Ingenuity - 2018 - Ohio University's Russ College of Engineering and Technology

Page 1





Secure for good

Come together

To NASA and back

Jack of all trades








Russ College researchers are staying ahead of the security curve while preparing students to go forth and do the same.



Three, two, one: Create for good! Industrial and systems engineering students modify technology to set kids free.

Photo: Ashley Stottlemyer


EDITORIAL CREDITS EDITOR Colleen Carow, BSJ ’93, MA ’97, MBA ’05 WRITERS Colleen Carow Anna Marie Hartenbach, BSJ ’11 Elisabeth Weems PHOTOGRAPHERS Erica McKeehen, BSVC ’10 Ashley Stottlemyer DESIGN Ullman Design Marietta, Ohio

Share your comments, feedback, and memorable Russ College moments by writing us at INGENUITY@OHIO.EDU or INGENUITY MAGAZINE, RUSS COLLEGE, STOCKER CENTER 177, 1 OHIO UNIVERSITY, ATHENS, OH 45701. ON THE COVER: Sitting for the first time in the cars that industrial and systems engineering students modified for them, Forest Rose students My’Only and Keller wait for their fittings and test drives.

MACH MY DAY. Mechanical engineering senior Tessa Berger shows off the experimental supersonic “Mach” rocket that the Russ College Astrocats rocket design team test-launched locally in March, in prep for their summer trip to the Spaceport America Cup, held in Las Cruces, New Mexico. One of the team’s primary recovery system engineers, Berger verified the integrity of the parachute lines, and also oversaw the proper folding of the main and drogue parachutes, and their insertion into the rocket. The rocket was designed to reach to fly one-and-a-half times the speed of sound — or 1,150 miles per hour — but first flew with a smaller motor to verify structural integrity.


FROM THE DEAN’S DESK Welcome to our newest issue of Ingenuity! Who doesn’t like free pie? Our Dean’s Desk feature photo this year was taken on an unusually warm February day. Look at the engagement our student organizations have helped create in our Russ College community. Our students care about one another, so they help each other out — and they do nice things for each other, too. This sense of community is what we want to strengthen with our new 120,000 square-foot research facility, to be developed at the old McBee factory building on West Union Street. I wrote to you last year about our goals for its space: open idea sharing and entrepreneurship. What I couldn’t report at that time was the status of funding and approvals for the renovation. I’m now pleased to share that the Ohio University Foundation has approved an additional payout on the Russ College’s endowment portfolio that will be used to fund the building over a 30-year period. And, the Ohio University Board of Trustees has approved design through construction. You’ll read on our faculty news page that I’m entering my last year as dean. I’ve begun to reflect a bit on the goals that our faculty, staff, and alumni agreed upon almost 16 years ago, and that have naturally evolved over time. We’ve achieved most of them: a new learning facility — the Academic & Research Facility — has been built and is now one of the most used buildings on campus; our undergraduate population has grown from a low of 1,150 to 1,900 at the same time that students’ entering credentials are improving; Ph.D. program enrollment has increased from 80 to 145, with students in a wider array of disciplines; and accreditation has consistently been strongly reaffirmed by the cognizant agencies. We’re certainly preparing the engineering and technology leaders (not followers) of the future. Fund raising has been astoundingly successful, the demand for our graduates by employers is extremely high, research funding remains high — even through a period of time when we have a predominance of early and mid-career faculty — and the faculty we’ve been able to recruit are truly outstanding. We do have some work to do in the future, however. We must increase the enrollment of women and their representation among our faculty; we need to continue to grow, albeit at what I hope is a slower rate; and we need to re-evaluate our curricular and research areas of emphasis in response to current and future societal needs. As just one example, we need to be aggressive in pursuing faculty, certificates, and programs in cyber-security. For what we’re already doing in that area, see our research feature story on page 6. We’re truly poised to not only be one of the best — which I think we already are — but to be widely recognized as such. That’s what the next decade and a half holds for the Russ College. Sincerely,

DENNIS IRWIN, PHD, PE Dean Moss Professor of Engineering Education Thomas Professor of Engineering


Celebrating Pi Day. The Russ College student chapter of Tau Beta Pi celebrated “Pi Day” a month early in order to sweeten up National Engineers Week in February. Dylan Denner (middle), then-president of the Delta Chapter; and second-year graduate biomedical student Nicole Sova, who is also founder of new student org Eats with Engineers; served up free “pi” with some tasty bits about engineering.

Ingenuity | 2018



CHAPTER EXCELLENCE Tau Beta Pi’s OHIO Delta chapter was recognized by the national organization with its chapter excellence award. The group also initiated 21 new members — more than half of whom are women. An outgrowth of the secretary’s commendation award, the chapter excellence award recognizes campus chapters based on criteria including initiation, membership, finances, convention, programs and advisers. The OHIO chapter has increased membership and the quality of professional development activities, as well as provided service to the Russ College community via math tutoring sessions that dozens of students have attended weekly. They’ll host the national student conference in fall 2019.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY INNOVATION FELLOWS Russ College students have once again been selected for the Stanford University Innovation Fellows program, which empowers students to become leaders of change and create opportunities for entrepreneurship at their own universities. Just more than 200 fellows from across the globe were named. Andrew Stroud, a junior mechanical engineering major pursing a certificate in entrepreneurship, and Winter Wilson, a sophomore environmental studies and journalism double major in the Honors Tutorial College, join 2016 fellows Ben Scott, an engineering and technology management student, and Faith Voinovich, chemical engineering major — bringing the total number of OHIO fellows in just four years, to seven. Created as part of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation through a National Science Foundation grant, the select program provides six weeks of online training, including themed lessons around the ideation process, as well as connections to innovation and entrepreneurship resources on the students’ campuses and beyond.


Ingenuity | 2018


STARTUP WEEKEND SCORE Russ College students scored at the annual Techstars Startup Weekend in October, landing on the first-place team and winning $1,000. Held at OHIO’s Innovation Center, the annual event tasks students to work in teams and interact with designers, developers and entrepreneurs to evolve their own business concept into a foundation for future ventures. Senior engineering and technology management student Alex Nay and sophomore mechanical engineering student Moeto Sasaki collaborated with Riley Dwyer, a sophomore business analytics major; Zakary Frank, a senior political science major; and community member Ben Stanley on the team they called Bounty Board Services to develop a matchmaking server for tabletop game players, similar to how Xbox Live virtually connects online players.

Two industrial and systems engineering seniors won first place in the May 2017 Simio Student Case Competition, beating 219 teams from 11 countries. Shayne Gillian, BSISE ’18, and Anna Frankart, BSISE ’18 — the “Golden Twins” — designed a simulation to assess and improve a hypothetical pulp and paper manufacturing operation. The team used Simio’s software to program a simulation that included around 100 independent logging companies in different counties supplying material to three paper mills. They built a baseline model, improved it while accounting for weather conditions, county regulations, and price fluctuations — and then created an explanatory video.

HACKING THE SKIES Student aviators won first place in one of the contests at the regional SkyHack competition in October, beating Ohio State University, MIT, and others. The hackathon is an interdisciplinary, 36-hour-long problemsolving competition in which more than 220 students tackle real airline issues. Seniors Laurel Davis, BSA ’18, aviation flight major; Kayla Cook, BSA ’18, aviation management major; and Kristen Morris and Matthew Kershaw, aviation flight majors with minors in aviation management; took home $1,000 for their pilot-shortage solution — impressing client Piedmont Airlines so much that they also won a trip to Maryland to pitch their idea.

