UT College of Engineering News

UT College of Engineering to announce diversity scholarship program in partnership with Dana, Inc., Toledo Excel

The University of Toledo College of Engineering will host a special event Thursday, May 4, to announce a new program in partnership with Dana Inc. and Toledo Excel.

At the event, Dana will present the College of Engineering with a check for $250,000 to create the Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program.

The check presentation will take place at 11 a.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1027.

The initiative aims to increase the recruitment, enrollment, retention and success of underrepresented minority students in degree programs offered by the College of Engineering.

Dr. Lesley Berhan, director of engineering diversity initiatives and associate professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, will lead the new program.

“Through this partnership with Dana Inc. and Toledo Excel, we hope to develop a sustainable pipeline to the College of Engineering for underrepresented students in the Toledo area that will introduce them to the exciting world of engineering and enhance their academic and professional preparation,” Berhan said.

“Diversity is a priority both for the University and for the employers who hire our graduates,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “At the College of Engineering, we are thrilled to partner with Dana to provide more support for minority students in engineering programs. We hope to increase the success of students in this program by providing mentorship and professional development before the students even enroll at UT.”

The Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program is a four-stage program that will start after the completion of 11th grade with a summer institute, beginning in July. Mentorship and professional development opportunities will continue through the completion of a degree from the College of Engineering.

“Dana is proud to partner of The University of Toledo in this endeavor to better connect students from underrepresented communities to career paths in engineering,” George Constand, chief technology officer at Dana Inc., said. “We believe this will help to promote greater diversity and inclusion among the engineering workforce of the future.”

For 28 years Toledo Excel has provided college preparation and scholarships to underrepresented students, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans. Through services such as summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.

“The Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand what we do for some of our Excel students who are interested in careers in engineering,” David Young, director of the Toledo Excel Program, said. “It provides them with a great introduction to the field through amazing faculty in the University’s College of Engineering; mentorship and guidance from a fantastic company like Dana; and continued support from the Toledo Excel staff that has invested in them since the time they left middle school. I am thrilled that the idea Dr. Berhan discussed with me many months ago has now become reality.”

More information on the Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program can be found here.

UT Major Gifts Officer one of five in nation recognized as outstanding young professional

Nicholas Kulik, major gifts officer for the College of Engineering, is among five fundraisers younger than 31 recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

For his impressive fundraising achievements, he recently was named to the association’s first group of Outstanding Young Professionals.


In his first year with The University of Toledo, Kulik raised more than $2 million for the major gift programs of two of UT’s largest colleges.“Nick’s personal contributions have been a tremendous asset to the Advancement team,” said Brenda S. Lee, president of the UT Foundation. “This national honor is a testament to his exemplary efforts and enthusiasm.”

The Outstanding Young Professionals designation honors exemplary work in raising funds, inspiring donors, helping manage campaigns, and giving back to the profession.

“Nick’s focus on meeting donor objectives, while working to further the University’s mission, has been a great part of his success,” said Michael Harders, vice president for advancement. “Not only is he an outstanding fundraiser, he also is skilled at building relationships throughout the University community.”

Kulik and the other four honorees will be recognized at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco Sunday, April 30.

“It’s an honor and humbling experience being recognized with a great class of young professionals,” said Kulik, a Certified Fund Raising Executive. “Through the guidance of my mentors, support of my family, especially my wife, and experiences through the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I’ve turned my career into my passion.”

An alumnus of Pi Kappa Phi, Kulik also was recognized with the fraternity’s Thirty Under 30 Award in 2014. It was through Pi Kappa Phi that he realized he wanted to make fundraising his career.

“While in college, I started raising funds for people with disabilities through Pi Kappa Phi and wanted to make it my life’s pursuit to help people,” Kulik said. “Working with philanthropists to create transformation change in a community, hospital or university has been personally rewarding.”

