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Talented instructors join Trine faculty
Ten new faces bringing talent to classroom
The talents of 10 new faculty members will enhance Trine University academic programs this semester.
Thomas H. DeAgostino is an assistant professor of design engineering technology in the Allen School of Engineering & Technology. He spent 25 years as a mechanical engineer at Ford and General Motors, with a focus on finite element and structural analysis, automatic transmission torque converter engineering and automatic transmission calibration. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Dr. Marek Kolar is an assistant professor of finance in the Ketner School of Business. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Northwood University in Midland, Mich., a master’s degree at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. and a doctoral degree at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. Born in Czechoslovakia under communist rule, he calls himself “a passionate defender of freedom and liberty.” He previously taught economics at Delta College in Saginaw, Mich., Northwood University and Michigan State. He awaits the publication of his doctoral thesis in the Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions, and Money. “I have gained a broad expertise in finance, economics, and business, and now I am eager to pass this expertise on to the students at Trine,” he said.
Dr. Pavan K. Karra is an assistant professor in mechatronics, dynamics and control systems for the Wade Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the National Institute of Technology in Warangal, India, a master’s degree at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a doctoral degree at Iowa State University. He worked on chemical mechanical planarization, a process in semi-conductor manufacturing, as a doctoral candidate research assistant. Other areas of expertise include predicting the life of hip implants through the use of fracture mechanics and non-linear dynamics of the thermo-mechanical aspects of machining.
Dr. Kevin E. Molyet joins the Wade Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering as an assistant professor in solid mechanics. He earned bachelor, master and doctoral degrees at the University of Toledo in Ohio. He comes to Trine after teaching at various Toledo-area colleges for several years. He focused his graduate student research upon piezoceramics and magnetorheological fluids, so-called “smart” materials, as an Ohio Space Grant Consortium fellow in a program by the Ohio Aerospace Institute and NASA. “Although I have only been here a short time, I already love working here and look forward to interacting with my students,” he said.
Dr. Will David Lindquist has joined the Reiners Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor. He earned bachelor, master and doctoral degrees at the University of Kansas. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Chi Epsilon and Golden Key honor societies. His areas of expertise include structural and materials engineering, reinforced concrete design, concrete durability and green building practices. He has traveled across the country working with transportation departments to design and construct concrete bridges. “I am thrilled to be an adviser for the students’ concrete canoe competition,” he said.
Assistant professor of chemistry Dr. Tony Layson has joined the Department of Science. Layson completed his chemistry education at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and professes a fascination for small things. His interests focus upon the field of nanotechnology, the study and application of materials less than 100 nanometers in size. “That is approximately 250 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair,” he said. The Fort Wayne native is happy to be back in northeast Indiana with family and friends and near the Steuben County lakes where he spent his youth fishing and swimming, he said.
Dr. Hong Keun Park is assistant professor of biology in the Department of Science. His exposure to his father’s long career in fishery management led to his early interest in aquatic living organisms and his bachelor’s degree in aquaculture and doctoral degree in biological sciences. His undergraduate and graduate student work involved the manipulation of genetics to enhance fish productivity and research on other methods of genetic tooling. He will bring his hands-on knowledge, experiences and outgoing personality to his interaction with students on an individual and lecture-style basis. Establishing a friendly, person-to-person relationship and developing good qualities in students are other goals, he said.
Beth Stepp has joined Trine as an instructor and director of choral music. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and music education from Indiana University. She worked for many years as choral director and music teacher for Prairie Heights High School in LaGrange County, Ind., where she directed high school musicals, choral programs, student music contests and all-state choirs. She has for years directed music at Fairview Missionary Church in Angola, Ind., organizing adult choirs, teen musicals, special music events and Sunday worship music. She is a member of the barbershop quartet Vocal Bling and the Frances Elliott Clark Music Club.
Dr. Prashanth Kumar Karra is visiting assistant professor for the Wade Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. A native of southern India, he completed a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Kakatiya University before moving Stateside to begin work on a master’s degree at Mississippi State University at Starkville. He then completed a doctoral degree at Iowa State University of Science and Technology in Ames, working with John Deere, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Cyride to develop low-emission combustion strategies in non-road diesel engines to prepare for stringent future emission standards. He has instructed and acted as mentor for several undergraduate students for senior design projects and independent research.
David Devine is a visiting instructor for the Reiners Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. The Fort Wayne native completed bachelor and master degrees in civil engineering at the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University. He brings 10 years of full-time engineering practice and nine years of university-level teaching to his job. He is chair of the Committee on Licensure and Ethics for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), an editorial board member for Leadership and Management in Engineering and a member of the ASCE board-level Paraprofessional Task Committee. He enjoys travel, and spent 27 months in West Africa with the Peace Corps.