Get the inside scoop on what students are up to by visiting the Russ College news center at




for good


Ingenuity | 2018

As Russ College cybersecurity experts develop hack-proof code for crucial systems, they’re also training students to enter an up-and-coming, high-demand industry. By Mariel Jungkunz, MS ’08

Sitting at a lab at the Russ College’s Stocker Center, Ohio University senior Austin Crabtree saw several text messages and immediately knew something was wrong. The text messages themselves were nothing surprising — just messages from friends asking about plans to work and study — but the way Crabtree accessed them was alarming. As part of an experiment in Assistant Professor Harsha Chenji’s special topics course, Crabtree had just hacked the text messages on his smartwatch and smartphone using a simple tool that can be purchased on Amazon. He was reading his own text messages in a computer file — a hack anyone could replicate with a little cybersecurity knowledge and proximity to a smartwatch user. “If you had your smartwatch set to show your text messages from your phone, this would show that actual message there, in complete plain text,” Crabtree says. “You’d think they’d be a little bit encoded, so as to protect the connection between the phone and smartwatch. But they’re not.”




he experiment taught him a lesson, as did other projects in Chenji’s course. One demonstrated to students how a hacker could alter an image of a common item, such as a stop sign, encountered by an unmanned vehicle so as to cause chaos. The most surprising part? The alteration is undetectable to the human eye. “We just can’t blindly trust that the products we use every single day are secure,” says Crabtree, originally from Albany, Ohio. “As a computer science major and above-average consumer, I should take more of an in-depth look at what I’m using, but knowing that the average consumer can’t do that is pushing me toward the work I do. “As I go into the workforce, I want to ensure the average consumer doesn't need to worry about these vulnerabilities,” he adds.

Critical flaws Access points to computer systems are everywhere, and our technology is certainly more vulnerable than the average consumer realizes, agrees David Juedes, Chair of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Ask Juedes and his colleagues at the Russ College to rattle off the serious, pressing issues facing cybersecurity right now, and the realworld consequences are clear: • Can a hacker physically alter an object just enough so that a driverless vehicle interprets it as a signal to do something dangerous? • Can a drone delivering a package be exploited for a nefarious purpose? • Can a hacker remotely commandeer a military vehicle via a vulnerability in its software?

their work on the virtual attacks that can affect a machine through either the software or hardware — and thousands of entry points. Design flaws account for most of these vulnerabilities, Juedes says: “When software is built, people write the code and test to see if it’s correct. If you don't test under the right scenario, there might be a bug you didn't find because you didn't test the right thing.” That’s why OHIO professors and students are working to develop software and hardware that have the highest levels of security built-in from the start. It’s “secure by design,” a term coined to describe this general approach. It’s not easy to do, and training for this type of work has been scarce. “It is certainly not part of the standard computer science or electrical engineering curriculum. We’re one of a few institutions,

• Can a cybervirus override safety features in an autonomous vehicle? All of these things can happen — and have happened in real-world experiments. As a result, researchers such as Juedes and Assistant Professor Gordon Stewart are working to protect our critical computer systems from virtual attacks. Their work, meanwhile, is creating new opportunities for students in a high-demand industry.

Hack-proof systems Computer systems are vulnerable to both physical and virtual attacks. A person with a simple USB drive can do a lot of damage to a system, but it’s assumed that a valuable system is protected from physical attacks with the necessary locks and alarms. But what about software and hardware attacks? Today’s cybersecurity experts focus


“Bad actors (or simply poor designers) anywhere in the supply chain can introduce critical cybersecurity holes. Machines do more and more, and we have to make sure the machines do the right thing.” – David Juedes, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Chair

if not the only, within the state of Ohio that teaches classes or performs research using these techniques,” Juedes says. One technique that has received recent attention in the national press is the use of mathematical proofs to reason about software and hardware designs. This approach, known as formal verification, was pioneered in the ’70s but is only starting to live up to its potential now; “each successful project emboldens the next,” touted Wired magazine’s 2016 article “Computer Scientists Close in on Perfect Hack-Proof Code.” To do such work, a person with a deep knowledge of computer science must build “certificates of correctness” that can be checked by a computer program, instead of the more traditional approach of checking a code line by line. “You can use testing to verify whether software or hardware is designed correctly. But if you don’t test every single possible combination of inputs, you might miss a vulnerable point. This is where mathematical proof can help,” he explains. It’s really the only way forward for security. All the other ones are patches or band-aids.” Such was the approach of the DARPA HighAssurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) project that successfully demonstrated merits of this approach, in tests where an unmanned military test platform (a drone) was subjected to professional grade hacking attempts. Stewart participated on the project as part of a large team while at Princeton University, developing

“ Technology is just moving so fast, and the security of that technology is not keeping up with it. It’s a problem that’s been around forever.” — MICHAEL DEIS, AVIONICS ENGINEERING CENTER DIRECTOR

an expertise in building systems that were secure by design. Juedes hired Stewart in 2015 to increase OHIO’s presence in cybersecurity. The HACMS project stands in stark contrast with a 2014 incident in which two hackers demonstrated to journalists how they could remotely access a Jeep Cherokee by exploiting its software vulnerabilities. “The complexity of critical systems like cars is increasing significantly. In the 1980s, for example, cars had barely any software on them at all. Now, they run millions of lines of code,” Stewart says. “There’s an explosion of software and with that an explosion of complexity. We need to think very hard about how to get the software right.”

The next frontier The applications of the latest research in cybersecurity are numerous; and students stand to gain much-needed experience with OHIO’s new focus. Companies are struggling to find enough qualified candidates for this type of work. For example, says Michael Deis, director of the Avionics Engineering Center and the Russ Center for Research and Professional Development in Beavercreek,

Ohio: One company in the Dayton area has 35 openings and has filled only three thus far. “Technology is just moving so fast, and the security of that technology is not keeping up with it,” Deis says. “It’s a problem that’s been around forever, but no one’s really focused on a way of providing solutions or forming a unified perspective of growing students to be that right workforce.” The Russ College has garnered funding via the Ohio Federal Research for two projects related to security. One collaboration between the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright State University and OHIO, will evaluate the security of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) that operate on global positioning systems with a special focus on drones and military vehicles. This collaboration involves Trent Skidmore, Senior Research Engineer at the Avionics Engineering Center, and Maarten Uijt de Haag, Edmund K. Cheng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as well as a partnership with Galois, a private company. Another OFRN grant supports Stewart and Chenji’s research for building secure hardware for space communication networks.

As another example, Professor Avinash Karantha and his students are evaluating techniques to detect, isolate and mitigate the impact of inserting malicious circuits within computing design framework. As a student, Seaghan Sefton already benefits from the research and innovative courses at OHIO. An Honors Tutorial College sophomore from East Lyme, Conn., Sefton has partnered with Stewart for work on cybersecurity. “I like having control over what my computer does and my data, which is kind of what got me mostly trying to help people with my research,” says Sefton. “I know it sounds cliché, but I’m trying to help.” The Russ College plans to offer Chenji’s special topics course as a regular part of the curriculum and develop a cybersecurity course specifically, while also finding ways to partner with and train the existing workforce in the industry, meeting employees where they are. Opportunities seem limitless for OHIO to grow in this area, Juedes says. “This is an area of research that’s going to last. It’s going to have some legs,” says Juedes. “The problems are hard; there’s going to be no easy fix.” Colleen Carow contributed to this story.



