Preparing the Next Generation of Engineers




Day 2, Session 2 - Preparing the Next Generation of Engineers



Roundtable Presenters

Dr. Yacob Astatke
Assistant VP for International Affairs
Morgan State University

Dr. Yacob Astatke currently serves as the Assistant Vice President (AVP) for International Affairs at Morgan State University (MSU), a position he has held since July 2017.  As the AVP he  has played a key role in the implementation of “Morgan’s Global Campus” initiative, with the launch of a new initiatives in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Turkey. In addition, DIA played a crucial role in the signing of a major partnership with the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund) of Nigeria to bring up to 75 Ph.D. students and post-doctoral scholars per year to Morgan starting in the Fall of 2020. Prior to becoming the AVP for International Affairs, Dr. Astatke was a full-time faculty member in the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering for over 23 years, where he rose to the position of Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.  For over a decade now, Dr. Astatke has facilitated the donation of hundreds of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)  portable laboratory instrumentation boards and has conducted capacity-building training workshops for more than 25 universities in Ethiopia and other countries in Africa and Asia. As such, the DIA is actively seeking to grow Morgan’s relationships and partnerships with universities and public/private organizations around the world in line with our strategic plan of “Growing the Future, and Leading the World.”


Dr. Benjamin C. Flores
Director, University of Texas System LSAMP
The University of Texas at El Paso

Benjamin C. Flores is the Forrest O. and Henrietta Lewis Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The son of a single working mother, he was the first in his family to pursue and earn a college degree. As an educator and researcher, he has been dedicated to developing socio-academic models that improve the retention and graduation of underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines. Dr. Flores has held a number of administrative positions. During his tenure as Dean of the Graduate School, UTEP reached a milestone, awarding more than 100 doctoral degrees in 2013, in anticipation of the Institution’s centennial celebration. Dr. Flores is the Principal Investigator of the University of Texas System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and the Inclusive Mentoring in STEM Center of Excellence. He is the recipient of a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).


Peter Martin
Engineering Education Specialist 

Peter Martin, B.Sc.Eng., M.A.Sc., is an engineering education specialist who has been a member of the Quanser R&D team for over ten years. As Director of R&D, Peter is responsible for ensuring that Quanser's vision and strategy continues a legacy of world-leading innovative and academically aligned products and services. During his tenure, Peter has been responsible for leading the development of several notable ground-breaking products focused on diverse markets from robotics and mechatronics, to educational platforms and tools.

Dr. R Chris Roberts
Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Texas at El Paso 

Dr. R Chris Roberts is presently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). From 2017-2018 he was a Lecturer and Senior Research Associate at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). From 2013 to 2017 he served as a the Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) and from 2012 to 2013 he served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in EEE at HKU. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 2012. His dissertation work focused on the development of inkjet-printed gold microsystems. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Systems & Control Engineering at CWRU, in 2005 and 2006, respectively. At UTEP Dr Roberts directs the Convergent Microsystems Laboratory. His research interests focus on the use of conventional and additive manufacturing to realize sensors, MEMS and cyber-physical devices for energy, healthcare and robotics. He has authored or coauthored over 42 publications and is a member of IEEE, Materials Research Society, the Surface Mount Technology Association and Eta Kappa Nu.


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