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Endowed Chairs

Dr. Markus Rumpfkeil

Hans von Ohain Endowed Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

August 16, 2018, Dr. Markus Rumpfkeil, an associate professor whose research focuses on the area of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), has been appointed to this endowed chair position. The Hans von Ohain Endowed Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was established in 1999 to honor Dr. Hans von Ohain, co-inventor of the jet engine, who joined UDRI as senior research engineer and UD as a professor in 1979. This endowed chair empowers the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering to maintain its leadership position in engineering education and scholarly research in the areas of aerospace fuels, combustion and thermal management. Rumpfkeil has over 50 peer reviewed journal and conference papers and was recently named associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Rumpfkeil will use this endowed chair position to lead a committee to explore the feasibility of UD becoming part of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program.
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Dr. Margaret Pinnell

The Bernhard Schmidt Chair in Engineering Leadership

August 16, 2018, Dr. Margaret Pinnell, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and associate dean for faculty and staff development, has been appointed as the Bernhard Schmidt Chair in Engineering Leadership. This position was established in 2003 in honor of Dr. Bernhard Schmidt, distinguished electrical engineer and UD alumnus, who served the University for 52 years.  The position is meant to establish the School of Engineering as a school of excellence and a leader in engineering education. Pinnell has a strong record of leadership in the School of Engineering. She served as the acting director for ETHOS for over ten years, helping to establish ETHOS as a nationally recognized program and a distinctive program at UD. As the associate dean for faculty and staff development, she works to enhance the culture and climate of the School of Engineering, helping faculty and staff achieve their professional goals and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.  Pinnell will leverage the endowed chair position to engage in research on leadership development at UD and elsewhere, issues of gender equity and inclusive excellence in leadership development, and will examine the potential for a leadership across the curriculum model for student leadership development. 

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Professor Rebecca Blust

Frank M. Tait Endowed Chair in Engineering

August 16, 2018, Rebecca Blust, associate professor with the Department of Engineering Management, Systems, and Technology and director of the Innovation Center, has been appointed as the Frank M. Tait Endowed Chair. This position was established in 1970 with a bequest from Mr. Tait, long-time friend and benefactor of the University and founder of Dayton Power & Light Company and Tait Manufacturing. This position was created to help advance research and innovation in the School of Engineering. Blust has a wealth of both industrial and academic experience in innovation. The Innovation Center is one of the School of Engineering’s flagship experiential learning opportunities and a key industry and community partner. In 2017, the Innovation Center facilitated approximately 150 projects and served approximately 75 percent of graduating seniors. She currently serves as inaugural faculty fellow at the Institute for Applied Creativity (IACT) and is deeply involved with the GEMnasium, a collaborative hands-on ‘test lab’ and innovative transdisciplinary teaching space. Blust also works with University and community partners to determine an impactful, innovative purpose for the Dayton Arcade complex downtown. She will leverage the endowed chair position to help distinguish UD from other universities by creating an environment that will enhance student capabilities to integrate and apply creative thoughts and ideas to both engineering and societal problems.  

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Dr. Christopher Muratore

Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair Professor, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

July 1, 2017, Dr. Christopher Muratore was named the Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair Professor. Dr. Muratore received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 2002. He was an American Society for Engineering Education Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Plasma Physics Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, where he developed novel plasma processing techniques to manipulate properties of diverse engineering surfaces. He joined the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in 2004 to develop smart thin film nanocomposite materials demonstrating temperature-adaptive mechanical properties and integrated health monitoring. He also led numerous studies on heat transfer at nanoscale surfaces and interfaces. He joined the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Dayton in December 2012 and is now the Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair Professor. He is currently engaged in the development of novel approaches for large-scale synthesis of ultra-thin layered atomic structures for flexible electronic devices and molecular sensors.
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Dr. Michael C. Wicks

Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair in Sensor Exploitation and Fusion, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

