Bivens receives Ohio State’s top staff honor
Each year, the university recognizes 12 staff members for their outstanding achievements, service, leadership and dedication. No one was more fitting to receive the 2017 Distinguished Staff Award than Chad Bivens.
As MAE’s shop supervisor, Bivens was honored for his significant contributions to the department. Through his supervision of MAE’s three shop labs, undergraduate students have gained a truly hands-on, experiential learning environment. Each day, Bivens uses his passion, creativity and flexibility to devise solutions to the problems that students encounter.
“Whenever I have any questions or issues related to machining, Chad and his team are the first people I approach for answers,” said Akul Kakumani, a mechanical engineering PhD student and former MAE graduate teaching associate.
“A multitalented guy, Chad’s passion for his job can be seen in the way he makes machining a fun experience for students.”
In 2011, Bivens joined the department and began working alongside mechanical engineering faculty to rework MAE’s curriculum in order to provide students with an applied and hands-on engineering knowledge base. As the primary staff member involved in the quarters-to-semesters conversion process, Bivens’ contributions have had a significant impact on the department’s successful implementation. He worked to redesign and refurbish the machine shops from the ground up. Biven’s experience in the industry, as a former tool and die-making shop owner, has proved to be invaluable. Thanks to his connections to manufacturing and machining partners, Bivens has located and purchased the necessary equipment, while saving the department thousands of dollars.
He also serves as a mentor in his role. Bivens has worked with more than 1,200 students to ensure that they gain the machining skills needed to be successful after graduation. As Professor K. Cheena Srinivasan stated, “for many students this is their first significant hands-on experience with machining, and it is a significant learning experience.” Bivens sets a perfect example for students to follow; he’s organized, timely, trustworthy and has respect for everyone.
This isn’t the first time Bivens has been honored for his extraordinary service. He received the College of Engineering’s Exemplary Service to Students Award in 2016. Additionally, he earned the college’s 2013 Boyer Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Engineering Innovation, a recognition usually reserved for faculty.
“Over the past six years, Chad has become an indispensable part of our organization,” said Associate Professor Blaine Lilly, who nominated Bivens for this award.
“In MAE, we pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching, and he is without question one of the best teachers in the department and a valued resource in every way.”
Bivens received his Distinguished Staff Award on May 1, in combination with a $1,500 cash award, $700 base salary increase and crystal trophy. On Sept. 23, he will be honored during halftime when the Buckeyes football team takes on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
- Kam King, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering