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Rebecca Blust

Executive Director of Innovation Center; Associate Professor; Frank M. Tait Endowed Chair in Engineering

Full-Time Faculty

School of Engineering: Department of Engineering Management, Systems, and Technology, Office of the Dean, Innovation Center


Email: Rebecca Blust
Phone: 937-229-2581
Kettering Laboratories Rooms 140
Website: Visit Site


Professor Rebecca Blust is the Director for the University of Dayton’s Innovation Center and Design and Manufacturing Clinic and an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Management, Systems and Technology. Professor Blust graduated with her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology in 1987, her MBA from Wright State University in 1996 and her M.S. in Engineering Management Science from UD in 2004. Prior to returning to UD as a full-time faculty member, Blust had a highly successful 12-year career at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in the Engineered Products Division. 

Since accepting a full-time tenure track position at UD, Blust has served as the Assistant Director for the University of Dayton Industrial Assessment Center leading energy audits for the Department of Energy and coordinating industry projects for the Innovation Center. Most recently, Blust serves as the Director of the Innovation Center for the School of Engineering. Since her appointment in 2015, Blust and her team have recruited over 1,500 industry and community sponsored projects and developed a client base of well over 250 domestic and international companies.

Additionally, Professor Blust has been the Co-PI on two large NSF STEM grants in addition to a $500,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation as well as involvement in the development of the University of Dayton’s Innovation Hub in the Downtown Arcade Building. Recently, Professor Blust has been involved in the University's Institute for Applied Creativity incorporating transdisciplinary learning coupled with humanity-centered design into the academic curriculum. She has also been involved in the GEMnasium (a collaborative hands-on ‘test lab’ that provides spaces for UD students, faculty, staff and regional partners to prototype new teaching and learning models for servant-leadership and social innovation). This integrated learning community is driven by cross-University “transdisciplinary faculties” that encourage a ‘fail fast, fail forward’ mindset around humanity-centered growth.   

Professor Blust is dedicated to community service and has developed and participated in a variety of outreach programs. Blust is a graduate of the University of Dayton. Unlike many of her academic colleagues, Blust’s career began in industry working for 12 years in a multitude of positions for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in the Engineered Products Division. Her Goodyear positions included: Automotive Business Center Manager ($70M) as well as Production Manager and Plant Manager for the world’s largest conveyor belt facility ($200M). 

Selected Publications

  • Various papers regarding pedagogy

Research and Work

  • Lean management methods
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering pedagogy
  • Activity based learning
  • Community engaged learning
  • Experiential learning

Selected Honors and Awards

  • School of Engineering Vision Award in Innovation, fall 2019
  • KEEN Best in Class

Courses Taught

  • Senior Design
  • Project Management
  • Lean Manufacturing Methods
  • Statics and Dynamics
  • Strength of Materials
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Multidisciplinary Design I
  • Management of Technical Organizations
  • Fundamentals of New Technology Ventures


  • M.S., Engineering Management/Management Science, University of Dayton, 2004
  • M.B.A., Wright State University, 1997
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering Technology, University of Dayton, 1987

Professional Activities

  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • Institute of Industrial Engineers
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • University of Dayton Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation