Montana State University

MSU College of Engineering names first Boeing Professor

November 22, 2005 -- from the MSU News Service

Durward Sobek is MSU's first Boeing Professor. (MSU photo by Jay Thane)   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - Durward K. Sobek II, associate professor and graduate program coordinator for the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Montana State University, has been appointed the College of Engineering's first Boeing Professor.

Sobek will design an undergraduate program to teach engineering students how to work effectively on a multi-disciplinary team and help prepare them for work in a global economy.

Boeing established the professorship in 1991 with a goal of achieving a $1-million endowment, which the fund reached in 2005. Sobek will serve as Boeing Professor at MSU for a minimum one-year term, as the program allows rotation within the college.

"The Boeing Company is pleased with our long-time association with the College of Engineering," said Lindsay Anderson of Boeing. "The work of Dr. Sobek will make the graduates of MSU even more valuable at Boeing and other companies that require well-trained design and manufacturing engineers who can work in a cross-functional environment."

Sobek, who has conducted research on product development practices at two world-class manufacturing firms, earned his doctorate in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan in 1997.

"Sobek's exposure to both industrial and student design processes, his expertise in design theory, methodology and instruction and his ability to collaborate across traditional program boundaries make him the right person to lead this initiative," said engineering dean Robert Marley.

Marley said planning will continue through spring 2006, with implementation by fall semester 2006. "The college's accreditation depends in part on the project's success. Having a multidisciplinary engineering curriculum will help the college demonstrate that its graduates are capable of working in a multidisciplinary environment," he said.

Contact: Elizabeth Brock (406) 994-1564