Faculty Faction: Dr. Kevin Disotell

Dr. Kevin Disotell

Dr. Kevin Disotell is an assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at YSU. He holds a BS and PhD in Aeronautical & Astronautical l Engineering from The Ohio State University, with the primary focus of aerodynamics.

“While I was a doctoral candidate at Ohio State, I served as an instructor for a technical elective—helicopter aerodynamics—which was my first teaching experience in the classroom,” said Disotell. “It was also a good experience to balance teaching and research duties.”

After his experiences at OSU, Dr. Disotell began his career in the aerospace industry. He was able to contribute to programs and research efforts at NASA.

“I came to YSU from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. Langley was established as our nation’s first civilian aeronautics laboratory, and it was an honor to be part of the 100th anniversary of the center’s opening this year,” said Disotell. “So many amazing achievements in aerospace history have roots at Langley. Having also worked in product development at Ford Motor Company in Michigan, I feel quite fortunate to have been part of such iconic organizations with tremendous histories.”

Dr. Disotell knew that giving college-level students the backgrounds for an aerospace degree would allow them to also experience what he had. Dr. Disotell’s interests in teaching at YSU arose because he could contribute to quality degree programs while also helping YSU to be a national model for public education value. Having been raised in Boardman, Disotell knew how important the university was to the area, so he wanted to be part of the university’s momentum.

“I look forward to creating an integrated teaching and research space in the fluid mechanics laboratory of Moser Hall,” said Disotell. “A key piece of this transformation is a new research-grade wind tunnel that we will build alongside our instructional tunnels. Being in a state of aviation pioneers and in the middle of our country’s Fluid Power Belt, it is important that we offer excellent training in fluid mechanics.”

This semester you can see Dr. Disotell if you are part of the mechanical engineering program or if you are taking Thermodynamics I or Fluid Dynamics.

In his short time here, Dr. Disotell has already started to make an impact at YSU. He has been involved in the effort to create a new student branch for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) on campus. This new student organization will open new doors for students with career interests in the aerospace field. The organization will work to provide its members professional connections. You can read more about the AIAA branch here.

Dr. Disotell has also expressed an urge to improve several components on campus for YSU engineering students.

“One of my goals is to help expand quality research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students with our work in the laboratory,” said Disotell. “Getting hands-on experience helps drive innovation and will prepare our students to enter the workforce in the aerospace sector, which continues to see global growth in economic value and manufacturing output. Ohio is a leading supplier to the aerospace industry.”

It is great to know that Dr. Disotell is aiming for the stars here at YSU.

“My favorite pastime is baseball. An ancestor of mine, Gene Desautels, played professional baseball as a catcher around the time of WWII,” said Disotell. “He was teammates with the famous hitter Ted Williams in Boston, and also played for Cleveland among other teams.”

Doesn’t Dr. Disotell sound like an amazing professor? For more information about AIAA or to contact Dr. Disotell for any reason, you can email him at kjdisotell@ysu.edu. Due to renovations, Dr. Disotell has a temporary office in Moser Hall 1460. His office will change after the second-floor updates are completed.

Student Organization Spotlight: The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers

IISE groupThe Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, formerly the Institute of Industrial Engineers, is a student organization at YSU welcoming all industrial engineering majors and minors.

“We’re kind of changing our presence on campus,” said Zach Thompson, president of YSU’s IISE and junior IE major. ”We’re going to try to do some more fundraisers and get involved and get our name out there as a group.”

IISE has both student and professional sections in the area. Zach explains that there are many benefits to connecting with these groups.

“We can connect with professionals and get our names out there and network, and they provide a bunch of services for us,” said Zach.

As a YSU IISE member, the students can receive discounts on various certifications for engineers.

The IISE members also attend conferences in the Great Lakes region where they have the option of submitting papers. One conference that they are attending this academic year is being hosted by Ohio University in February.

“We didn’t have any last year, but this year we’re planning on having some professionals from out in the field come in and talk to us, even some local businesses,” said Zach. “It’ll be nice because they can talk to us about what it’s actually like in our area.”

IISE is offering Lean Green Belt training and certification this November and Six Sigma Green Belt training and certification in February, both at a discounted rate. All majors are welcome and encouraged to get these certifications.

Any students interested in joining YSU’s IISE or for more information, contact Zach at zsthompson@student.ysu.edu or visit their Facebook page.

New STEM Program: Manufacturing Engineering

The Youngstown State University College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics will now offer a new program in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Manufacturing Engineering will be YSU’s newest program and major, one of only about twenty programs of its kind in the nation.

“Here in Youngstown with our history in manufacturing it’s very relevant,” said Dr. Darrell Wallace, an associate professor in the department. “Manufacturing continues to be the largest single source of payroll in the region.”

Dr. Wallace explained that the curriculum for this new program will look similar to both mechanical and industrial engineering because they are so closely related.

“Manufacturing engineering is a discipline of engineering that shares common roots with industrial engineering and mechanical engineering in that it grew out of manufacturing, but it is specifically focused on the analysis of manufacturing processes and the design of processes and products for production by manufacturers,” said Dr. Wallace.

He says that about a third of the coursework is shared among the three programs before they each start to branch out and become more specialized to their own areas.

Since much of the beginning coursework is the same, students in any of the three programs can really take a year or two of courses before they decide which they enjoy the most; all of the new courses for manufacturing engineering are upper level courses.

