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Gary Maul

Gary Maul Selected to Lead Otterbein's New Systems Engineering Program

Otterbein University has selected Gary Maul, an Ohio State University professor with more than 40 years of engineering experience in university and industry positions, to serve as director of its new systems engineering program.

Maul, whose appointment is effective Aug. 11, is quite familiar with the project, having spent much of the past year as a consultant on its design and development. He worked closely with an Otterbein team that included Associate Professor of Physics Dave Robertson, Professor of Mathematical Sciences Bill Harper and Assistant Professor of Physics Aaron Reinhard on mapping out the philosophy and curriculum for the program.

Scheduled to launch in fall 2015, the systems engineering major will combine the principles of mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering with the university’s nationally recognized Integrative Studies program for the teaching of the liberal arts. The goal, Maul says, is to provide students with the interdisciplinary, technical and team skills needed to define and solve multifaceted engineering problems.

“You can’t solve problems in engineering today from one discipline,” he says. “At Otterbein, we’ve created an approach to learning that will produce well-rounded graduates with a strong grasp of engineering fundamentals accompanied by a broad understanding of the complex nature of those problems.”

There is expected to be a big demand in Ohio in the coming years for engineering graduates. Estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the state will need to fill 274,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs by 2018 with about 12 percent – nearly 33,000 -- for engineering graduates.

“We hear a lot of concerns,” Maul says, “about the need for engineering students to be more broadly educated, to communicate better, to have a better understanding of the world and to be able to work in teams.”

Maul has been a member of the faculty at Ohio State University for more than 28 years, serving as a professor in the areas of industrial, welding and systems engineering. He most recently was director of engineering at Ohio State University-Marion where he developed the first two years of the school’s engineering program. He has a Ph.D. in engineering from Pennsylvania State University as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering from Purdue University and Youngstown State University respectively.

Maul has also worked as an engineer at Nestle PTC, Honda of America Manufacturing and Packard Electric Co., a former division of General Motors Corp. He is already tapping his connections in the corporate world, seeking commitments from companies that can offer internships to Otterbein systems engineering majors.

“Getting the liberal arts experience will make these students appealing to a lot industries locally, across the state and beyond,” Maul says. “There will be plenty of opportunities for Otterbein graduates.”