SOLVING ROAD WOES The Southern Ohio Low Volume Experimental Road (SOLVER) is 5.4 miles of U.S. Route 50 in western Vinton County. It’s also the state of Ohio’s first low-volume, two-lane test road. Led by Russ Professor of Civil Engineering Shad Sargand, the Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and the Environment helped the Ohio Department of Transportation develop a research matrix to evaluate the performance of various mixes, materials, construction processes, and maintenance options — and then constructed the road with a stiff foundation that includes stabilized subgrade and dense graded granular base course. The $3.8 million project will serve southeastern Ohio as a facility for evaluating new materials and techniques for pavement suited for low traffic volumes.

PREPPING FOR PROBLEMS Good computer engineers and computer scientists strive to create software and communication hardware that will work as fast and as efficiently as designed — as long as nothing unexpected happens. We all increasingly depend on computers and internet connections for daily life. What happens to them when power lines flicker or our network goes down? Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Gordon Stewart, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, is studying issues of provability, or how to know if software or a device will perform even when a problem occurs. The study will rethink how computers and computer networks are designed and arranged, so devices — and we — can continue working.


CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Increasing space communications bandwidth requirements, coupled with a growing number of satellites, are leading to spectrum interference — when many individuals try to use the same frequencies. This poses a major challenge to not just civil operations but defense missions. Trent Skidmore, senior research engineer with the Avionics Engineering Center, and fellow researchers at Wright State University, are collaborating with fellow experts across Ohio as part of a statewide effort for Wright Patterson Air Force Base and NASA Glenn Research Center to mitigate the issues. The project maximizes the use of Ohio’s brain power while finding ways to make the space environment for civil, defense, and commercial sectors less congested and contested.


Most significant pavement damage is caused by motor vehicles, but horses and buggies affect roadways in a unique way, often causing rutting and occasionally fracturing asphalt on the most heavily used roads. The Ohio Department of Transportation asked Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Munir Nazzal to develop long-term and cost-effective solutions to minimize damage from the traditional Amish travel method of steel-wheeled, horse-drawn buggies. The main source of the damage? Horseshoes — specifically the calks, or cleat-like welds used to increase traction. Potential solutions, including two kinds of horseshoe modifications; polymer-based, screw-in horseshoe calks; and new asphalt mixtures that will be more resistant to rutting; are being tested in Holmes County, home to the state’s largest Amish community.

Ingenuity | 2018


In an area awash with acid mine drainage, OHIO faculty and students joined community members to break Perry County ground in December on an acid mine drainage remediation pilot-scale plant that will use the pollution to create paint pigments. Department of Civil Engineering Chair Guy Riefler and the School of Art and Design’s John Sabraw, chair of painting and drawing, worked with Rural Action’s Michelle Shively to build the facility at the John Altier Park in Corning, Ohio. It’ll continuously treat the water in Corning for about a year, and the waste sludge will be used for paint pigment. As reported in Ingenuity’s 2016-2017 issue, Gamblin Artist Colors of Portland, Oregon, has already produced 500 tubes of oil paint made from the pigment, co-branding them with the names of both parties as part of a trial run.

RELIABILITY IS BIG Technologies for today’s design and manufacture of integrated circuits have moved from microscale to nanoscale. At the extremely small nanoscale level, newly manufactured devices can have defects that cause them to fail with different probability than older, larger devices. Because of these different failure rates, nanofabrication and manufacturing success is greatly influenced by yield rate, or the percentage of devices that work the first time and continue to do so for their designed lifetime. Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Tao Yuan is establishing a unified framework for yield and reliability in nanoelectronics manufacturing by modeling the defects that certain devices, which Yuan and team will fabricate, suffer when they’re subjected to stresses. Shawn Ostermann contributed to this feature.



$13.3 $600,000 from NASA

in research and sponsored programs during fiscal year 2017

To investigate and develop flight deck systems and supporting display interface technologies that can enhance flight crew awareness of system status and the interaction of systems, particularly in non-normal situations that involve failures in one or more systems Avionics Engineering Center “Information Management and Decision Support Tools for Improved Flight Crew System and State Awareness”

$1.5 million from Samwha Solutions

$500,000 from Texas A&M University

To develop and demonstrate a next-generation hydraulic fracturing technology that is more efficient, robust and environmentally friendly than current technologies

To develop a scalable, wireless interconnection fabric for mobile equipment such as laptops, smartphones, and portable data centers that first responders use when responding to incidens; that is resilient to disconnections and can perform cloud computing tasks in-network

Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

“Research, Development, and Demonstration of Lees Fossil Hydrocarbon Extraction Technology”

“DistressNet-NG: Next Generation Resilient Broadband Communication and Edge Computing for FirstNet”

Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment “Reduction of Nutrient Runoff from CAFO Waste Land Application Utilizing a Modular Electrochemical Process: Experimental and Cost Studies”

$286,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation To develop a long-term and cost-effective solution for construction and maintenance of roadways with heavy horse and buggy traffic Department of Civil Engineering “Evaluation of Partial Depth Pavement Repairs on Routes Heavily Traveled by Amish Horse and Buggies-Phase 2”


To create an intelligent Network-On-Chip (IntelliNoC) architecture — a new cross-layer, cross-cutting methodology spanning circuits, architectures, machine learning algorithms, and applications — aimed at designing reliable, energy-efficient, and scalable NoCs, which are the prevailing on-chip communication architectures that connect multicores or Chip Multiprocessors (CMPs) via modular links and routers School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science “SHF: Medium: Collaborative Research: Machine Learning Enabled Network-on-Chip Architectures for Optimized Energy, Performance and Reliability”

$178,200 from the National Science Foundation To establish a unified framework for yield, reliability, and stress burn-in management in nanoelectronics manufacturing via modeling the spatial distribution of defects and via modeling the growth of defects with time when devices are subject to stresses Center for Advanced Systems and Transportation Logistics Engineering “Collaborative Research: Defects Driven Reliability Modeling and Stress Burn-in Optimization in Nanoelectronics Manufacturing”

$200,000 from the Ohio Water Development Authority To evaluate the use of electrochemically assisted nutrient recovery from animal manure as a value-fertilizer in order to design a modular, costeffective self-contained nutrient recovery process that integrates with current concentrated animal feeding operation animal waste management systems, and that could be beneficially applied to pasture/crop lands while significantly reducing nutrient runoff, watershed eutrophication, and associated environmental issues

$500,000 from the National Science Foundation

$896,000 from the Ministry of Public Works, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

$225,225 from the National Science Foundation

To build capacity in the Afghan's Ministry of Public Works' Afghanistan National Construction Laboratory (ANCL) by enrolling up to a dozen qualified Afghan graduate students in civil engineering at Ohio University, training up to 60 Afghan technicians to operate and maintain equipment at ANCL, and providing advanced courses for up to 15 engineers