After graduating from Bowling Green State University, Kulik spent most of his career with the United Way network, where he worked on multiple $13 million annual campaigns in northwest Ohio. Kulik also worked at the United Way of Racine County, where he led a campaign that raised a record-setting $5.4 million.

In addition to his United Way experience, he was a major gifts officer for Bowling Green State University and ProMedica Health System focusing on securing major gifts for their comprehensive campaigns.

He is pursuing a master of studies in law from The University of Toledo.

UT Engineering students to show off senior projects April 28

By Christine Billau

More than 70 projects will be on display Friday, April 28, during The University of Toledo’s Undergraduate Research and Senior Design Engineering Project Exposition.

Projects include an aromatic alarm clock, a motion-activated vacuum pump for lower limb prosthetics, and an Internet-enabled, smart-mirror medicine cabinet.

The College of Engineering event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on the first floor of Nitschke Hall.

The exposition showcases projects created by more than 250 graduating seniors from the departments of Bioengineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering Technology; and Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

Projects are the required senior design capstone project where students form business-consulting units to develop a solution for a client’s technical or business challenge. Businesses, industries and federal agencies sponsor these projects.

Several projects over the last few years have gone on to become patented. This semester, a team of bioengineering students plans to pursue a patent for its project called SpecuLIFT, which is being designed to reduce discomfort and residual pain during pelvic exams.

Students, Faculty Present Research Updates at CDMI Spring Symposium

Scientific innovation and research is constantly making impact in the medical community, and the University of Toledo is contributing to the story.

The University of Toledo will host a biannual conference next week to review projects conducted through the National Science Foundation’s center on our campus. The conference will be held at College of Engineering in the Thomas and Betsy Brady Engineering Innovation Center on April 5 & 6, 2017 starting at 7:30 a.m. both days and end at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and 1 p.m. on Friday. It will include presentations from students, faculty and staff as well as keynote speakers.

The Center for Disruptive Musculoskeletal Innovations (CDMI) was founded by Drs. Jeffrey Lotz, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and Vijay Goel, University of Toledo (UT) July, 2014 through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) program. This center is one of only four I/UCRC’s in the area of health and safety. It joins industry members and faculty from the University of Toledo and UCSF to define and fund industry-inspired, precompetitive research projects and other collaborative initiatives. The CDMI maintains itself as a primary source for fundamental research on clinical outcomes and cost data, implant materials, tissue engineering, biosensors, implant testing protocols, and novel imaging in the musculoskeletal domain.

“To have an NSF Center is very prestigious,” said Dr. Vijay Goel, CDMI co-director and bioengineering and orthopaedic surgery professor. “To see that the faculty are working side-by-side with industry to translate research discoveries is exciting, and allows us to accelerate our efforts to create value for society.”

Through the CDMI, graduate and undergraduate students are assigned to funded projects, work on research, and provide quarterly progress reports during scheduled meetings. Industry members choose to become mentors for the some of the funded projects, thus giving the students valuable interaction and guidance as they work towards completing the research projects.

One of the exciting aspects of the bi-annual CDMI meeting is that the students will be presenting the CDMI project updates to the CDMI Industry Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB currently consists of high-level executives in 8 businesses or organizations in the medical field. This will be a unique training experience for many of our students since they will be able to meet and interact with many of the industry executives and get immediate feedback on their projects, Goel said. Some of the IAB members will be from companies like Depuy Spine, Orthofix, K2M, Zimmer, Osteonovus, Spinal Balance, and Medipol University, Turkey.

The best part about being involved in the conference, according to one of our masters students, is that the industry executives are receiving their resumes and seeing firsthand all the work the students have been doing. Over 85 students, faculty, and industry representatives will attend.

For more information, visit the CDMI website at www.nsfcdmi.org

Adapted from story by Lindsay Mahaney

Freshman Design Expo highlights student innovation

Freshman design students show off their breath-activated inhaler prototype.

