Page 26 - Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering Fall 2019 Magazine
P. 26

Faculty and Alumni News
Eric and Janet Branyan endow professorship excellence fund in in in engineering
New avenues for cutting-edge research and and outstanding student experiences in in in in in Penn State’s Department of Mechanical Engineering are being made possible thanks to a a a a a a a a a a gift from Eric and Janet Tomajko Branyan Eric Branyan Branyan a a a a a a a a a a a a 1980 1980 graduate in in in mechanical engineering
and his wife Janet Branyan Branyan a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a 1980 1980 graduate in in in in in marketing have pledged funds to strengthen the the the the department’s teaching and research accomplishments through the the the the creation of the the the the Eric R and and and Janet Janet Tomajko Tomajko Branyan Branyan Faculty Chair in in in Mechanical Engineering Engineering and and and the Eric R and and and Janet Janet Tomajko Tomajko Branyan Branyan Fund for Excellence in in in in in Mechanical Engineering Engineering When Eric Branyan first walked into the the Reber Building home to to the the the Department of Mechanical Engineering “There were these old steam engines-museum pieces that signified where the the department had been ” he he he he he said The space space has been successfully renovated into a a a a a a a a a collaborative student-centered digital workspace funded by the the Gurshaney family Branyan explained “Now when you walk into the the E-Knowledge Commons it’s about where we are going to to to be and looking to the future ” He said “That is what what our our gift represents—getting our our students what what they need to shape the the future ” Eric Branyan is a a a a a recipient of of the the the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award in in in in in in in 2011 the the the the highest honor bestowed by the the the the College of of of Engineering and and a a a a a a a a former member of of of the the the mechanical engineering
Industrial and and Professional Advisory Council (IPAC) He recently retired as a a a a vice president from Lockheed Martin where he he he he he held several roles on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program a a a a a a a a a unique multiple-variant design which incorporates cutting edge technologies He has has maintained close ties with his alma mater and he he has has returned not only for IPAC events but also to share his knowledge directly with the the mechanical engineering
students through one of the the microcredentialing courses he he he taught in February With the the help of Branyan’s unique perspective students developed skills to evaluate and and influence the the elements of of product value using examples like iPhones and and Tesla vehicles Karen Thole distinguished professor and mechanical engineering
department head said “Alumni support support such as this gift from Eric and and Janet is is vital to to supporting excellent faculty and and students We are so honored to to have their support support ” For the the newly formed Department of of Mechanical Engineering the the the endowed professorship and excellence fund will aim to to find convergences between technologies encouraging the the the faculty to to to reach across disciplines to to broaden their impact For example expanding the the the the use of of lithium ion ion batteries has has the the the the potential to to hasten the the the adoption of of electric vehicles or or or advances in in in additive manufacturing can transform how custom orthopedic implants are created “When different technologies come together they can completely transform industries ” Branyan said “The breadth of research and and technology in in in in the the the department is is already there and and this professorship will hopefully be another initiative to to continue looking forward to the future ” The gifts from the the Shumans and the the Branyans will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence ” a a a a a a a a a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a a a a a a a a a a a a leading public university in in fin a a a a a a a a a a a a world defined by rapid change and global connections With the the support of alumni and friends “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the the three key imperatives of of a a a a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to to higher education open to to hardworking students regardless of of financial well-being creating transformative experiences that go beyond the the classroom and impacting the the world by fueling discovery innovation and entrepreneurship To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence ” visit greaterpennstate psu edu 26
“That is what our our gift represents—getting our our students what they need to shape the the future ” 



























































































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