Friday June 3, 2011

100 Years of Engineering

The School of Engineering will honor one of mankind's most famous carpenters with a statue that also will recognize engineering's Catholic roots.

The University of Dayton School of Engineering will honor one of mankind's most famous carpenters, a close relative to engineers, with a statue that also will recognize engineering's Catholic roots.

The school will dedicate a sculpture depicting St. Joseph, husband of Mary, mother of Jesus; carrying the boy Jesus on his shoulders at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 11, during the University's reunion weekend.

"In our Catholic, Marianist tradition, we educate our students to be problem-solvers who respect the world and shape it for the good of others," School of Engineering Dean Tony Saliba said. "This statue of St. Joseph represents that intersection of skill and compassion, dedication and ingenuity."

The statue will greet students, faculty, staff and visitors to Kettering Laboratories, home to the School of Engineering. The project is being made possible by a gift from alumnus Tim Beach '81 and his wife, Karen. Another alumnus, Bro. Joe Aspell, S.M. '68, designed the bronze statue.

"My art is trying to show people a larger context for understanding their faith," Aspell said.

The dedication will kick off a yearlong celebration of the engineering school's 100th anniversary.

Other scheduled events include an open house during family weekend, Nov. 4-6, and an inaugural School of Engineering hall of fame banquet during Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25. Additional events are in the planning stages.

"These events will provide an opportunity to promote the history of engineering and to note professional achievements of engineering alumni, faculty, staff and students," Saliba said. "We want to showcase 100 years of excellence in engineering education and research at the University of Dayton."

In its 100 years, the school has grown from St. Joseph’s Hall and heavily trodden floors of the chemistry lab on the second floor of the women’s gym to the five-story Kettering Labs. The school continues to enroll a record number of students, eclipsing all-time highs the last three years. Its research volume has helped the University of Dayton achieve the top spot among all Catholic universities for all sponsored engineering research and development and all sponsored non-medical research. U.S. News and World Report ranked the school's graduate programs 52nd in its latest rankings of engineering graduate schools. The University tied Notre Dame for the top spot among Catholic colleges and universities.

Notable alumni include Nobel Prize winner Charles Pedersen '26; Carroll Hochwalt '20, founder of Monsanto’s Central Research Laboratory; Joseph Pesce '28, who helped develop talking motion pictures for Westinghouse; Roman Schoenherr '56, who helped develop the overhead projector; and Bro. Raymond Fitz, S.M., '64, president of the University of Dayton for 23 years.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or