To study how molecules within surfactants — solutions that are commonly injected into oil and gas transportation pipelines as an efficient and cost-effective method of retarding internal corrosion — adsorb and affect electrochemical behavior of metal-water interfaces

Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and the Environment (ORITE)

Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology

“Afghan National Construction Laboratories”

“Adsorption and Self-Assembly of Surfactants on Metallic Surfaces”

$441,800 from the National Institutes of Health To discover and develop safe, cost-effective GSK-3-specific inhibitors that can be used as therapeutic agents in the treatment of human diseases, including pathologies of the central nervous system, pathological inflammation, and metabolic disorders Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering “AREA R15: Novel Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK-3) Inhibitors as Therapeutic Agents”



Vaping less harmful to lung fluids than smoking By Colleen Carow

Ingenuity | 2018

A chemical and biomolecular engineering faculty member and team are looking at how e-cigarettes – battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine by heating an “e-liquid” — affect lung surfactant. They’ve found that the e-cigarettes, while still toxic, are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Amir Farnoud explains that pulmonary surfactant — a mixture of lipids and proteins that lines the alveolar region of the lungs — reduces the surface tension of alveolar fluid, preventing lung collapse, and decreasing the work of breathing. Numerous studies have focused on how e-cigarettes affect the cells of the pulmonary airways or the deep lungs, but Farnoud’s team studied whether e-cigarette vapor affects the ability of surfactant to reduce surface tension. They exposed both conventional cigarette and e-cigarette vapor to calf lung surfactant extract (Infasurf®, ONY Inc.), which is used to treat preterm infants who have yet to form surfactant. Their findings? Burning tar, an ingredient found in conventional cigarettes, was specifically damaging for pulmonary surfactant, but particles in e-cigarette vapor don’t affect the normal functioning of surfactant because e-cigarettes involve vaporization, not burning. On the other hand, conventional cigarettes significantly inhibited the ability of surfactant to reduce surface tension. The team included Professor of Electrical Engineering Savas Kaya, former technician Rebecca J. Przybyla, BA, ’11, chemical and biomolecular engineering doctoral student Saeed Nazemidashtarjandi, and electrical engineering doctoral students Rajan Parthiban and Jason Wright. The study, entitled “Electronic cigarette vapor alters the lateral structure but not tensiometric properties of calf lung surfactant,” was first published in Respiratory Research journal.

Elisabeth Weems and Anna Hartenbach, BSJ ’11, contributed to this story.


Research team. Amir Farnoud (center) with former technician Rebecca Przybyla, BA ’11, (left) and chemical and biomolecular engineering doctoral student Saeed Nazemidashtarjandi (right).




When Taylor Rowe learned of a community initiative to aid Floridians after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, he didn’t hesitate to join the nationwide movement to assist the affected, even when it meant putting his own career plans on hold. An engineering technology and management junior, Rowe drove 36 hours to Florida with his wife, in-laws, some fellow community members — and three moving trailers full of supplies including water, tarps, cleaning supplies, and childcare products. Rowe missed a few classes and the Russ College fall career fair, but thought the service trip more important. The group survived wheel bearing issues and tire blowouts to stop in Jacksonville, Lake Placid, and Arcadia, dropping off supplies to churches and warehouses for further distribution throughout south Florida. Rowe’s advice to his fellow students? Put others first when you can.


4K for cancer Civil engineering student Illona Hartman made a few extra laps around campus this year, to train and gain support for an epic journey next summer — running across America to raise money and awareness for The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. A native of The Netherlands and a longtime athlete, Hartman made a 4,000 mile, 49-day, cross-country journey across country from June to August in the 4K for Cancer. The run, similar in format to a relay race, will group Hartman and other college-aged participants in pairs, enabling the active runner to take turns with the resting teammate. Hartman will run in honor of her late infant cousin, who lost her life to leukemia after she had begun her training.

Ingenuity | 2018

Online programs rank high U.S. News & World Report ranked OHIO 36th on its list of best online graduate engineering programs for 2018, once again marking the Russ College as one of the country’s best resources for gaining an advanced degree amidst work schedules, time constraints, and non-traditional settings. The Russ College offers a master of science in civil engineering (MSCE), a master of science in electrical engineering (MSEE), and a master of engineering management (MEM) fully online. Programs within the Russ College scored notably high in the faculty credentials and training category, in which it ranked 24th. Programs also ranked 24th in student engagement. And once more, Ohio University made the list of best colleges, ranking 78th in the Top Public Schools category. For more info. on the programs, visit academics/online.cfm.

Renaissance students There’s a new group in town, and they plan to awaken interest in STEM. Formed last academic year, the Ohio University Renaissance Engineers student organization operates under four pillars: educational outreach, technical projects, engineering professionalism, and infrastructure. Led by lecturer Athan Vouzianas, their mission is to create for good in the community by applying engineering knowledge and skills to solve problems. They’ve done just that with workshops for local kids at area libraries, teaching engineering concepts through projects such as building flashlights or making silly putty — and holding an Engineering and Technology Day for K-12 schoolchildren. They’ve also programmed a NAO Robot — a pintsized humanoid robot — to interact with children who have special needs, and they’ve built a bridge for a community partner. The group welcomes students of any major to help spread the word.

iFood, you food, we all food Russ College and local pre-university students won the 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference’s Call for Solutions competition for their mobile app to reduce food waste. The team addressed the issue of food waste that occurs when natural disasters strike, by designing iFood, a mobile app that facilitates real-time information sharing, global coordination, and the gathering and distribution of food during crises. Krerkkiat Chusap, a senior electrical engineering major in the computer engineering track, and Chang Liu, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, led local middle and high school students. The group modified a food diary app created by Liu’s previous senior design students, who developed a way for diabetes patients to identify nutritional content of food by taking photos.



Conferences galore

The Russ College hosted three major conferences in 2018

In April, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2018 Ohio Valley Student Conference drew more than 350 civil engineering students and professionals from 15 schools around Ohio, Kentucky, and western Pennsylania, to showcase their civil engineering skills beyond the classroom. Contests included steel bridge, concrete canoe, and environmental competitions and were held in Stocker Center, the Academic and Research Center, the OHIO Golf and Tennis Center, and Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Russ College hosted hydraulic engineers, environmental engineers, NPDES specialists, road-way designers, and other specialists in Columbus this August for the 2018 National Hydraulic Engineering Conference. Themed “Advancing Hydraulic Engineering through Innovation and Resilient Design,” the ninth biennial conference addressed the challenges that transportation agencies face to construct, maintain, sustain, and improve hydraulic structures in the physical, natural, social, and economic environments of today and tomorrow.

Industrial and systems engineers across the world gathered in Columbus this June for the twenty-eighth International Conference in Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM). Hosted in countries ranging from Ireland to South Korea, FAIM is an international forum that demonstrates how theoretical models of intelligent manufacturing can be practically applied. Intelligent manufacturing employs automation and robots to optimize manufacturing — but further research is necessary to design and deploy automated, human-aware robots. Conference Chair Dusan Sormaz, also professor of industrial and systems engineering, said the Russ College stood out from host-site competitors because of its programming, research, and “Create for Good” value set.

