YSU names Friedman Chair in Engineering

Tribune Chronicle

YOUNGSTOWN – Eric W. MacDonald, a world leader in 3-D printing and additive manufacturing whose research has garnered nearly $16 million in funding, has been named the first Morris and Phyllis Friedman Chair in Engineering at Youngstown State University.

His appointment was announced Tuesday by YSU President Jim Tressel.

MacDonald was previously the Texas Instruments endowed professor and associate director of the W.M. Keck Center for 3-D 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.

“Dr. MacDonald is a nationally recognized scholar who will further strengthen and enhance the reputation of our additive manufacturing programs at YSU,” said Brett Conner, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and director of the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiatives at YSU.

Wim Steelant, dean of the YSU STEM College said, “We are thrilled to have someone of Eric’s stature join the YSU team and to serve as a resource for our students, our faculty and the community in general.”

Friedman, founder of United Steel Service Inc. in Brookfield, and his wife, Phyllis, last year donated $2.5 million to YSU to establish a full professor faculty position in the Rayen School of Engineering, which is part of the YSU STEM College.

MacDonald will teach engineering classes and pursue and publish research on 3-D printing. He also will collaborate with local and national researchers in industry and academia to advance and promote additive manufacturing and to help develop the future workforce required to maintain economic competitiveness, according to a news release from YSU.

MacDonald, now a part of the YSU department of electrical and computer engineering, said he has long admired the rich heritage of manufacturing in northeastern Ohio and is excited about the opportunity 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 ongoing engineering research,” he said.

MacDonald earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He worked at Motorola and IBM, both in Austin. He also co-founded a startup acquired by a Silicon Valley firm before joining the faculty of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2003. He served faculty fellowships at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. He was a Fulbright scholar for the State Department in 2011 in Chile and was invited back for the summer of 2015 with a grant from the Chilean government.

He has received more than $3.8 million in research funding as principal investigator, and $12 million more as co-principal investigator, from funders such as Lockheed Martin Corp., the Department of Defense, NASA and the National Science Foundation. He has three patents and many other patent applications in process. One IBM patent was licensed by Sony and Toshiba.

He also is the founder or co-founder of many startup companies, including Prognosticon in Las Cruces, N.M.; El Paso Instruments in El Paso; and Printed Device Concepts in El Paso.

MacDonald is a consultant, a member of several professional societies and has received several awards and honors. Besides editing the Elsevier Journal Additive Manufacturing, he is the author of 22 scholarly articles and 55 conference and other publications. He has also made invited presentations in China, Mexico, France, Chile, Korea and throughout the United States.