College of Engineering students are innovators- beginning in their freshman year. On Friday, February 24th, the College of Engineering hosted the Freshman Design Expo. Approximately 30 student teams presented and discussed their projects with visitors, including fellow students, faculty, staff, and community members. Projects included a motorized skateboard, campus efficiency apps, and an inhaler for dispensing medication- among other innovative design solutions. WTOL11 highlighted some of the projects from the expo. View the WTOL11 coverage of the event here.

Freshman design student explains “Green Roofs” project to local youth.

The College of Engineering has introduced several Freshman Design initiatives give first-year engineering students hands-on experience with entrepreneurship and introduce them to real world challenges faced by innovators and start-ups. The Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME) Department integrates a Freshman Design Project in the course MIME 1000: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering. After learning about entrepreneurship in the classroom setting, students form teams and create a business plan to market novel devices. In the Department of Bioengineering, students have the option to participate in the BIOE Freshman Design Club.  Teams work to address problems related to patient/doctor communication, hospital-acquired infection, and redesign of medical instruments and rehabilitation devices. Groups then develop and propose solutions to these real-world challenges. Several projects from these two departments were on display at Friday’s Expo.

Freshman students explain their ankle brace design improvements.

Recognizing that the spirit to invent and create reaches across disciplines, the College of Engineering supports campus-wide entrepreneurial initiatives. The College of Engineering hosted the Expo in collaboration with the Freshman Engineering Entrepreneurship Development club (FEED), Young Entrepreneurship Society (YES), and the First Year Rocket Engineers, (FYRE) a social and professional organization designed to enhance the college experience for freshmen or first year engineering students. Scott McIntyre guides students in the Freshman Engineering Entrepreneurship Development club, (FEED) which teaches freshman students to apply an entrepreneurial edge to the theory and practice of engineering, with mentoring from upper class members of the sister organization, Young Entrepreneurship Society (YES).

The annual event is likely to grow in the coming years as the the College of Engineering seeks to incorporate a design component into the first year curriculum for all engineering students.


Professor becomes Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Dr. Sarit Bhaduri, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering in the College of Engineering, and director of the Multifunctional Materials Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is the first faculty member from UT to be inducted into the academy.

Being elected to be a National Academy of Inventors Fellow is a high professional distinction granted to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a substantial impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.


“This award provides great recognition of Dr. Bhaduri’s success in translating his research into commercial opportunities that can provide great benefit to individuals,” Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president of research, said. “His ability to look for applications of his research is impressive, and this award is a signal that UT is a national leader in research and technology commercialization.”

“This recognition has an energizing effect on me for inventing newer processes and products for the benefit of the society,” Bhaduri said.

This is the third fellowship of a national body Bhaduri has been elected to, having been recognized as a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Bhaduri is listed as an inventor in approximately 35 U.S. and foreign patents, and has 37 applications pending. His inventions include wear resistant metallic alloys, innovative alkaline earth bone cement, antibacterial coatings, and synthesis of nanoparticles. He has strong expertise in the development of a wide array of materials used in structural applications, including orthopaedics and dentistry.

“I am excited and at the same time humbled by the fact that I will be joining a very elite group of people such as Nobel laureates and members of national academies of science, engineering and medicine,” Bhaduri said.

2016 Fellows will in inducted Thursday, April 6, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

Spring Engineering Career Expo set for Feb. 22

More than 140 companies will have representatives at the UT Spring Engineering Career Expo Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the College of Engineering Complex.

“Our employer participants include companies such as American Electric Power, Cooper Tire and Rubber, Dana, DTE Energy, DePuy Synthes/Johnson & Johnson, Fiat Chrysler, First Energy, Ford Motor Co., GE, Honda, Marathon, Nationwide, Norfolk Southern, Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois, Zimmer Biomet and many more,” said Dr. Vickie Kuntz, director of the Engineering Career Development Center.

Approximately 600 engineering students, graduates and alumni are expected to attend the expo.

“The current job outlook for engineering students in the UT Engineering College is certainly bright as evidenced by the record number of employers registered to attend the college’s spring career expo,” Kuntz said. “This reflects very positively on the quality of both our programs and our students. It also demonstrates our dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership we have with our industry participants.”

