Oregon State University – Cascades has awarded the Tykeson Endowed Faculty Scholar in Energy Engineering Management to Robin Feuerbacher, an assistant professor and the lead of the campus’ growing undergraduate EEM program. The endowed faculty position, the first in the campus’ history, was made possible by a $250,000 donation from a charitable trust operated by the owners of Bend Broadband in Bend.
Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades, said that establishing endowed faculty members is essential for recruiting and retaining top faculty at OSU-Cascades. As the inaugural Tykeson Endowed Faculty Scholar, Feuerbacher will enhance the education of EEM students and oversee or conduct research around human factors engineering pertaining to industry.
“Robin is a terrific asset to the EEM program,” Johnson said. “He’s a dynamic teacher with a solid knowledge of the energy industry and excellent research skills. He’s in a great position to lead and develop the EEM program to its full potential.”
Prior to joining OSU-Cascades in 2010, Robin Feuerbacher worked primarily in Washington’s private energy sector for more than 25 years and served as vice president of engineering and manufacturing for Siemens Power Corporation. He has taught engineering and business courses at Washington State University, OSU in Corvallis and University of Portland.
Feuerbacher graduated from OSU in 1974 with a B.S. in engineering and earned two master’s degrees from the University of Washington. He returned to OSU in 2006 as a graduate student in industrial engineering, earning his doctorate in 2010.
Feuerbacher said he views the endowed position as the highest honor for a faculty member. “I’m impressed and inspired by the support of the Tykeson Family Charitable Trust, as well as by the support of the region’s energy companies for the EEM program,” said Feuerbacher.
Feuerbacher plans to use the funds generated by the endowment to support student initiatives such as energy efficiency clubs and team competitions.
Officially launched in October 2010, the EEM undergraduate program has increased from four to 24 students in its first year, with a growing pipeline of students expected through Central Oregon Community College’s pre-engineering program. The EEM program is unique to OSU-Cascades, in that it is not offered at OSU’s main campus in Corvallis. The same year the degree program launched, it was accepted as a pilot program into the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program, a competitive engineering internship cooperative.
Based in Eugene, Ore., the Tykeson Family Charitable Trust has supported higher education since its inception 20 years ago, including gifts to Oregon Health and Science University and the University of Oregon. This is its first gift to OSU.