For more news about upcoming events and activities, please visit:


Ingenuity | 2018

Engineers eat, too The Russ College community has a delicious new organization — one that uses food as a catalyst for casual conversation about engineering. Eats with Engineers aims to promote engineering through food and chats, and to show the creative side of engineers by bringing them together to discuss cooking, cravings, or the chemistry behind food. It may not be your traditional engineering outreach approach, but everyone eats, they figure — even engineers. Monica Burdick, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is adviser for the group. Nicole Sova, second-year graduate biomedical student, conducts interviews with professionals, professors and students to create an interwoven community of engineers.

The Russ College of Engineering and Technology’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering celebrated its 50th anniversary with a homecoming celebration on July 14. The department was established in 1968 by five Ohio University faculty members, led by Professor Emeritus and former Department Chair Robert Williams Sr. The department has grown significantly since its founding, now featuring four degree programs including one online, 10 full time faculty, about 300 enrolled students, and a very active research program.




By Anna Marie Hartenbach, BSJ ’11

STEM-ulated by curiosity, Russ College alumna, NASA Glenn Research Center supervisory aerospace engineer, and deputy division chief Cynthia Calhoun, BSEE ’88, took a giant leap to explore the unknown — now she strives to help others do the same.

Above: Alumna Cynthia Calhoun at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Electric Propulsion Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio. Photos: Above, NASA/Rami Daud; Right, Courtesy of Cynthia Calhoun


Ingenuity | 2018

If you asked 10-year-old Cynthia Calhoun what she wanted to be as a grown-up, working as a NASA engineer wouldn’t have crossed her mind. Women have long played significant roles in engineering, but they’re largely unknown in comparison to their male counterparts. Movies and books like Hidden Figures, based on the true story of the team of AfricanAmerican female mathematicians that helped send John Glenn into orbit, and Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, a biographical documentary about Lamarr’s life and inventions, have only recently hit mainstream media.

Below: A thruster is tested at NASA Glenn Research Center’s vacuum facilities. Photo: NASA/Bridget Caswell


he first mention of STEM was during the Sputnik Era from former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, who challenged Americans to become thought leaders in the fields. However, the push for STEM education only became prevalent in the early 2000s. Several published reports detailed the dire need for STEM education in the U.S., and former President Barack Obama’s 2009 Educate to Innovate Initiative announced goals to increase U.S. student science and math achievements. After years of exploring her interests and pursuing her passions, STEM is a way of life for Calhoun. At NASA and beyond, she strives to be the mentor she never had by inspiring underrepresented populations to pursue engineering and technology.

Developed to program


alhoun, a Dayton, Ohio native, recalls being a curiously minded child. She spent her time dismantling electronics and exploring nature so she could learn about the world around her. Because of the lack of STEM outreach while Calhoun was growing up, she continued to pursue her curiosities and forge her own path. “There was no one encouraging me to be an engineer or a scientist, and there were no role models whatsoever,” Calhoun says. “Typically for females it was, ‘you’re going to be a teacher or a nurse’ — stereotypical roles.” While most young women at the John H. Patterson Career Center took office and accounting courses, Calhoun explored hands-on learning. She started with drafting and carpentry, for which she won an outstanding student award, then branched into commercial art. Learning that it wasn’t for her is what set her on her path. “The first couple of weeks, I realized you got ink on everything and being a girly-girl, I didn’t want ink all over my clothes,” Calhoun says with a chuckle. “I spoke to the guidance counselor, who showed me the vocation list. I had no idea what


electronics were, so I took it — and fell in love. As they say, the rest was history.” She spent the remainder of high school studying and working in electronics and planned to continue the work she loved as an electronics technician following graduation. However, a conversation about college with her mother’s boss changed everything. Engineering, he explained, would take her much further. Calhoun enrolled in electrical engineering at Ohio University. She immersed herself in campus life and extracurricular activities, joining the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and

the Black Student Cultural Programming Board, where she was secretary and treasurer. As an African American woman studying in a field largely dominated by white males, Calhoun says her experience at OHIO helped her prepare for the workforce. “One of the realities that I understood pursuing an engineering degree was that once I got into a career, I’d most likely be the only minority in the room. It just helped me get used to that, to be honest, and helped me understand how to interact with my counterparts,” she says.


PROGRAMMED FOR GENEROSITY … Continued from Alumni Profile

The road to NASA


ollowing graduation, Calhoun developed automated test systems at Newark Air Force Base before moving to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where she worked with a team to advance the test systems by adding artificial intelligence. Kelly Air Force Base was set to be closed by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1995, so she searched for other opportunities and found a computer engineer posting for NASA. She got the job — at NASA’s Software Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia, evaluating software that ran in the space shuttles and determining ways to improve it. As she transitioned to NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, she built upon her IV&V work while implementing software assurance and risk management to support microgravity experiments for use in space shuttles or the space station. “The greatest part of working for NASA is being able to be a part of and witness such massive, intricate, and complex systems come together and work,” she says. “Starting with the concept of operations, to developing build and performance requirements, to designing, building, and testing the system, to full operations — many people, ideas, and moving parts are involved.” Fellow Bobcat Timothy Ferlin, NASA Glenn chief safety officer, and power and propulsion element safety and mission assurance director, has worked closely with Calhoun for four years. She has served as his mentor and went above and beyond to nominate him for leadership and training programs, helping him achieve his professional goals. “She is a consummate professional, always willing to sit down and help others out, and is typically one of the first ones in and last ones out the door during the week,” Ferlin says. “If there is one thing I could take away from working with Cynthia, it would be to remain happy and positive no matter what happens at work. Her calm demeanor is a positive influence on our organization.”

Calculating success


s a supervisory aerospace engineer and deputy division chief at NASA, much of Calhoun’s work focuses on calculating outcomes and ensuring success — from system reliability and safety to budgeting manpower. Outside of work, she adds to the success of others through her relentless efforts to inspire populations underrepresented and underserved in STEM.

Above: Calhoun and Jacqie Weber, OHIO’s senior director of donor relations, supporting the Bobcats in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. Photo: Courtesy of Cynthia Calhoun



Calhoun’s list of volunteer and outreach activities is longer than her resume, illustrating her generosity and willingness to serve others. She created the Ohio University Bertha L. Calhoun Scholarship, in honor of her late mother in 2015, for rising juniors at the Russ College; and she helped develop a Russ College partnership with the International Women’s Air and Space Museum in Cleveland to create an engineering summer camp. She also served the OHIO Alumni Association Board of Directors for six years and volunteered for the Black Alumni Reunion. “Cynthia has been a long-time, active volunteer with Ohio University, and she’s well-respected among our alumni groups,” says David Bambrey, former interim assistant vice president of alumni relations “She’s someone who is always looked to for her guidance and strategic thinking.” A woman who bleeds green and white, no Bobcat sporting event is too far for Calhoun to support OHIO — sometimes she travels as far as Honolulu and the Bahamas. Aside from cheering, she donates tickets so underprivileged youth and military members can attend as well. “Cynthia is a very special alumna of OHIO. She is engaged with her alma mater and has given back in all the traditional capacities — time, talent and treasure,” says Jacquelin Weber, senior director of donor relations. “She’s an enthusiastic Bobcat supporter and really enjoys cheering loud and proud from the stands.” Aside from her contributions to the OHIO community, Calhoun is an active volunteer in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and has spoken at schools around the country. She serves on the board of directors for K ids in Flight, a non-profit that provides aviation-related activities and airplane rides to children that have a serious illness or disability. She’s a founding member of the Greater Cleveland Indeed We Code (IWC) camp, which teaches African American girls coding; and she served as a guest speaker at an OHIO Summer Coding Camp for girls. “I think there’s such a thing called reaching back,” she says. “I just think it’s important to help somebody follow the same path you did.” For her notable contributions of fostering inclusion and diversity, participating in mentorship programs, initiating outreach efforts, and volunteering at national conferences, Calhoun was awarded NASA’s Honor Award and Equal Opportunity Employment Medal in 2017. Colleen Carow contributed to this story.


