)

Professionalism and Ethics A treasured tradition promoting engineering professionalism began in 1971 when the College of Engineering inducted its first class into the Order of the Engineer. Under the leadership of Dean Lawrence “Larry” Archer, BSCE ’47, ACIT ’82, H of F ’88, ONU engineering students designed a 12inch stainless-steel ring and plaque for display in Biggs. They also developed a memorable ceremony using the English Chapel and involving recipients in the oath. During the first solemn event, each senior student publicly stated their obligation to self, the profession and humankind. They received a ring to wear on the little finger of the working hand. The ring ceremony has taken place every year since.

1972 The ONU Board of Trustees named the College of Engineering in honor of Thomas Jefferson Smull, CE 1904, ME 1906, Hon. D. ’47, the college’s third dean.

1972 ONU entered the Concrete Canoe Competition for the first time. Six seniors, Larry Hoover, BSCE ’72, Deane Fraker, BSCE ’72, Paul Sivey, BSCE ’72, Bob Schutz, BSCE ’72, Eric Oswald, BSCE ’72, and Glenn Reynolds, BSCE ’72, conceived a canoe 11 feet long, two feet deep and weighing 308 pounds. They painted it bright yellow with a black crack on the side. The canoe competition, sponsored by student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, was still in its infancy. Through the years, it would grow in scope and prominence, becoming known as “America’s Cup for Civil Engineering.”

1972 E-mail (1972)

1975 The college installed the symbol of the Tau Beta Pi national honorary society for engineers in front of Biggs. A gift from Stan Markey, BSCE ’46, the sculpture was placed on a base of bricks taken from the former engineering building on North Main Street.





Laptop computer (1979)

Portable cell phone (1973) Genetic engineering (1973)

1982 The T.J. Smull College of Engineering celebrated its 100th anniversary.

1985 Bruce Burton, ACIT ’94, Hon. D. ’08, became the 10th dean of the College of Engineering. He joined the faculty in 1958 and served as chair of the mechanical engineering department for 21 years before being appointed dean. During his tenure, he spearheaded outreach programs to alumni, industry and international students. He stepped down from the deanship in 1994 but continued teaching mechanical engineering courses until his retirement in 1999. He continues to play a vital role at ONU today, recruiting and orienting international students and assisting with special projects for the admissions office.

Personal computer (1974)

Internet (1983)



knowledg International outlook

The College of Engineering adopted an international outlook in 1987, welcoming students from the Asian island of Singapore. ONU became the first American university to offer a formal degree-conversion program for graduates of Singapore’s polytechnic schools. Each summer, ONU professors traveled to Singapore to interview students and prepare them for study in the U.S. The program, which continued into the early 1990s, brought approximately 20 new Singaporean students to campus each fall. The program marked the first major influx of international students to ONU since the early 20th century, when engineering classes contained students from China, Ireland, Costa Rica, Russia and other farflung places. Missionaries from the Methodist Church most likely recruited these early students.

1987 The college started its first newsletter, “Engineering News.”




1987 The College of Engineering established an advisory board to provide a forum for alumni to share their expertise and advice with the college.

1987 Co-op program The Cooperative Education Program launched, enabling engineering students to blend classroom learning with practical experience. The college adopted the program after consulting with industry experts. The program opened doors for engineering students to earn money, gain valuable work experience and establish relationships with potential employers, all while completing their college degree.


“We believe an engineer needs to know and apply more than just the mathematical and physical sciences. He must work in a world society, with both understanding and sympathy.” – Professor James L. Klingenberger, BSEE ’49, ACIT ’82, Hon. D. ’95

ONU engineers possess insight and intelligence. Their knowledge stems from a rigorous academic program that emphasizes lifelong learning and the fundamentals of math, physics and science. ONU engineers learn a methodical approach to problem solving, using the latest tools and technologies. They hone reasoning, communication and teamwork skills in the classroom and through real-world experiences. The T.J. Smull College of Engineering claims a long tradition of academic excellence. In 1954, the college received full accreditation

on its first try. In 1963, examiners called the college’s curriculum “boldly modernized.” Today, the college ranks as one of the top 50 undergraduate engineering programs in the country. Strong academics lead to positive outcomes. Every year, ONU seniors achieve a high pass rate on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Those who continue their education excel in top graduate programs across the country. And in the workforce, ONU engineers populate positions of leadership and prominence.

