Ohio University

Former Russ College faculty member makes major gift to support student design

Former Russ College faculty member makes major gift to support student design

Author: Marissa McDaid

A former associate dean for Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology has made a substantial gift to benefit engineering and technology design-related student organizations and programs.

Angie Bukley, an expert on space flight aspects including mission design, effects of microgravity on human performance, and spacecraft control, currently serves as the exploration science and technology lead for the AeroSpace Corporation. She joined OHIO in 2003 as a Stocker Visiting Professor before being appointed in 2005 to associate dean for research and graduate studies. She also taught senior design in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and was a tenured Professor of Electrical Engineering.

“I observed the energy and enthusiasm with which the students attacked their design projects. I was extremely impressed with the university, the college, and in particular, the students,” said Bukley, who currently serves the university on the Russ College Board of Visitors. “At the time, I had begun thinking about my ‘legacy,’ for lack of a better word.”

Bukley made an estate gift to create the Bukley Design Endowment, then made an additional $25,000 gift to fund the endowment during her lifetime. The fund will support student design activities ranging from senior design capstone courses to national and international level student competitions via lab equipment, individual student project funding, scholarships, faculty salary supplements, and more.

“Students are really only limited by the equipment and the support they have,” Dean Dennis Irwin said in regard to student capstone projects. “I’ve seen some incredible things.”

Irwin and Bukley developed a decades-long friendship after meeting as juniors in college at Mississippi State University and crossing paths at various companies and organizations over the years as both peers and supervisors. Mutual employers have included Logicon Control Dynamics Company in Huntsville, Alabama; and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

In 1998, Bukley recruited Irwin to teach at International Space University (ISU), for which he has served as a chair, lecturer or workshop leader in the years since. Bukley also participated in ISU’s 2015 Summer Space Studies Program, which OHIO hosted in Athens.

“When Angie joined the college, she really bought into what we were doing with our senior design courses,” Irwin said. “Although she wasn’t here for the development of our ‘Create for Good’ concept, it’s something that would really inspire her. We’re incredibly grateful for Angie’s generosity and support of our students.”

In addition to her financial contribution, Bukley offered some personal advice to engineering and technology students.

“Work hard and give it your all. Develop your self-confidence. Learn to write well and communicate effectively. Make your behavior consistent with your goals,” she said. “As with any professional career path, it helps to be passionate about – or obsessed with – your chosen field of study. But, don’t forget to live a little. Work-life balance is key to a long and enjoyable existence.”

Colleen Carow contributed to this story.