Ingenuity | 2018


Fogg named Alumnus of the Year Distinguished Russ College alumnus Raymon B. Fogg, Sr., BSCE ’53, HON ’14, was named Ohio University Alumnus of the Year in October. Fogg, a member of the Russ College Board of Visitors and Department of Civil Engineering advisory board, is the founder and chairman of the board for Ray Fogg Building Methods, a premier design-build contracting company in Northeast Ohio. He was recognized as for his years as an accomplished entrepreneur and being a benevolent humanitarian. “This award showcases what we in the Russ College have known for many years: that our graduates have always been humanitarians and entrepreneurs,” said Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin. “Ray Fogg’s life and career are testaments to those facts.” Fogg’s company has completed more than 3,500 building projects, owns and operates more than 2 million square feet of leased space, and has developed five major industrial parks. He has participated in or led countless humanitarian efforts in Central America and Africa. In the 1970s, he led a building mission in Guatemala City, where his volunteer group built 35,000 homes after a natural disaster. As a licensed pilot, he transported earthquake victims to medical treatment, delivered construction equipment that improved structural viability, and fundraised for disaster relief efforts upon returning to the U.S. Fogg also served in Somalia in the following decade, both as a church representative offering his building expertise to support U.N. reconstruction efforts and as a representative of the CARE relief organization delivering food and medicine to famine victims. He later built housing for relief workers in northern Somalia. In addition to international service, Fogg was a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a nonprofit service providing free transportation to patients for lifesaving medical treatment, and his company provides ongoing community support for organizations around Cleveland. Fogg has also served on the boards of several international relief agencies, on boards of church related homes and shelters for abused or emotionally disadvantaged children and skilled care and retirement facilities for older adults, and on numerous university boards. He was awarded the Ohio University Alumni Medal of Merit in 1997.

Above: OHIO Alumnus of the Year Fogg (second from left), flanked by (from L to R) David Bambrey, former interim assistant vice president of alumni relations; Duane M. Nellis, president; and Ron Teplitzky, AB ’84, chairman. Photo: Steve Wilson

Ohio University trustee and Russ College Board of Visitors member David Pidwell BSEE ’69, MS ’70, received the prestigious 2017 Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship in February for excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship. A partner with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Alloy Ventures since 1996, Pidwell, who is a member of the Russ College Academy of Distinguished Graduates, invests in the computer software industry, specifically companies that address the internet, software-as-a-service (SaaS, cloud computing) related fields, and enterprise information management. He’s also founder of TechGROWTH Ohio, a $52 million public-private funded by the Ohio Third Frontier program, OHIO, and the private investment community. Russ College alumni or former faculty have won the Konneker Medal every year since 2013 for their accomplishments in consumer electronics and internet-connected products, cancy therapy innovations, computer chip technology, and new engine and power generation systems.

Photo: Steve Wilson



ready to

RIDE Industrial and systems engineering students embody ‘Create for Good’ by developing assistive technology for local children with disabilities

By Colleen Carow

Photos: Ashley Stottlemyer

he gymnasium at Forest Rose School in Lancaster, Ohio, was full of smiles and squeals in November when three youngsters got the ride of their lives: Industrial and systems graduate students had delivered motorized children’s cars they’d modified for stability, safety, and mobility. Partnering with the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities as part of their industrial ergonomics coursework with Associate Professor Diana Schwerha, and inspired by a nationwide effort to fit children with motorized cars as an alternative to wheelchairs, they cost-effectively produced assistive technology tailored to each child’s needs. Unique for its emphasis on human factors, the project exemplified the boundless potential that industrial ergonomics — and cross-institutional collaboration — have to create for good.



All smiles. Surrounded by family, teachers, and the Russ College students who designed a dream, Forest Rose School student My’only tries out her new wheels for the first time. “It’s freedom, joy and independence that the students were able to give our kids,” said Lori Burns, occupational therapist at Forest Rose School.





Terrific trio. Working with Forest Rose therapists to learn their little clients’ physical needs and limitations, the grad students split into three teams and modified child-sized red and white sports cars, and a police SUV, to give the children a viable and fun way to move, learn, and grow.

Helpful tech. “The children are our clients, and we have to create a technology to fit their capabilities, and that means being adaptable because each car will be slightly different depending on what the child needs.” — Diana Schwerha, Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering

On the road again. Collaborating in the hallway of Stocker Center, Russ College students refine the wiring on My’Only’s car.


Looking ahead: Serving her local and global community by using her systems engineering and leadership skills to relieve human suffering

Ingenuity | 2018


The Download. Students give details on Keller’s new ride to him and Lori Burns, occupational therapist at Forest Rose School.

Keller’s Cruise-in. “There are a lot of products on the market for assistive technology and adaptive equipment, but so many times additional adaptations are required to make things work for our kids,” Burns says.





Final touches. Catching a first glimpse at their cars, My'Only and Keller wait for Russ College students to prep the vehicles for fittings and test drives.

Improvement by design. Russ College students discuss possible improvements with Forest Rose staff after the children’s preliminary test drives.


Start your engines! Tucker, Keller, and My’Only get ready to spin around the gym on delivery day.

Little officer. Students modified Tucker’s police SUV by disconnecting the foot pedal, replacing the steering wheel with a handlebar to accommodate strength and motor skills, and incorporating parts of a child’s car seat to provide stability and safety. “The cars seemed to be all they've always wanted,” saus mechanical engineering doctoral student Ohioma Eboreime.

Making tracks. Waiting for a few final tweaks on his white sports car, Keller takes Tucker's police SUV for a test drive, and My’Only piles on the miles.




Projects, PLM, and a surprise in his pocket Russ College prof balances undergrad teaching and leadership with his own research By Mariel Jungkunz, MS ’08

Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) Neil Littell is the ultimate project manager — and his biggest challenge might be managing his own schedule. “When I worked in industry full time, I had to learn how to prioritize and schedule my life to get things done,” says Littell, who teaches an engineering design course and the capstone course both for ETM and the department’s bachelor’s degree program in technical operations management. “I get uncomfortable if I’m not busy. My favorite phrase is, ‘What can I do to help?’” The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Adviser of the Year sets his sights on helping as many people as possible. He consistently shares that notion with his students because of how the value has opened doors for him. He put the words into action when leading Russ College students to collaborate with education students to design interactive museum displays for local Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery.

