ATHENS – The path from Ohio University to Chillicothe has been a much-traveled one by all sorts of students through the years.
But for one particular college at OU, the pathway leads right to the front door of the Chillicothe Kenworth plant. Currently, 40 percent of the engineers at the plant have engineering degrees from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
In addition, the college’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department has helped form the curriculum and find professional development opportunities for the students at the Chillicothe plant for the past 15 years.
“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, a 1985 graduate of the Russ College program and director of Manufacturing Engineering and Facilities at Kenworth Chillicothe.
“While working with the college has benefited our company, the university and the students, I feel I have gained from this as well,” he said.
In July, the college formally recognized Kenworth for its efforts to help students. 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.
McTigue said Kenworth is looking forward to continuing and strengthening the partnership.
“The recognition of Kenworth’s contribution to the Russ College was the result of these individuals’ efforts and their commitment to strengthening academic achievement and developing future engineers who bring desired skills to the workplace,” she said.
Improving Kenworth’s processes through critical thinking is one way the partnership can improve, said Ross Wagner, also a Russ College graudate and Kenworth Chillicothe engineer.
“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,” he said.
Both Tisdale and department chairman 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 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,” Tisdale said.
From Chillicothe Gazette | August 24, 2014