Nagi G. Naganathan
Dr. Nagi Naganathan currently serves as the dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Toledo (UT) in Toledo, Ohio. He has led the College of Engineering as dean since May 2003 and had previously spent more than two years as the college’s interim dean. He served as the founding chairperson of the Mechanical, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineering department between 1995 and 2000. Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, Dr. Naganathan served as UT's interim president, upon the invitation of the Board of Trustees.
In his tenure as Interim President of UT, Dr. Naganathan made a commitment to make the 2014 15 academic year a “year of accomplishments,” and not just as a 'year of transition' while waiting for permanent leadership. In partnership with the university community, he mobilized a number of university wide initiatives with measurable goals. Significant outcomes during the 2014-15 year include implementation of a new faculty hiring plan; improving the undergraduate experience & safety with a thorough external review of the university’s Title IX policies and procedures and instituting appropriate changes; transformation of the university’s medical enterprise resulting in a 50-year agreement with the ProMedica Health System valued at an investment of over $2.5 billion dollars at UT by ProMedica; initiation of a new campus master plan, formation of a Water Task Force that brought together faculty experts from six different academic colleges to identify solution strategies for the future of water quality in the region, formation of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute to affirm university's leadership in combating human trafficking, restructuring of the university’s regional economic development engagement through the creation of the Rocket Innovations program, successful conclusions of key labor agreements with two of our staff bargaining units (CWA and AFSCME), that represent nearly 2,400 staff employees and our AAUP faculty unions representing both tenure-track and lecturer faculty, several key academic and administrative leadership appointments, Reimplementation and elevation of the Outstanding Faculty, Staff, and Advisor Awards, as well as the University Service Awards for our faculty and staff and establishing a consortium with several neighboring two-year community colleges: Northwest State, Terra State, and Owens.
A member of the UT faculty since 1986, he is a tenured professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering with expertise in the areas of smart material systems and structures, robotics, vibrations and control, and microcomputer applications in electromechanical systems. Under his leadership, the College of Engineering has achieved record high student enrollments, registering an increase in the undergraduate enrollment every fall semester for the last 10 academic years, through improved recruitment and retention. The college has set new historical highs in total enrollment every year, during the last four years.
Naganathan also has worked to elevate the college’s mandatory co-operative experience program – one of only eight in the nation – exceeding 16,000 placements, in partnership with more than 2,000 employers in more than 40 states in the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. And Naganathan’s interest in interdisciplinary collaborations have led to new joint degree programs with the College of Business and Innovation and College of Medicine and Life Sciences in the areas of information technology and biomedical engineering, respectively.
He created the Engineering Leadership Institute with philanthropic support from Roy and Marcia Armes, CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and a 1975 UT mechanical engineering graduate, to provide leadership opportunities for students. The college has grown both in programming and footprint under Naganathan’s tenure with the addition of the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex and the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center. He has secured more than $16M in philanthropic support for the various college initiatives. The college has also grown in prestige nationally. In October 2006, the engineering graduate program was listed for the first time in the Princeton Review’s the top 20 graduate programs and U.S. News and World Report has ranked the practice oriented master’s program among the top 50 in the nation during for the last three years.
Naganathan’s research projects have been funded with $6.5 million in grants and contracts from external sponsors, including the National Science Foundation and automotive manufacturers. He is the author and co-author of more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and national and international conference proceedings. He also has been awarded a U.S. patent on the use of piezoelectric devices in active suspension systems (US Patent 5,390,949). Naganathan’s work with industry includes conducting vibration analysis and control studies on heavy-duty truck powertrains for Dana Corporation and as a design engineer with Ashok Leyland Motors.
Naganathan has received a number of prestigious awards, including a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, UT Outstanding Teacher Award, UT Outstanding Researcher Award, SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, ASME Outstanding Regional Faculty Advisor Award, TST/TSPE Engineer of the Year, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli, India.
He serves as an elected director of the national American Society of Engineering Education Engineering Deans Council Executive Board, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the WACE, Inc. (World Association for Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education (based in Lowell, Massachusetts), Board of Directors of the Ohio Aerospace Institute (Cleveland, Ohio), Executive Committee of the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (based in Washington, DC ; also currently serving as president), and Rotary International.
Naganathan earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology at Tiruchirappalli (formerly known as Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli), University of Madras, India, a master’s degree in mechanical and industrial engineering from Clarkson University, New York and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University.