YSU’s Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering held an Advisory Board Meeting in Moser Hall, Friday, January 6, 2012 with 16 members present including Ms. Cynthia Gerst, Research Program Manager at the Ohio Department of Transportation. The Advisory Board sets policies and procedures for the CTME which are the guidelines Joann Esenwein, as Director, uses to make decisions throughout the year. The Board also has input on the selection of research, outreach and workforce development projects selected for funding. Ms. Gerst presented an overview of the ODOT Strategic Research Plan. Ms. Esenwein went over the highlights of 2011 which included the submission of a proposal for new funding through the University Transportation Centers program, submitted in collaboration with the University of Pittsburg and University of Akron. Additional highlights included YSU’s Transportation Career Day, an ODOT visit, and funding received from ODOT District 4. Esenwein also informed the Board that the call for white papers for new research activities within the current funding cycle went out January 3, 2012 and are due January 18, 2012.
The Fall 2011 Mechanical Engineering Technology Tool Design class worked on projects hosted at the General Motors Lordstown Stamping Plant. The students attended class at the plant instead of on campus, and worked on projects that will go into plant use in 2012.
Class instructor Mark Vuksanovich said, “This was an opportunity for the students to handle a real project in the field. Students rarely have experiences that simulate the work they will be doing after they graduate. We would like to change that.”
YSU Assistant Professor Brian Vuksanovich, who oversaw the class implementation, said, “The on-site class gave these students an opportunity to experience what they will be doing as graduates in the workplace. Both the students and the plant benefitted from this type of class. We are already looking at offering more field courses in the future.”
Class projects involved redesign of press components that will be installed next year, and a system to precisely measure press movements during die changeover operations. Proposals, mechanical drawings, parts sourcing and physical measurements of components were some of the aspects of plant engineering that were accomplished by the students. Students also got a private tour of the stamping, weld shop and assembly areas of the Lordstown Complex.
General Motors project manager Dave Brown, who oversaw the class at the plant, said, “The class projects encompassed designs that would have required plant resources to develop. Having the students perform the design work helped with our manpower sourcing and gave the students valuable work experience they would not have had otherwise.”
The STEM College Advisory Council is comprised of influential leaders in industry and government who share a common commitment to the success of YSU. During their meeting on Friday, October 21 Council members provided input on several College initiatives, including an analysis of STEM facilities, ideas on promoting student engagement in industry, and the STEM College strategic plan.
Martin Abraham, Dean of the STEM College, commented that “the Advisory Council is one way in which we can get input from leaders in industry, who know what our students need to learn in order to be successful after graduation. They can assist in building relationships that can lead to jobs for our students. They help us to make our curriculum relevant.”
Another initiative of the council is to build good working relationships with industry to foster faculty and student involvement in joint research projects and establish YSU as a leading urban research university, and to help find employment opportunities for students and graduates.
Jack Greaf, former Chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, said he is serving on the Council to provide some ideas from industry for research and development. He added, “I would like to understand what the University is doing in education particularly the STEM College,” so he can determine, “how the education that’s being provided can be complemented by industry.” Greaf, who is recently retired, graduated from YSU in 1967 and is hoping to give back to the University that gave him the education to be successful.
Stephen Giangiordano, VP of Technology and Innovation at RTI, was in attendance and is a 1979 YSU graduate. He said, “I have a very strong interest in STEM issues that are facing the aerospace and defense industry. By having the privilege to be on the Council, I will have an opportunity to learn more about the STEM issues and have a positive impact on the University.” RTI has an ongoing relationship with YSU and offers internship opportunities for students.
Joseph Hamrock, President and COO of American Electric Power, also serves on the council. American Electric is among the nation’s largest generators of electricity and owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system (a nearly 39,000-mile network). Hamrock is a 1985 YSU graduate of the Electrical Engineering program and said he would like to give back to the University that provided him a great platform for success. He added, “My education at YSU in the Electrical Engineering program was so valuable to me in ways I didn’t understand then. It’s great to help today’s students explore the opportunities that a STEM education can provide for them.”
David Reed is a Boardman native and currently resides in Poland. He is President of Essex Group, Inc. located in Fort Wayne, IN. He said he is grateful for the education he had at Youngstown State. He said, “Hopefully, I can continue to provide some positive influence from an industrial perspective.” He added that he hopes the college will continue to focus on undergraduate programs as well as graduate programs, and he wants to help provide support and influence from the private sector.
Robert J. Korenic, Assistant Professor, Civil and Construction Engineering Technology, presented his research paper titled Developing a Multi-Faceted Survey of Engineering Course for Junior and Senior Level High School Students at the 2010-2011 American Society of Engineering Educators North Central/ Illinois-Indiana conference which was held at Central Michigan University on April 1 through April 2, 2011.