University Trustee Steven Kitrosser ’66/G’70 (left), one of the lead donors to the $12.8 million Sleith Hall Renovation and Expansion project, recently toured three rooms that were named for him and his wife Elaine: the Kitrosser Innovation Studio, the Kitrosser Engineering Management Laboratory, and the Kitrosser Industrial Engineering Laboratory.
Pictured in the Kitrosser Innovation Studio below, he and Dean S. Hossein Cheraghi (right) look at an unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a “drone”—one of two at the College of Engineering.
Kitrosser earned both a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from Western New England University and was inducted into the University’s Engineering Hall of Fame in 2002 for his outstanding contributions to the computer data storage industry. He and his wife also funded the Steven and Elaine Kitrosser Industrial Engineering Endowed Scholarship. Read more about Kitrosser in the Winter 2014 issue of The Communicator magazine.
(L-R) Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering Judy Cezeaux, College of Engineering Dean S. Hossein Cheraghi, and Kathleen White ’78 next to a plaque in her honor.
Click here to read about the Sleith Hall building project
in the Winter 2014 issue of
The Communicator magazine!
Sleith Hall Expansion and Renovation will Take
the College of Engineering to "Even Greater Heights"
The $12.8 million project supports remarkable educational strides taking place in the building: new programs, growing student enrollments and faculty, an increase in research, and more collaboration with industry.
BELOW! VIEW THE VIDEO Re-Engineering Our Future: Campaign for Engineering at Western New England University
Above: An artist rendering of the Biomedical Engineering simulated hospital suite as part of then new Sleith Hall learning environment.
Below: the two-story, 8,600-square-foot addition that will be built on the south side of the building.
Sleith Hall News
$50,000 Gift from Kathleen White ’78 Funds
Biomedical Engineering Laboratory Equipment
Pointing out one of the hallmarks of the student experience at Western New England University—the application of theory to practice— Kathleen White ’78 recently made a $50,000 gift to the College of Engineering, funding new equipment in the Biomedical Engineering Department.
“It’s important for these students to get hands-on experience as part of their education, as I did during my time here,” said White ’78, a member of the University’s Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board. “This will enable them to develop proficiency with this necessary instrumentation.”
As part of the ongoing $12.8 million Sleith Hall expansion and renovation, the new Bioinstrumentation Laboratory in the building’s recent addition helps meet the needs of the rapidly growing Biomedical Engineering program. The enrollment in the program has almost tripled over the past 10 years.
White’s gift made it possible to increase the number of electronic instrumentation stations in the lab by 50 percent—from eight to 12 stations. The equipment in them is used throughout the program’s curriculum, especially its four lab courses. Each of these stations include equipment for the analysis of electric circuits that can be used in diagnostic or therapeutic equipment, as well as electrocardiograms, reaction times, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.
Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering Judy Cezeaux, pictured on the right next to White, said that the equipment is important to the department and to the College of Engineering for a variety of reasons. “The curricula in the College of Engineering provides students with the opportunity to apply the engineering principles they learn in the classroom to solve practical problems—and in the case of biomedical engineering, clinically relevant problems,” she said. “The availability of the best equipment to learn these engineering principles is crucial in this regard.”
Dean S. Hossein Cheraghi said that the gift strengthens the College’s focus on the individual student. “We emphasize personal attention in our programs,” he said. “The increased number of stations in the lab allows, for many of the experiments, for students to work directly with the equipment. Upon graduation, they will be more competitive when they are seeking positions in industry or admission to graduate programs.”
White, who graduated from the College’s Biomedical Engineering program, is vice president and chief operating officer of ExThera Medical Corporation in Berkley, CA. With more than 30 years in a variety of positions in the medical device industry, she was inducted into the University’s Engineering Hall of Fame in 2010.
Sleith Hall Project Sets the Stage for Innovation
Sleith Hall’s renovation and expansion, begun in summer 2012, is already providing a tremendous boost to the College of Engineering's new and foundational programs. The project is attracting more students and faculty, increasing research, and accelerating collaboration with industry. And when the $12.8 million construction is completed in 2014, it will include a two-story, 8,600-square-foot addition to the south side of Sleith Hall, along with a major renovation of the existing building’s interior. View photos and video of work being done on the building.
“The alumni I’ve talked to are extremely enthusiastic about the metamorphosis of Sleith Hall—and justifiably so,” said College of Engineering Dean S. Hossein Cheraghi. “It will provide a premier home for our excellent and expanding programs. The laboratories and classrooms will be equipped with the latest technology and will greatly enhance our competitive position in the world of higher education.”
Re-engineering Sleith Hall
A new computer facility, a materials characterization lab, and a biofuel lab have already been completed as a part of this project (construction took place durring the summer of 2012 so as not to interrupt classes). Coming in the next 14 months will be:
- A second computer facility
- Four laboratory facilities for the Civil and Environmental Engineering program
- Freshman Design and Innovation Lab
- An expanded Instrumentation Lab
- A hospital suite, built to simulate a hospital environment for the rapidly growing program in Biomedical Engineering
Additional classrooms, offices, conference rooms, and increased space for student services are also in development. Structural changes include upgrading the building’s HVAC, electrical, and sprinkler systems, disability access improvements, and technology upgrades in classrooms.
An Investment in the Future
“My reaction upon hearing about the Sleith Hall project? Great pleasure and excitement. I immediately made a gift to the College of Engineering,” said Dr. Walter M. Presz, founder of FloDesign, which specializes in renewable energy and is a prime example of the College’s increasing collaboration with industry.
“I taught at the College of Engineering for 20 years and have worked with countless students,” says Dr. Presz. “I am proud to invest in our outstanding engineers of tomorrow and their faculty mentors, and I encourage others to do the same. This is an investment in future innovations from our College that will benefit society.”
To support the Sleith project, please visit www.wne.edu/giving, call 800-325-1122, ext. 1335, or send a check payable to Western New England University to:
Western New England University
1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119