Employers are seeking undergraduate students to participate in engineering co-op assignments, as well as leadership development programs. Employers also are seeking seniors and graduates for full-time employment.

The UT College of Engineering undergraduate mandatory co-op program is one of only eight mandatory engineering co-op programs in the country.

“Many students indicate our co-op program is the reason they attend the UT College of Engineering,” Kuntz said. “Our program requires our students to graduate with one full year of professional engineering experience. Our students feel confident seeking full-time employment upon graduation. Co-op employers are able to work with these students and are able to determine how the student fits within their organizations. It’s a win-win situation for our students and the employers who hire them.”

For more information, go to eng.utoledo.edu/coop/career_expo or contact Kuntz at vickie.kuntz@utoledo.edu.

Reception slated for longtime dean

Campus community members are invited to a farewell reception for Dr. Nagi Naganathan Friday, Feb. 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center.

In November, Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, was named the seventh president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.



“As you can imagine, this is a bittersweet moment for me. UT granted me the privilege of shaping the futures of thousands of students in many ways. I am truly thankful for the same, and I am so proud of how well my students are doing after their graduation,” Naganathan said. “When I joined UT three decades ago, there was in no way I could have imagined the wonderful journey I have had here. This was possible because of the extraordinary friendship and support of my faculty and staff colleagues, as well as our friends and benefactors in the larger UT community, for which I will always remain grateful.”

Naganathan joined the UT faculty in 1986 and has led the College of Engineering as dean since 2003 after serving as the college’s interim dean for two years. He also served as interim president of the University from 2014 to 2015. Naganathan is a tenured professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, with expertise in smart material systems and structures, robotics, vibrations and control, and microcomputer applications in electromechanical systems.

Under Naganathan’s leadership, the College of Engineering has achieved record high student enrollments and elevated its mandatory co-op experience program — one of only eight in the nation — exceeding 15,000 placements in partnership with more than 1,600 employers in more than 40 states in the U.S. and in more than 30 countries.

He grew the College of Engineering with the addition of the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex and the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center. Naganathan also created the Engineering Leadership Institute with philanthropic support from Roy and Marcia Armes. Roy Armes is a 1975 UT mechanical engineering graduate who served as CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

Alum dedicates cyber security lab, study lounge

Paul Hotmer cuts the ribbon, dedicating the Paul A. Hotmer CSTAR Lab

On January 27th, the College of Engineering dedicated the Paul A. Hotmer Family CSTAR Lab and study lounge. Mr. Hotmer’s contribution to the CSTAR Lab will fund cutting edge software and equipment. Through gaming and simulation, cyber security competitions, and other applications, engineering students will gain the skills they need to solve the challenges of tomorrow. Students might go on to preempt cyber attacks, aid national defense, or support forensic research, for instance.

Paul Hotmer is twice an alumnus of this college, graduating in 1955 with a bachelors in general engineering and 1961 with a masters in engineering. He then spent 40 years of his career as an employee of Owens-Illinois on the site that now houses the College of Engineering. He served the company as a technician and as a computer software manager. After retiring from OI, he continued to work as a software specialist at this location when Edison Industrial Systems took over the buildings now known as North Engineering and Palmer Hall.

Dr. Ahmad Javaid, Dr. Mansoor Alam, Paul Hotmer, and Interim Dean Steve LeBlanc at the dedication of the Paul A. Hotmer Family Study Lounge

Paul’s gift leaves a legacy both at his alma mater and at the physical site where his career unfolded. He worked for OI during a time of major technological innovation- he experienced the shift from manual drawings and manufacturing to computer-aided design and manufacturing. The extreme change he embraced in just a few decades illustrates the importance of preparing students both for current industry needs and for future technology expansion.


Paul Hotmer with students in the CSTAR lab

Speed school: UT students design race car from scratch


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