“The experience stretches both groups of students outside of their comfort zones a bit, but the end results are definitely better than either group could have created on their own,” he says. After 15 years working in the field to research and help companies implement PLM (product lifecycle management) strategies and solutions, Littell says he jumped at the chance to work at the Russ College, because the culture encourages excellence in teaching — as well as in research and service. During summer, when not in the classroom, he helps companies implement solutions to remain competitive. “This is a great change of pace for me, which helps me recharge my batteries and passion for connecting students with industry,” Littell says. “I also love seeing the audits when I’m able to save companies tens of millions of dollars.” Back on campus, he originated the Russ College’s undergraduate certificate in project management. And as national president of the ATMAE (Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering) student division, Littell is designing a new robot challenge for the organization’s November annual conference, after having led the team to third and fourth place wins last year. Somehow he has still found time to focus on the next big thing. “I’m working with others on some new educational experiences, which will be uniquely ‘OHIO,’” he says. “I can’t really talk about it, but this is going to be huge.” Colleen Carow contributed to this story.



Ingenuity | 2018

IRWIN TO RETIRE Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin will retire from his post in June 2019 to return to teaching in the college. An Ohio University faculty member since 1987, he served as chair of the Russ College’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science prior to be appointed dean of the college in 2002. As dean, he facilitated the largest charitable gift ever made to a public engineering college: a $124 million bequest from the estate of Fritz and Dolores Russ. His accolades also include crafting the initial vision for OHIO’s Academic & Research Center; developing several new programs; and helping to bring the world’s premiere space education program, International Space University, to Ohio University and serving as chief host for its Summer Space Studies Program in 2015. Under Irwin’s leadership, the Russ College has secured more than $225 million in sponsored research, has roughly doubled its enrollment, and is poised to nearly triple its learning and research space. A national search will be held for the next dean.


CORROSION HONORS The National Association of Corrosion Engineers awarded Russ Professor and Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology Director Srdjan Nesic the prestigious 2018 Willis Rodney Whitney Award for his contributions to corrosion science and education. The award honors significant contributions to research and/or the prevention of corrosion. Nesic, who was recognized as an exemplar of excellence in engineering research, has clarified the impacts of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2S (hydrogen sulfide) on the corrosion of pipeline steel. He is responsible for obtaining more than $35 million in external research funding, almost all from private industry.

ISE GAINS NEW DEPARTMENT CHAIR Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair Dale Masel was appointed chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), effective in July. Former Chair and Russ Professor Robert Judd returned to the ISE faculty after leading the department almost twelve years. Masel brings twenty years of teaching and

research experience to his new post, including more than sixteen years as undergraduate chair and five as accreditation coordinator. He has also served for fourteen years as adviser to the Karol A. and Jo Ondick Engineering Ambassadors Program and is a past adviser of the student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. In addition, he has been an instructor for the Ohio University Learning Communities for thirteen years. His research interests are in cost estimation. Since 2000, he has co-led a research project sponsored by General Electric to improve ways to estimate manufacturing costs for jet engines, gas turbines, steam turbines and wind turbines. He received the Russ College’s White Departmental Research Award nine times, the White Departmental Teaching Award five times, and the 2018 Russ Undergraduate Teaching Award for best Russ College instructor.

The Avionics Engineering Center has gained new leadership in Michael “Mike” R. Deis, who was appointed Stocker Visiting Professor and director of the center, effective this past October. Deis, who has more than 35 years of experience in organizational and technical leadership, succeeds Mike DiBenedetto, who will continue as a senior research engineer. An accomplished United States Air Force senior executive service leader, Deis will also serve as director of business development at the Russ Center for Research and Professional Development, which is OHIO’s presence in Beavercreek, Ohio, just a few miles from Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the headquarters of the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL). Deis offers expertise in aerospace testing, design and research, as well as deep knowledge and experience at the highest executive levels of AFRL, an organization with which the Russ College has deepening ties in positioning, navigation, and timing, as well as cybersecurity.

ADVISER OF THE YEAR Assistant Professor of Engineering and Technology Management Neil Littell received the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) 2017 Distinguished Faculty Adviser Award. Adviser of the OHIO SME chapter for more than three years, he supports students by offering guidance, providing educational experiences, organizing outreach activities, and helping them build professional networks. The honor carries an award of $2,000, which he’ll use to further the mission of the chapter. For more about Littell, see p. 28.



How do Russ College alumni create for good? 4 National 4STEM



4 Construction

4 Lean


4 Engineering


4 Intellectual


property law

Class Notes BRUCE BILYEU, BSCS ’06, MS ’10, is an IT technical specialist at Huntington National Bank. CYNTHIA C. CALHOUN, BSEE ’88, aerospace engineer supervisor, was awarded the NASA Honor Award Medal and Equal Employment Opportunity Medal for her notable efforts to inspire students underrepresented in STEM to become future engineers and scientists. CHARLES C. CREWS, BSISE ’93, was recently named vice president of Consumers Energy Company. THAD EWALD, BSME ’90, was recently appointed vice president of corporate strategy and business development for Cummins Inc. He previously held engineering, marketing, sales, strategy, and management positions with Emerson Electric Company, Goodrich, Inc., and Zexel. STEVEN D. FENING, BSME ’01, MS ’03, PHD ’05, is the director of the Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership at Case Western Reserve University, which aims to commercialize university research. He is also a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Apto Orthopaedics Corporation. JOHN MICHAEL FERRIS, BSEE ’89, vice president and general manager of vision care at Bausch + Lomb, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Prevent Blindness, a volunteer eye health and safety organization.

ROGER GUNDLACH, BSME ’72, was inducted into the Carrier Corporation Dealer Hall of Fame. He is president of Gundlach Sheet Metal Works Inc., serves as chairman of the Erie County Community Foundation, and is a trustee on the Firelands Regional Medical Center Board. CHINH L. HOANG, BSEE ’78, an awardwinning author, published a Vietnam travelogue, “Rain Falling on Tamarind Trees” in November 2017 with Willow Stream Publishing. DAVID MATTHEW HYDE, BSCHE ’92, was recently hired as account manager for D.B. Becker, a world-class distributor of specialty resins, additives, pigments and packaging. Previously, he served in various product development, technical service, and technical management roles for more than 19 years in the coatings and thermoset plastics industries. MADELYN GRIFFITH LISTON, BSETM ’15, was recently selected by GE to study lean manufacturing methods in Japan as part of its early career development program. KYLE LEWIS, BSA ’07, a member of the OHIO Department of Aviation Flight Training Alumni Board, was named manager of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Great Lakes Region in September 2017. JOHN MIRTH, BSME ’84, MS ’88, PH.D. ’90, joined the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering as a professor of instruction in mechanical and industrial engineering.

KIMBERLEY CHIN NOBLES, BSEE ’84, MS ’85, recently joined Gordon & Rees, a national litigation and business transactions firm, as partner in the firm’s Orange County office, where she’s a member of the intellectual property, international law, and privacy and data security practice groups. Previously, she was a research and design engineer with Rockwell International and NASA.


JUSTIN PIERCE, BSETM ’06, director of engineering and manufacturing for MPW Industrial Services, was named by Water & Wastes Digest in June 2017 as one of the water industry’s top young professionals.

