Engineering FYI, January 2014

Tony E. Saliba, Ph.D. (OH Q ’81), has announced his plans to step down as the dean of the University of Dayton’s School of Engineering on June 30, 2014. He will then return to the Dayton faculty as a chemical and materials engineering professor. Dr. Saliba earned three engineering degrees from Dayton, has been a faculty member for 28 years, and will have served as dean for five years.

Saliba said, “It has been a great privilege for me to serve as dean and build on the legacy of many legendary deans for my alma mater…” More details are available in the news announcement

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The Alabama Media Group recently reported on the end of the 20th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race. In its place beginning April 2014, will be the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The goal of the new design challenge is “to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration (Mars).” The event will still take place at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.

Read the article for information on the new challenge and the history of the Moonbuggy Race, which was created by a NASA employee “looking for a way to involve students in the space program and acknowledge the Huntsville engineers who designed and built the Lunar Rover.”

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In December, Charles J. Merdinger, Ph.D., passed away at the age of 95. Merdinger, NY G ’45, “served in the Navy during World War II through the Vietnam war, was in charge of the Navy’s first master jet air station at Miramar, and headed the Navy’s largest public works department in the world (Vietnam).” After retiring from the Navy, he served as president of Washington College and as deputy director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Read the obituary

While in college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), he was an All-American lacrosse player, two-way starter in football, and a Rhodes Scholar. He was inducted into the RPI Athletics Hall of Fame with the class of 1983. Merdinger earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University and held honorary degrees from the University of Nevada and Sierra Nevada College.

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