1988 Archer memorialized One year after the death of Dean Lawrence “Larry” Archer, BSCE ’47, ACIT ’82, H of F ’88, the College of Engineering found a way to continue his legacy. The Dean Lawrence Archer Memorial Fund was established in 1988 to support activities that would enhance the student experience. Alumni, many whose lives were touched by Archer, overwhelming supported the fund, and the college quickly reached its $500,000 goal. The fund remains an integral part of the academic program, supporting student activities like research, travel, conference attendance, field trips and more.


1988 The college received the first grant in its history for undergraduate research. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) awarded the college $89,000 for research into the design of a material mix and construction process to reduce the cost and time of replacing small-span bridges and culverts.

1991 The College of Engineering received a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its Cooperative Education Program to international locations to help prepare engineering students for employment at global firms.

1991 Optical amplifiers (1990) World Wide Web (1989)

1991 ONU’s Tau Beta Pi chapter was honored as the best in the nation. Students in the engineering honorary engaged in many community service projects, such as visiting area high schools, mentoring local youth and conducting demonstrations for Explorer Scouts. ENGINEERING TIMELINE WORLD INVENTIONS pg.


motivation ONU engineers are driven to succeed.

They seek to grow, learn and realize their personal best. You won’t find them sitting behind desks, thinking about problems. They are out in the field, sleeves rolled up, actively working toward solutions. Their motivation plays out on ONU’s fields and courts. Throughout the University’s history, engineering students have shined as star athletes. Many have set school records and led their teams to championships. Student-athletes like T.J. Smull, CE 1904, ME 1906, Hon. D. ’47, D’Artis Jones, BSME ’97, H of F ’07, Marcia (Fichtelman) Walters, BSEE ’87, H of F ’03, Jimmy O’Brien, BSME ’09, and Luke Miller, BSCE ’11, have proved that hard work and perseverance pays off. Not just in sports, but in many endeavors, ONU engineers reach high levels of achievement. The Smull College of Engineering boasts student clubs and organizations that are among the best in the nation. And in the 21st century, its student teams finish near the top in design competitions like Baja and Concrete Canoe.

1992 Electrical engineering icon Professor James Klingenberger, BSEE ’49, ACIT ’82, Hon. D. ’95, retired after a distinguished 43-year career at ONU. Described as a demanding teacher, Klingenberger possessed a rare gift. He managed to get students to work hard and enjoy doing it. He remained on the cutting edge of technology changes. An engineering consultant at Westinghouse, he contributed to the development of the electrical power system for the Apollo spacecraft. If a textbook wasn’t available, he developed his own course materials using manufacturer spec sheets or application notes. Even after retirement, he continued his association with ONU, teaching electrical engineering part-time until 1994. He died in 2003 at age 79.


ENGINEERING TIMELINE WORLD INVENTIONS Personal digital assistant (1992) pg.


1992 The college established a student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for students interested in the aerospace field.

1993 Global Positioning System (1993)

1994 Russell Primrose was appointed dean. He retired in 2000.


ation “What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind, there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” – Benjamin Fairless, BSCE 1913, Hon. D. ’35

National Champs The ONU men’s basketball team, “against all odds,” won the NCAA Division III National Championship in 1993. More than half the team hailed from the Smull College of Engineering. They included Tom Nation, BSEE ’94, Tony Vogel, BSCE ’93, Ben Curry, BSEE ’95, Kevin Wysocki, BSME ’95, D’Artis Jones, BSME ’97, H of F ’07, Greg L. Smith, BSME ’95 and Mark Gooden, BSEE ’95, H of F ’06. The team ended its storybook season with a 28-2 record. Describing the historic season, Gooden said, “We’re the best in the land. All the pieces just fell into place. It may never happen again at Ohio Northern, but we’ve got it now.”

1996 Camp GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) The College hosted its first Camp GEMS, a summer program designed to get middle school girls excited about engineering, math and science. Around 20 girls participated the first year. Today, the camp accommodates close to 70 girls from across the U.S. each summer.


