February 24, 2012

During our School of Engineering Hall of Fame Ceremony, alumni, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the inductees as well as the School's 100th anniversary.

A Century of Engineering Excellence

We take a moment to cherish our storied past, celebrate our present and build for a bright future. We have come a long way from the purchase of Dewberry Farm to create the St.Mary's School for Boys to today's 400+ acres of the University of Dayton campus.

We celebrate our storied century.  From our humble beginnings in St. Joseph's Hall, we have walked the heavily trodden floors of the chemistry labs above the old women's gym, rattled around in the newer, but still old, and now no longer, Mechanical Engineering Building, to the labs in Wohlleben Hall; and now, we enjoy the splendor of the five-story, beautifully renovated Kettering Laboratories.  The School continues to enroll a record number of students, eclipsing all-time highs.  And with our brothers and sisters at the University of Dayton Research Institute, who have shared our history since 1956, our research has helped the University achieve the top spot among all Catholic universities for sponsored engineering research and the number one spot among all universities in the country in sponsored materials research according to the National Science Foundation.  Indeed, I'm proud to report that U.S. News and World Report ranked our graduate engineering programs 52nd in its latest rankings of engineering graduate schools, tied with the University of Notre Dame for the top spot among Catholic universities. 

We celebrate our notable alumni including Nobel Prize winner Charles Pedersen; Carroll Hochwalt, founder of Monsanto's Central Research Laboratory; Joseph Pesce, who helped develop talking motion pictures for Westinghouse; Roman Schoenherr, who helped develop the overhead projector; and Bro. Raymond Fitz, S.M., president emeritus of the University of Dayton. And not least among our distinguished alumni are each and every one who continue to generate pride in our School and walk everyday in our motto — Learn. Lead. Serve.

We celebrate our students and their achievements in their quest for learning:  ASME student section that was selected as top student section internationally; chemical engineering students who won first place in the country in their CME car competition; civil engineering students who are routinely among the leaders in the country in the FE exam pass rate; electrical and computer engineering students who were recognized for their research in sensors, vision and robotics; the engineering technology student who with his Baja car was featured on the front cover of the SAE Momentum magazine; and the team of mechanical and aerospace students who won first place participating in the United Kingdom's Merlin Aircraft Design and Handling Competition topping Ph.D. students from England, France and Germany.

We celebrate our faculty and staff and their dedication to the development of the whole person and the success of our students.  It is their inspiring spirit and their caring and giving of themselves that has helped our School achieve the distinction of having one of the highest retention and graduation rates in engineering in the country. And, it is our faculty and staff that continue to provide academic leadership to several Ohio Centers of Excellence in areas of critical, national importance such as energy, Ladar and optical communication, nanomaterials, sensors, and bioengineering.

We celebrate our Marianist spirit of service through ETHOS, where students travel the world and use their skills to solve problems and improve lives.  Last summer, 32 students traveled to 11 different countries.  Over the years, they have brought drinking water to African villages as well as developed solar cookers in Bolivia and solar sterilizing medical equipment in Nicaragua.  These students show that you can make the impossible possible, and they do it with the Marianist spirit saying that they set out to change the world and returned with the world changing them.

We celebrate 100 years of excellence and build toward a bright future.  What we do in the next few years will set the stage, the course for the next 100 years.  Looking ahead, we know what the University footprint must be, and the School of Engineering has a critical role to play in the community and the region. I truly believe that we have the faculty, staff, alumni and friends as well as the vision and the responsible capability to say that the University will continue to be a shining beacon for the next 100 years.

Dean Tony Saliba
September 30, 2011