Rob Siston named interim chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Posted: August 13, 2021
MAE Interim Chair, Rob Siston

Professor Rob Siston has been named Interim Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University, effective August 15, 2021. Siston will succeed Jim Gregory, who has served as the MAE chair since June 1, 2020. Gregory was recently named the incoming Dean of Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Dayton Beach, Florida.

Siston is currently the MAE Associate Chair for Administration and Director of the Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory. He is an alumnus of the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State in 2000. He went on to earn his Masters and PhD from Stanford University in 2002, and 2005. As a PhD student, Siston created and effectively utilized what is believed to be the only image-free navigation system for total knee arthroplasty in the United States that is not affiliated with a medical device company.

Professor Siston began teaching at Ohio State in 2006, and holds appointments in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedics and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Science. His work seeks to apply principles of mechanical engineering to the treatment of human movement disorders and sits at the intersection of orthopedics and neuromuscular biomechanics. Siston and his students collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of mechanical engineers, radiologists, orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists to customize orthopaedic surgeries and rehabilitation programs in order to improve patient outcomes. His lab’s research has been sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), among other industry partners and philanthropic groups.

In addition to his research activity, Siston is one of the founders and co-directors of the Future Academic Scholars Training (FAST) program. The program helps prepare PhD students for a future in academia, including the responsibilities and roles of a successful professor and university instructor. FAST program students have gone on to faculty positions at a range of institutions including MIT, The University of Cincinnati and Otterbein University.

Siston also created a senior capstone design series in which mechanical and biomedical engineering seniors collaborate with graduate students and faculty in Occupational Therapy to develop assistive devices for persons with disabilities. The course was funded by an NSF grant and, after being adopted by the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a similar grant from the NIH.

Through his teaching methods, which includes a “flipped” classroom experience, Siston has received numerous awards. In 2014, Siston was named the recipient of The Ohio State University’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has also received the David C. McCarthy Engineering Teaching Award and the Boyer Award for Excellence in Teaching Innovations from the Ohio State College of Engineering, as well as the Michael Moran Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He has participated as a panelist at the Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium with the National Academy of Engineering.

“There is a palpable sense of excitement at Ohio State under the dynamic new leadership of President Johnson, Provost Gilliam and Dean Howard," Siston said. "I’m honored to have been asked to lead the department during this time and partner with our amazing faculty, staff and students to ensure that we have an inclusive, welcoming and supportive environment for everyone who comes through our doors”

Learn more about MAE Interim Chair Rob Siston in his faculty spotlight

 

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