1997 The Electrical Engineering Department changed its name to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. It began offering a concentration in computer engineering.


1998 The Science Annex opened, connecting the Biggs Engineering Building with the Meyer Hall of Science.


International Space Station (1996) Digital videodisc (1995)

Plastic transistors (1998)

1998 ONU engineering students competed in the SAE Baja Collegiate Design Series for the first time. The competition challenges student teams to design and build an off-road vehicle capable of surviving rough terrain and water.



An A1 job on the FE Seniors continued ONU’s long tradition of outstanding success on the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) Exam. Ninety-nine percent of ONU participants passed the exam in 2002 – the highest pass rate for any university in the state of Ohio that year. ONU seniors consistently achieve a 90 to 99 percent pass rate on the exam. ONU also boasts a high percentage of students taking the exam each year. Successful completion of the exam is the first step toward receiving the PE (Professional Engineer) designation.

2000 Barry Farbrother became dean.




2001 The computer science program, which was formerly housed in the College of Arts & Sciences, joined the College of Engineering. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science began offering three degree programs: computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering.

2001 iPod (2001)

2001 Female engineering students established a chapter of Phi Sigma Rho on campus, a social sorority for women in engineering and engineering technology.

2001 The college teamed up with Marathon Ashland Petroleum in Findlay, Ohio, to establish the Engineer-in-Residence program. A practicing Marathon engineer had an office on campus, and he/she hired and oversaw students for a variety of real-world projects.

2001 Record enrollment The College enrolled 475 students – an all-time record.

Competitive spirit ONU engineering students exhibited a competitive spirit at the start of the 21st century. They showcased Northern’s exceptional academic programs by finishing near the top at national and international engineering design competitions. In 2006, ONU participated in the national Concrete Canoe Competition for the first time. The canoe, “American Pride,” placed 13th out of 23 teams at nationals. Only 23 of 170 teams across the U.S. made it to nationals. Just three years later, ONU’s concrete canoe team captured first place in the regional competition for the first time. The team, with its canoe “The Green Monster,” traveled to the national competition, where it placed 13th. In 2011, ONU’s Baja SAE team achieved its greatest success ever. The team achieved three top-10 finishes in international competitions, beating teams from many prestigious U.S. and worldwide technological universities. ONU’s team was recognized as the highest-ranking U.S. team in the running for the Mike Schmidt Memorial Iron Team Award, given to the team that earns the highest cumulative point score at the three regional U.S./ Canada Baja SAE events.

2003 The engineering newsletter was renamed “Smull Talk,” a clever play on the college’s name suggested by current student Matt Valerio, BSEE ’05.

2003 Roomba vacuum cleaning robot (2002) Solar tower (2002)

Hybrid car (2003)

2005 The College of Engineering received a large grant from the Kern Family Foundation to generate interest and inspire excellence in engineering education. The grant spawned “Pathways” – a project to get middle and high school students interested in engineering – and “ProFIRE” – a project to create “industry-ready” engineers.



YouTube (2005) pg.


innovation 2006 Eric Baumgartner was appointed college dean. He came to ONU after working as a mechanical/ robotics engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. He worked on a team that designed, developed and operated the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. He also taught mechanical engineering courses at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a visiting lecturer. Before NASA, he was an assistant professor at the Michigan Technological University.




2007 Inspiring entrepreneurs The College of Engineering partnered with the College of Business Administration to establish an entrepreneurship minor for engineering students. The program, funded by a Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) grant, promotes an entrepreneurial mindset and skill set.

2007 iPhone (2007) Kindle e-book reader (2007)

2007 ONU’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) received the Governor’s Award for the first time. The award designates ONU’s student chapter as the best in its region encompassing colleges and universities from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. It also signifies ONU’s chapter as one of the top chapters in the nation.

2008 Ranked in top 50 U.S. News & World Report ranked the College of Engineering as one of the 2008 top 50 undergraduate engineering colleges in the nation. The college has received this distinction for four consecutive years.

2008 Tesla roadster (2008)

ation ONU engineers unleash the power of imagination.

The Smull College of Engineering inspires students to think outside the box. Professors engage students in groundbreaking research and challenging class projects. They instill selfconfidence and an entrepreneurial mindset. They empower students to generate ideas and run with them.

