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The Boeing Company has long supported higher education in the belief that the quality of its employees' education has a direct impact upon the quality of the company's products and services.
In 1992, the Boeing Company earned the double distinction of becoming the first corporation to endow a position at Oregon State University, and making the first gift to endow a professorship in the College of Engineering.
Thanks to the Boeing commitment, OSU is strengthening its work in integrated design and manufacturing—areas critical for future competitive product development and the training of future generations of students in this field.
The Boeing Company and the OSU College of Engineering enjoy a close long-term relationship. Many OSU graduates have made their careers at Boeing, several rising to senior positions. Among them is Art Hitsman, a 1949 B.S. and 1950 M.S. graduate in mechanical engineering, who announced the professorship award to OSU. A 40-plus year Boeing veteran, he retired in 1993 from the presidency of Boeing Computer Services.
The Boeing Professorship in Mechanical Engineering is held by an outstanding specialist in design engineering whose duties include teaching undergraduate and graduate students, developing new courses in design engineering, and working to maintain and enhance the strong relationship between industry and OSU's Manufacturing Engineering Program.
Holders of the Boeing Professorship in Mechanical Engineering are selected on the basis of criteria established jointly by Boeing and OSU, and must be recognized leaders in design that requires advanced manufacturing and supporting methodologies.
Robert Paasch was named the holder of the Boeing Professorship in Mechanical Engineering in February 2006.
Paasch, an associate professor in mechanical design, conducts research in mechanical design theory, design methodology, and the design of systems for reliability and diagnosis. With the funding provided by the professorship, he is working to integrate cutting-edge simulation and work flow software into undergraduate courses to give students hands-on experience working with the technology currently used in industry. To increase students' exposure to the global marketplace, Paasch is also developing relationships with universities in Germany and China to start joint-senior design projects in which OSU students will collaborate with their peers overseas.
A dedicated educator, Paasch won the OSU's university-wide teaching award in 1998, and since 2000, he has served as the advisor for the OSU student teams participating in the Society of Automotive Engineers' Baja and Formula competitions. Under his leadership, OSU has won numerous national and international championships.
Before arriving at OSU in 1990, Paasch worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Bechtel National Inc. and the Marvin Landplane Company. He holds a bachelor's degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.