Youngstown State hopes new appointment will boost recruiting

Eric W. MacDonald will chair the university's Engineering Department, as part of the grant awarded by the Friedman family

Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University has named its first Morris and Phyllis Friedman professor in a move that YSU hopes boosts recruiting and academics.

Eric W. MacDonald will chair the university’s Engineering Department, as part of the grant awarded by the Friedman family. Friedman, founder of United Steel Service Inc. in Brookfield, and his wife, Phyllis, donated $2.5 million to YSU last year to establish a full-time professor faculty position in the Rayen School of Engineering, part of the YSU STEM College.

Administrators say MacDonald’s background in 3-D printing will bring even more recognition to YSU and potentially more students as well.

“By bringing an endowed scholar, a nationally-recognized scholar to Youngstown State, we’re able to go out and talk to students all over the country, all over the world, quite frankly, and tell them how we’re investing in the area of manufacturing, in the area of additive manufacturing,” said YSU Provost Dr. Martin Abraham.

McDonald is a world leader in 3D printing and additive manufacturing whose research has garnered nearly $16 million in funding. He was previously the Texas Instruments Endowed Professor and associate director of the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he also was director of the ASICs Laboratory and deputy editor of the “Elsevier Journal of Additive Manufacturing.”

In his new position, MacDonald will teach engineering classes, pursue and publish research on 3D printing. He also will collaborate with local and national researchers to advance and promote additive manufacturing to help develop the workforce needed to maintain economic competitiveness.

MacDonald, now a part of the YSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said he has admired the history of manufacturing in Northeastern Ohio and is excited to help transform the local and national economies by advancing additive manufacturing.

“Having previously collaborated with professors at Youngstown State, I was motivated to join the university given the high caliber of on-going engineering research,” he said. “YSU, local industry and the proximity to both the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (America Makes) and the Youngstown Business Incubator provide an ideal environment for pursuing additive manufacturing research, education and entrepreneurship.”

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