Students harness wind power ONU installed three wind turbines on the west end of campus after more than a year of research and design work by ONU students Tara Butler, BSEE ’09, Amy (Friedlein) Pierce, BSME ’09, Matthew Pierce, BSCE ’10, John Gaynor, BSEE ’09, Paul Lewis, BSCE ’09, Jordan Linebaugh, BSEE ’10, and Kevin Ring, BSCE ’09. The team researched the feasibility of harnessing wind

“An engineer is the builder takes raw this data to convince energy onwho campus and used University administrators to embrace the alternative energy materials and resources of nature and creates technology. The wind turbines facilities and devices beneficial to mankind.” generate between 5 to 10 percent of ONU’s electricity needs. Visible from miles – Dean Lawrence Archer, BSCE ’47, ACIT ’82, away, the wind turbines serve as a testament to student H ofinnovation F ’88 and empowerment.

Back in the early 1900s, ONU engineering students designed and tested aerial crafts around the same time the Wright Brothers invented the first airplane. Today, ONU engineering students remain on the cutting edge of technology, experimenting with wind and solar energy and robotics. Throughout history, ONU engineers have tested the boundaries of what is possible. They have not been limited by the present, because they are the creators of the future.

2009 Freshmen experience The college retooled its Freshmen Engineering program to increase retention and ensure that students have a successful first year. The program introduces students to engineering concepts early on, with hands-on projects like designing and building straw towers. It also fosters teamwork and friendship among the students. In addition, the college created the First-Year Engineering Design Studio, a space for first-year students to collaborate and receive tutoring help.



Retinal implants (2009) pg.


“Engineering is a great base for anything. If you have interests on the side – music, literature, botany, biology – all these things can be meshed with a core engineering background.” – Bob Peterson, BSME ’83

2009 The College of Engineering received a $500,000 grant from the American Electric Power Foundation to develop and implement an advanced and alternative energy curriculum, including wind, solar and fuel cells.




2010 Bob Peterson, BSME ’83, Academyaward winning director and animator for Pixar Animation Studios, returned to his alma mater to deliver the Spotts Lecture to a large audience. Peterson earned fame as a Hollywood writer, director, animator and voice star in films such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, and Up.

2010 iPad (2010)

2010 ONU engineering students entered the ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge for the first time. The competition enables students to apply engineering principles to the design of a sustainable mode of transportation.

Promoting the profession The Smull College of Engineering emerged as a leading voice promoting the engineering profession. A shortage of engineers has plagued the U.S. for more than a century. Back in 1927, Dean John Needy lamented, “Laborers are plentiful, but at present the demand for technically trained young men has not been filled.” Today, engineering jobs are being outsourced to other countries, and the federal government has expressed concern about the declining number of high school students choosing to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The Smull College of Engineering has steered countless young people toward the rewarding field of engineering through programs like Camp GEMS, Engineering Pathways Camp and Findlay Explorers. In 2011, the college launched a new degree program, the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Education, to take its effort one step further. The program equips future K-12 teachers with an engineering mindset, preparing them to inspire youngsters and expose them early on engineering concepts. The bachelor’s degree program is the first of its kind in Ohio and one of the first in the nation.

2011 ONU professors received a grant to develop a water-sampling watercraft. The craft will be tested on Grand Lake St. Mary’s, which has experienced cyanobacterial bloom that poses a great threat to the lake’s health. Faculty from engineering and biology are working with students to design, build and test a watercraft capable of autonomously sampling water quality on Ohio lakes.

2011 Glasses-free 3-D TV (2011)

2011 Reaching out Engineering students launched Freshmen Without Borders, an outgrowth of the student group Northern Without Borders. First-year students plan and implement engineering projects to improve the lives of people in impoverished villages.



“We stand on the precipice of greatness as we together build the future of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University.” – Dean Eric Baumgartner

4 color

College of Engineering Memory Book  

It is with great pride and excitement thatwe celebrate 130 years of excellence inengineering education here at Ohio NorthernUniversity. This...

College of Engineering Memory Book  

It is with great pride and excitement thatwe celebrate 130 years of excellence inengineering education here at Ohio NorthernUniversity. This...