September 28, 2012, Dr. Michael C. Wicks, a world-renowned expert in radar and signal processing, was inducted as the Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair in Sensor Exploitation and Fusion. His responsibilities include forging partnerships with industry, research, and government as well as advancing the University of Dayton's regional, national, and international stature in this field. Dr. Wicks received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering as well as his M.A. in Public Administration from Syracuse University. Previously, Dr. Wicks worked for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate. As senior scientist, he conducted, supervised and managed basic and applied research and development in sensor signal processing, specializing in the science and technology needed for superior air and space systems for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, precision engagement and electronic warfare. Dr. Wicks conducts research in remote sensing, signal processing and systems engineering, with a current focus on distributed sensing and radio frequency technology. Dr. Wicks has published over 300 papers, reports, book chapters, books and U.S. patents.  In 2009, Dr. Wicks was awarded the IEEE Warren D. White Award for Excellence in Radar Engineering.  He is a fellow of IEEE, an emeritus fellow of the AFRL, and IEEE Nathanson Award.
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Dr. Khalid Lafdi

Wright Brothers Institute Endowed Chair in Nano Materials, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

September 30, 2011, Dr. Khalid Lafdi, with 20 years of carbon science and technology experience, was inducted as the Wright Brothers Institute Endowed Chair in Nano Materials in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. In 2001, as Carbon Group Leader for the University of Dayton Research Institute, Dr. Lafdi helped advance the University of Dayton’s research vision in nanotechnology. Dr. Lafdi was responsible for establishing the Nanoscale Engineering Science and Technology Laboratory (NEST) and the Carbon Research Laboratory. Ten years ago, he built a state-of-the-art thermal management laboratory and a carbon manufacturing transition facility in order to facilitate scale-up processes and technology transfers of carbon materials and devices. Dr. Lafdi has published more than 140 articles and chapters in refereed journals and edited four books about nanocomposites and thermal management. Furthermore, he holds four patents and has licensed three major technologies in nanomanufacturing to Ohio companies. Recognized for his expertise, the American Carbon Society selected Dr. Lafdi as their 2014 George D. Graffin Lecturer and their carbon “ambassador.” As ambassador, Dr. Lafdi will travel the U.S. and highlight 40 years of carbon science and technology not only for academia but also for industry. As the School’s endowed chair, Dr. Lafdi will lead and mentor collaborative research; expand the University’s nanomaterials program; and create new partnerships with industry, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and the University of Dayton Research Institute.
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Dr. Mikhail A. Vorontsov

Wright Brothers Chair in LADAR and Optical Communications, Electro-Optics Graduate Program

September 24, 2010, Dr. Mikhail Vorontsov was inducted as the Wright Brothers Institute Endowed Chair for the LADAR and Optical Communications Institute (LOCI) at the University of Dayton. Dr. Vorontsov has published over 250 papers and four books on the subjects of adaptive optics, nonlinear spatio- temporal dynamics, phase retrieval problem, imaging and laser communications through turbulence, parallel image processing and correction, optical synergetics, laser beam shaping, computer optics, optimal control theory, and optical neural networks. He is a fellow of ARL, SPIE, and OSA and the recipient of many awards including the University of Maryland’s Outstanding Systems Engineering Faculty, U.S. Army Research and Development Achievement Award, ARL Achievement Award for Best Publication, and ARL Achievement Award for Science for the development of a new generation of adaptive laser communication and imaging systems. Through the vision of the Wright Brothers Institute, the chair in LADAR and Optical Communication was created to support the Air Force Research Laboratory’s investment in LOCI through endowment by the University of Dayton, the LOCI partners, and the Ohio Research Scholars Program. This position strengthens the University’s role in unraveling the complex phenomena that obscure images and degrade information that pass through atmospheric disturbances. The chair will grow our talent in critical areas of national need and provide leadership in developing future technologies to mitigate the deleterious effects of atmospheric turbulence on laser communications and remote sensing.
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Dr. Vijayan Asari

Ohio Research Scholars Chair in Wide-Area Surveillance, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

