Alumni named to 2004 Co-op Hall of Fame

Jul 15, 2004

Kettering will share in the honors this fall when five more alumni are inducted into the National Commission for Co-operative Education's 2004-05 Co-op Hall of Fame.

They are internationally renowned in ergonomics, for leadership in the boardrooms of Germany, and for creating both advancements in manufacturing and employment for thousands. Five more Kettering University alumni are part of the 2004-05 National Commission for Co-operative Education's (NCCE) Hall of Fame.

The five honorees were nominated by Kettering President James E.A. John and will be part of the ceremonies at the fall NCCE meeting in Detroit in October. They are:

Don B. Chaffin
Class of 1962, Industrial Engineering

Don B. Chaffin has spent his career interested in the well being and performance of workers in many different industries. His professional focus is on ergonomics, a field in which he is a national leader in evaluating and preventing excessive physical stresses in the workplace. His work has been widely recognized and led to his election to the National Academy of Engineering. He is the G. Lawton and Louise G. Johnson Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Occupational Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he is also director of the Human Motion Simulation Laboratory. His research focuses on developing and validating biomechanical models, which provide the means to perform computerized simulations of manual tasks common in many industries.

James A. McCaslin Jr.
Class of 1974, Industrial Engineering

James A. McCaslin Jr. is the president and chief operating officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Co. of Milwaukee. He joined Harley-Davidson in 1992, was appointed vice president of Continuous Improvement in 1997 and vice president of Dealer Services in 1999. In his career, he has worked for General Motors, Volkswagen, the Chrysler Corp. and Case. He is an advocate for "hands-on" experiences in both education and business management, advising students to take risks "because it is through our mistakes that we learn the most." He is on the board of directors of Maytag Corp., board chairman of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council and an active supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Robert S. Oswald
Class of 1964, Electrical Engineering

Robert S. Oswald is noted for his leadership within the automotive industry since graduating from Kettering/GMI in 1964. He is the chairman and CEO of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a manufacturer of air brakes and safety systems. He previously served as chairman, president and CEO of the Robert Bosch Corp. (North American Subsidiary), retiring from the German-based manufacturer in 2000. He is the first American businessman to sit on the board of the German company. During his career, he held manufacturing, engineering and general management positions at such companies as Ford and General Motors. Oswald is a trustee at Kettering University, a member of the Perceptron Corp. board and a former member of the board of management and international committee for Robert Bosch Corp.

Frank Perna Jr.
Class of 1960, Mechanical Engineering

Frank Perna Jr. has been described as a man who has made a career of successfully growing and managing companies. He is the chairman and CEO of MSC.Software Corp., the leading global provider of simulation software services and systems used by the aerospace industry and other advanced manufacturers. Under his leadership, the company has achieved dramatic growth and increased revenues. Before MSC, he was chairman and CEO of EOS Corp., a technology electronics manufacturer, and president of MagneTek, an international manufacturer of electrical equipment. He is a member of the board of trustees at Kettering University, a member of the MIT Board of Governors of the Sloan Fellows Program, the Software Executive Roundtable in Southern California and a board member of Geometric Software Solutions Co.

Martin D. "Skip" Walker
Class of 1954, Mechanical Engineering

For more than 50 years, Martin "Skip" Walker has guided and helped grow some of the country's leading manufacturing and business enterprises. His career began in the Chevrolet Division for General Motors, he went on to work for American Motors and Rockwell International, and served as chairman and CEO for M.A. Hanna Corp. before retiring to join MORWAL investments, a private investment firm. He is noted for his dedicated volunteer service to a variety of industry, corporate and non-profit organizations. He has served on the board of directors for ArvinMeritor, Comerica, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Textron, Timken, and a number of groups serving engineering, manufacturing, management and education. He served as a trustee for Kettering University in the 1980s. He now resides in Florida.

The 2004-05 Co-op Hall of Fame class will be featured in the "Best of Co-op" national guide, published by NCCE later this year. NCCE is based in Boston, Mass. To read more on the NCCE, go to:

Written by Patricia Mroczek and Gary Erwin
Contact: Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533