By HAROLD GWIN
Youngstown State University didn’t get a state “Center of Excellence” designation for its materials science and engineering program, but it is moving in the right direction, according to the dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Gov. Ted Strickland announced the designation of five Centers of Excellence in Enabling Technologies: Advanced Materials and Sensors on Friday, but YSU wasn’t on the list.
The governor did note that YSU was identified as “an Emerging Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering,” which he said indicates the university has made significant progress toward earning the state Center of Excellence designation.
“I think this is good news for Youngstown State,” said Martin Abraham, STEM dean. It shows the university is moving in the right direction, he said.
Abraham said he is a bit disappointed at not getting the designation but is pleased YSU is listed with some “world class” facilities such as the liquid crystal program at Kent State University and the polymer sciences program at the University of Akron.
That alone is a compliment to the good work YSU has been doing, he said.
The governor’s status report shows the university has more work to do in the area of increasing external grants, working with industry, increased publication of research results and more. Getting approval to offer a doctorate in materials science and engineering (something YSU is developing) would go a long way toward earning the Center of Excellence label, he added.
The Centers of Excellence program was outlined in Ohio’s 10-year Strategic Plan for Higher Education to encourage state universities to develop outstanding programs that create distinct missions for each institution.
The five designated Monday by Strickland are:
Case Western Reserve University: Institute of Advanced Materials.
Kent State University: Liquid Crystal, Bioscience, Nanotechnology.
Ohio State University: Materials, Manufactured Technologies and Nanotechnology.
University of Akron: Globally Distinctive Polymer Sciences and Engineering Applied in Regional Industry Clusters.
University of Cincinnati: Nanoscale Sensors.