JOHN ROSS, BSETM ’90, and his wife Natalie, who are co-owners of Ross Rental Station, celebrated their 25th anniversary of business. CORY CHARLES SEILER, BSETM ’07, married fellow Bobcat LAURA SPEER, BSN ’13, MS ’16, Sept. 1, 2017, at Jorgensen Farms in Westerville, Ohio. She is a family nurse practitioner at Healthy Alliance, LLC., and he is a quality engineer manager at TS Tech. KRIS SHEPHERD, BSME ’93, is celebrating twenty-four years at GE Aviation as director of the Boeing CFM LEAP-1B jet engine program, the engine that powers the Boeing 737 MAX airplane. He also marked his 19th anniversary of marriage to STEPHANIE SMITH SHEPHERD, BSCHE ’92. PAUL STOCKLIN, BSEE ’14, was named Air Force Life Cycle Management company grade officer of the quarter at the age of 25. He is currently lead engineer for a system of the Wide Area Surveillance program at the Hanscom Air Force base in Massachusetts, where he briefs generals and program executive officers on national defense. LOUIS TOMASELLO, JR., BSCE ’92, was named Construction Engineer of the Year by Union Paving & Construction, where he is chief engineer. He also serves on the board of the New Jersey Professional Engineers in Construction nonprofit organization.

Ingenuity | 2018

Passings DONALD BLIZZARD, BSEE ’59, passed away at the age of 80 in August 2017. He had retired from a 33-year career with Cooper Bessemer Corp., where he held a number of positions including director of engineering. RICHARD THOMAS “DICK” BRENNAN, BSCE ’58, passed away at the age of 82 in February 2017. He was a highway engineer for the New York State Department of Transportation for 20 years. SHELDON KEPHART BURTNER, JR., BSEE ’52, a U.S. Army veteran, passed away at the age of 88 in July 2017. He was retired from a 30-year career at North American Rockwell. BILLY CLARK, MS ’70, passed away at the age of 85 in January 2018. Superintendent of the instrumentation laboratory at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion plant, he also served the U.S. Air Force veteran during the Korean War. DAVID J. ERICKSON, BSEE ’65, MS ’72, passed away at the age of 75 in December 2017. He was a retired sonar design engineer at Lockheed Martin. ROBERT GANNON, BSME ’55, passed away at the age of 85 in December 2017.

CHARLES “CHUCK” OVERBY, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF INDUSTRIAL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING AT OHIO, passed away at the age of 91 in September 2017. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII and the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, leading him to spend his later years working toward resolving international conflict through nonviolent means.

VICTOR DEFAY HARDMAN, BSEE ’60, passed away at the age of 85 in November 2017. Hardman, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was retired from the Bell Telephone System Company after 30 years of service.

JAMES KEITH PALMER, BSIT ’76, MA ’09, passed away at the age of 62 in August 2017. He held various management positions with Southern Ohio Coal Co-AEP and also taught physical science and biology at Vinton County High School for 13 years.

JAMES W. HECK, BSEE ’49, passed away at the age of 94 in September 2017. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII and later had a 44-year career in field sales and marketing.

JAMES HAROLD SMITH, BSEE ’56, passed away at the age of 83 in May 2017. He worked at General Electric for 39 years designing and servicing electrical systems for large mining equipment worldwide.

THOMAS JONES, BSCE ’58, passed away at the age of 82 in September 2017. ARNO WILLIAM MCGRAW JR., BSISE ’48, passed away at the age of 93 in November 2017. A U.S. Navy combat pilot during WWII, he founded Bucyrus Blades Inc. in 1951. FLOYD RANDALL MORRISON, BSISE ’72, passed away at the age of 67 in September 2017. He worked at Holophane Lighting for 43 years in engineering, production, design, customer support and marketing support roles.

JOHN SNYDER, BSCE ’76, passed away at the age of 70 in January 2018. RUSSELL SCOTT STRATTON, BSEE ’59, who retired from a 25-year career as assistant district manager with Bethlehem Steel Corp., passed away at the age of 79 in July 2017. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves. ROBERT THOMAS, JR., BSEE ’87, MS ’93, passed away at the age of 52 in October 2017. He was a program engineer for the Avionics Engineering Center at OHIO.

Catch up.

Get in touch.

Find out what more alumni are doing at

Let us know what’s new with you at


Your source for all things good




FOURTH TIME IS A CHARM Mechanical engineering student finds internships even more than they’re cracked up to be By Mariel Jungkunz, ’08

On any given afternoon, you might find mechanical engineering senior Kelsey Long collaborating with Battlebot team members on their remote-controlled combat robot, or tutoring fellow students in statics, math, or physics at Ohio University’s Academic Advancement Center. Another accomplishment under her belt? A project she completed during one of her four internship rotations at Chemours in Parkersburg, West Virginia. It’ll save the company $200,000 over two years — and it earned her a Six Sigma certification. Long originally set her sights on becoming a math teacher, but her brother, a civil engineering major at OHIO, encouraged her to consider the Russ College. Now planning to pursue graduate studies as a Bobcat, she learned at Chemours about fracture mechanics, or the study of cracks in materials. “Before Chemours, I didn't even know this side of mechanical engineering existed,” says Long, whose project brought radiographic inspections for welds in-house to eliminate the need for outside contractors. She was assigned to work with the mechanical development group that was in charge of inspecting and maintaining the integrity of equipment throughout the plant. “I was able to apply concepts I had learned from strength of materials, machine design, and a few other classes,” she says. The experience helped her understand the job market and what she’d like to learn more about in her field, she explained, citing welding and metallurgy as new interests that she’ll explore in her upcoming studies. Colleen Carow contributed to this story.

“I was able to apply concepts I’d learned from strength of materials, machine design, and a few other classes.” — KELSEY LONG



Ingenuity | 2018

Play it forward

The OHIO end zone was just the beginning for this alumnus

By Mariel Jungkunz, ’08 When a newly hired Rahim Slaise, BSIT ’00, invited his new boss, OHIO alumna and TTX’s vice president of equipment Sharon Harmsworth, BSISE ‘82, to lunch, he couldn’t resist asking a few questions: How did she define success? What characteristics did she find valuable in leaders? What was her five-year plan? It was, Slaise says, his attempt to approach his new job the way that a problem-solving OHIO engineer — and a former OHIO football player — would. “Coach Jim Grobe used to say, ‘Guys, if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse, because no one stays consistent over time,’” says Slaise, who is now manager of car information and asset management for TTX. “Then he would ask us if we were doing the things necessary to get better.”

Slaise’s most recent pass is to give back. He and his wife, Sherell, who have three young children, have created the Tandrea Moone Carter and Elizabeth James Slaise Endowment for Change with a $25,000 gift to the Russ College. Their hope is to support diversity. “This is a start — not a finish line,” Slaise says of the gift, encouraging OHIO alumni to give back because every dollar counts. “A gift doesn’t have to be millions of dollars.” Slaise also hits the street with Harmsworth on outreach trips to urban schools to promote STEM careers. “Strong leaders don’t worry about the personalities gunning for their job. They place capable people in positions of authority, support their efforts, clear roadblocks, and hold people accountable.” Colleen Carow contributed to this story.

Want to help students connect, engage, and inspire? Make a charitable gift to the Russ Vision Fund. For more info., contact Senior Director of Development Scott Gluck at or 740.593.2533, or visit


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Athens, OH Permit #100

Russ College of Engineering and Technology

Use unless otherwise told

Stocker Center 1 Ohio University Athens OH 45701.2979


Further Your Career

With one of our online master’s degrees or certificate programs ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS

Engineering management

Civil engineering


Electrical engineering

Lean Six Sigma

Technical project management

PRSRT. S U.S. Post PAID Athens, Permit #

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.