Students who complete this program will be uniquely qualified for the job title of manufacturing engineer, which in the past has largely been occupied by mechanical and industrial engineers.

“This discipline is explicitly focused on understanding process choices, design choices, and economic impacts to assist companies in making good decisions about how to integrate new technologies like additive manufacturing and make best use of existing, mature technology,” said Dr. Wallace.

Students interested in the new manufacturing engineering program can contact Dr. Wallace by email at drwallace01@ysu.edu.

Alumni Corner: Pete Walsh

Pete Walsh
Pete Walsh

There are some students who leave their college right after graduation, happy to never have to take another exam again or even have to walk on campus again. And then you have the alumni that keep the university going, and who wear their Penguin pride for all to see. Pete Walsh is one of those alumni.

Pete came to YSU in the fall of 1966, when YSU was referred to as Youngstown University, and only two years after the first Penguin mascot started showing up at football games.

He was an industrial engineering major with a math minor, and said that he always thought he was in the right field.

Continue reading “Alumni Corner: Pete Walsh”

Student Spotlight: Kylie Delgros

Hello STEMians!

Kylie and Stitch
Kylie and her Stitch pillow.

I am a senior in Industrial Engineering at YSU. I got hired as an Engineering Services intern here at Walt Disney World in August 2012. The department I am apart of is called Global Contracts. My team handles all of the large contracting agreements that affect Walt Disney World properties.

Working for Disney is great! I am especially lucky to have been hired in the role I have. Because my team handles global contracts, I get to experience everything the Walt Disney Resort has to offer. Whether I’m off checking furniture layouts or shadowing my boss on an elevator inspection walk, I get to see every aspect of the resort, onstage (within guest view) and off-stage (cast areas).

My main role here at Disney is establishing a global furniture program for all of the public spaces in our resorts across Walt Disney World. I am creating a centralized database that contains the furniture specifications for each of these assets. It might not sound like much, but when you think about it, so far I have collected data on about 20,000 pieces of furniture. In the future, we are hoping to implement my database into a work-order-based system that can effectively track the maintenance cycle, as well as the life cycle of our furniture. That being said, I have compiled past work orders so that our team can be more cost effective when awarding bids to vendors (for refinishing furniture). My work has been extremely helpful to estimating a budget for our program for upcoming years.

One of my favorite things about my role is it is not what you would think of when you think of an Industrial Engineer. If I have learned one thing from Disney, it’s that Industrial Engineers can be used everywhere. Industrial Engineering is all about efficiencies. In my role, I have centralized a system of information that had no documentation in some areas, or information that was ten years old in other areas. It feels great to be able to help organize something on such a large scale. At Disney, we realize that people are spending their money to be encompassed by the charm that our resort promises, whether that charm be not having to wait in a two hour line all the way down to being impressed with the quality of furniture within or resorts. I’m excited that the work I’m doing is helping to keep that Disney magic going for our guests in years to come!

Have a magical day,

Kylie Delgros

Dr. Daniel Suchora

Dr. Suchora lectures his students.

The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering will have a faculty change this June 30.

Dr. Daniel Suchora, chair of the department for the past seven years, will be retiring after a 32-year career on the campus of Youngstown State University (YSU). Before examining his time at YSU, it’s valuable to look back on how it all began.

Dr. Suchora poses with YSU President Cynthia Anderson.

“When I was growing up, I liked to tinker with things, and take things apart” Dr. Suchora said. Following that desire, he worked at a bowling alley as a teenager, working on the machinery, and enjoyed it. When it was time to go to college, Dr. Suchora said he knew “…mechanical engineering was a good idea.”

Dr. Suchora went on to obtain his undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from YSU, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. During his master’s program, Dr. Suchora found his passion for teaching. Although he did consulting work with other companies, Dr. Suchora conveyed that he “liked the connection of teaching and practicing in the field.” That way, he could bring real world experience to the classroom.

When asked what has been the greatest accomplishment of the department, Dr. Suchora simply said “the students: their successes are our successes.”

And for YSU students, they feel the same sentiment. Aubrey Garland, junior in mechanical engineering, and student employee of the department, relayed how she has enjoyed working with Dr. Suchora as well as being a student of his. Garland said “There is no question he wants the students to really learn the material so we are not just successful students but successful and effective engineers.”  She added “To this day I am still more nervous about taking a Dr. Suchora test than anything else; not because I am afraid I won’t do well, but because I don’t want to disappoint him.”

Another junior mechanical engineering student, Amanda Cox, furthered this, saying how Dr. Suchora …” genuinely cares about his students and did his best to prepare us to be the best engineers we could be. I appreciate Dr. Suchora so much for all he has done for me, and I am so thankful I got to experience having him for class.”

Dr. Suchora talking to a group of fellow teachers.

Students are not the only members of YSU who will miss Dr. Suchora’s leadership. Faculty members also emphasized the impact he has made. Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Hazel Marie, said how Dr. Suchora always “puts the good of program, department, and university first.” Dr. Martin Cala, professor and coordinator of industrial and systems engineering said that he and Dr. Suchora worked together on projects such as hiring a new Industrial Engineering faculty member, and …” coordinated the reconfiguration of laboratory space together, and made some progress in improving shared resources not only between the two programs in our department but with other STEM programs and other colleges.”

Though Dr. Suchora will be missed, he will not be entirely gone. He will continue to teach in fall 2012 part time. Reflecting on his experiences overall, Dr. Suchora added: “I’ve been lucky to get into a career that I really enjoy.”