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For the past 15 years, truck design and manufacturing company PACCAR and its subsidiary brand Kenworth have forged a relationship with the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the Russ College, developing curriculum and professional development opportunities for the department’s students at its Chillicothe location.
“My initial desire to be active with the Russ College was to help me in my need to find solid engineering candidates to hire at our facility. This grew into a desire to influence the skill set of those engineers to fit market demands and industry needs,” said Lex Tisdale, BSISE ‘85, ISE Advisory Board member and Director of Manufacturing Engineering and Facilities at Kenworth Chillicothe. “I truly believe in the past 15 years, we have made positive changes to improve the quality and skills of the engineers coming out of Ohio University. Currently, 40 percent of the degreed engineers at Kenworth Chillicothe have engineering degrees from Ohio University. “
Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin presented Kenworth Chillicothe Plant Manager Judy McTigue and PACCAR Vice President George West with plaques to acknowledge their contributions to the college.
“The recognition of Kenworth's contribution to the Russ College was the result of those individuals' efforts and their commitment to strengthening academic achievement and developing future engineers who bring desired skills to the workplace,” said Judy McTigue, plant manager at Kenworth Chillicotte. “Kenworth Chillicothe is grateful for the recognition, and we look forward to continuing to develop this partnership.”
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Chair Robert Judd said the relationship with the Kenworth Chillicothe facility has been mutually beneficial.
“Their advice and efforts benefited many students and improved our program.,” Judd said. “I look forward to a continuing collaboration.”
Part of the continued collaboration includes expanding the types of engagement between the college and the Chillicothe facility.
“There is potential for faculty to assist with training classes in Chillicothe to help refresh our current engineers on site and to get more Russ College team, both faculty and students, engaged in problem-solving and innovative thinking techniques to assist with improving our processes,” said Ross Wagner, BSISE ’97, a Six Sigma Black Belt at Kenworth and departmental advisory board member since 1999.
Wagner and Tisdale said that as alumni, they have appreciated the opportunity to give back to their alma mater with significant professional development contributions.
“This cooperative relationship is a ‘win-win’ for both organizations as well as for the students and employees,” said Tisdale. “While working with the college has benefited our company, the University, and the students, I feel I have gained from this as well.”