February 19, 2010, Dr. Vijayan K. Asari was inducted as the Ohio Research Scholars Chair in Wide-Area Surveillance. His focus, through the School’s Vision Lab, is on the development of new algorithms and architectures for real-time applications in areas of signal processing, image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, artificial neural networks and bio-mimetic object-vision recognition. Dr. Asari’s projects include: visibility improvement of images and videos captured in low lighting and bad weather conditions; multi-sensor image fusion; video stabilization; automatic face detection, tracking, and recognition; iris recognition; automatic vessel detection and identification; brain wave processing for intention analysis; and robotic navigation and visual data analysis for situational awareness. In order to build real-time systems for defense and homeland security applications, Dr. Asari combines the aspects of mathematical modeling of human visual perception, the extraction of representational features from visual data, and the statistical and logical methodologies for decision-making. As the new chair, Dr. Asari will help to strengthen Ohio and its citizens and prepare them for global competition in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as the medical fields and STEM education. Through the vision of the Ohio Research Scholars Program, this multi-university, statewide position was formed to develop and support an increase in highly-qualified research talent and focus on long-term regional economic development.
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Dr. Charles Browning

John F. and Leona D. Torley Chair in Composite Materials Engineering, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

April 24, 2006, Dr. Charles Browning, previously AFRL director of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, was named the John F. and Leona D. Torley Chair in Composite Materials. As a doctorate student, he worked in the pioneering area of high humidity effects on advanced composite, which led to solving quality barriers that prevented F-16 composite structures from production. At AFRL, he initiated first-ever programs in chemical quality assurance and processing science of advanced composites; provided technical support to Air Force systems; and lead an organization of nearly 530 government employees with a yearly budget of $400 million. He has also coordinated local and national coalitions between industry and academics, established an innovative Ohio small business program and lead an initiative to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Recently, Dr. Browning worked alongside MIT, Notre Dame and NASA researchers on a National Research Council panel to examine the research and development strategies as well as the material needs for future military aerospace propulsion systems. The National Academy of Sciences organized the science and technology panel to assist the federal government in decision-making. Dr. Browning is a fellow of SAMPE and a member of the American Chemical Society. His awards include the Presidential Meritorious Executive Ranks Award, the Federal Professional Employee of the Year Award, the Dayton Affiliate Societies Award, and the Dayton Intergovernmental EEO Council Award. Graciously providing the endowment, the Torley’s were prominent Dayton leaders from the 1960s until their deaths in 1998. Mr. Torley, a mechanical and industrial engineer, was President and CEO of Dayton Malleable (Amcast Industrial). Mr. Torley, a member of the University of Dayton Board of Trustees was elected chair in 1977 and received an Honorary degree from the University of Dayton in 1982.
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Dr. Tony E. Saliba

Dr. and Mrs. Charles R. Wilke Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

April 21, 2005, Dr. Tony Saliba was named Wilke Distinguished Professor through the generosity of Dr. Charles Wilke and his wife, Bernice. Throughout their lives, Dr. Wilke, chair and co-founder of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and his wife, an elementary school teacher, were committed to education. Following a similar path, Dr. Saliba’s devotion to excellence in engineering education and research is evident throughout his career with the University of Dayton School of Engineering. From 2009-2014, he served as dean of the School and for many years was the chair of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. Dr. Saliba was a co-designer of the first undergraduate degree in composite materials engineering in the country and labeled by NSF evaluators as a curriculum innovator. Today, he leads a comprehensive curriculum revision to integrate engineering innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, experiential, service and global learning to educate the complete engineer of the future. Dr. Saliba’s teaching awards include the School of Engineering and the Alumni Awards of Excellence in Teaching as well as the Affiliate Societies Council of the Engineering and Science Foundation of Dayton Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in Education. Dr. Saliba’s research, supported by the U.S. Air Force, Chrysler Motors, General Electric, McDonnell Aircraft, and Boeing, includes the development and use of process models, expert systems, and expert models for the intelligent processing of advanced composite materials. He and his students developed sensors based on acoustic, magnetic, and fiber optic techniques to improve curing technology. SAMPE bestowed upon him its highest honor of fellow for his distinguished contributions to advanced materials processing.
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School of Engineering

Kettering Laboratories
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0254