Martin Gordon is a tenured Full Professor and Director for External Academic Relations at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He started at RIT in 1995 after an 11 year, full-time career in industry. Marty is a registered professional engineer in New York, Pennsylvania and Texas and is a nationally recognized expert in Crash Reconstruction and Forensic Engineering. He is a Past-President and Fellow of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) and has continued to consult throughout his academic career. He currently serves on the ASEE Board of Directors as Chair of the Engineering Technology Council.
Marty often tells people that he chose a university for all the wrong reasons - he wanted to play hockey for his mother’s alma mater, The University of Buffalo (UB) Bulls. Marty did play hockey for the UB Bulls, and that experience shaped and made him who he is today. His hockey coach, Ed Wright, was the first black Division I hockey coach in the NCAA. Marty witnessed disturbing behavior directed at Coach Wright that made Marty realize that we live in a world where the rules aren’t always fair for everyone.
In fact, Marty had an even earlier introduction to systemic discrimination. HIs mother, Beverly, had gone to the University of Buffalo in 1948 to study pharmacy – she was one of a handful of women in a program with hundreds of men. While growing up, he had a front row seat to discrimination against women.
Based on Marty’s personal experiences, being fair and equitable to all is extremely important. As an “old white guy” he is proud of being a strong ally to those that may not have been born with the same privilege as himself.
Marty earned three degrees from the University of Buffalo, two as a full-time student (BS and MS in Mechanical/Systems Engineering) and one as a part-time student while he was working full-time in industry (MBA – Concentration in Organizational Behavior). Marty’s positions in industry included Applications Engineer, Project Engineer and Product Manager.
Throughout his career, Marty has been actively involved in numerous engineering organizations including the NAFE, SAE, ASTM, AAAM, ASME, NSPE, and NCEES. He has held leadership positions at the local, state and national level. Through his involvement, he has met people in the wider engineering community and has made strides in challenging the norms that are not fair to all. It is with these connections that he could bring the most value to his role as Vice-President, External Relations.
Marty has been honored with RIT’s Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award; Rochester Engineering Society’s Engineer of the Year; SAE’s Top Contributor recognition and holds Fellow rank in both the National Academy of Forensic Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Furthermore, Marty has served as RIT’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative for nearly 20 years and has been its Baja SAE Advisor for nearly 30 years. He is the only 7-time Baja SAE Competition Organizer.
Marty and his wife Jill live in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York. They have two grown daughters. Amanda, a packaging engineering in Los Angeles and Abby a special education and first grade teacher in Buffalo. Jill is a retired Physical Therapist and currently works part-time as a substitute teacher’s aide at the local elementary school.
I am honored to have been nominated for Vice-President, External Relations. As most of you know, ASEE has recently been working through a financial crises. The current Presidential team has lead an exhaustive effort to make ASEE even more robust and relevant moving forward. I have been a small part of that effort and would like to thank you – ASEE Members - for supporting ASEE and its leaders and staff at this critical time.
Thankfully, ASEE has continued to function fairly normally while attracting a record number of abstracts for the upcoming Annual Conference in Baltimore. ASEE continues to be recognized by other engineering organizations for its focus on improving engineering education and for its emphasis on building a more diverse engineering workforce. ASEE has made some progress in these areas, but much work remains to be done. For too many years engineering has not reflected the make-up of our society. White, male students from first tier suburban high schools continue to enter engineering and engineering technology programs, but where are their more diverse peers from urban centers and far-flung rural areas? There are rules and laws in the US that continue to discourage our less advantaged young people from becoming engineers.
At this year’s ASEE Industry 4.0 Summit, organized by ASEE’s Corporate Member Council, it was reported that we need all hands on deck to meet the projected need for engineers and others in the STEM workforce, yet we are not attracting everyone we should. We need to, in the words of Dan Millard from the NSF, “democratize engineering”. Essentially, this means that we specifically need to get more women and historically under-represented groups into the engineering pipeline. Unfortunately, data presented at the Summit show little to no gains in this area over the past 10 years – we need to change what we are doing.
ASEE is uniquely positioned to be the catalyst for this change. To be most effective, we need to have allies in all areas and especially with our fellow national engineering organizations. I see one of the main efforts of the Vice-President, External Affairs to interface and work cooperatively with our sister organizations to make the changes we would like to see. Being Past-President of one of these sister organization has allowed me to build a network of affiliates across a wide array of engineering organizations from NSPE, ABET and NCEES to ASME, ASCE and IEEE to SWE, NSPE and SHPE
While ASEE continues to embrace the total community of engineering educators and students, some other national engineering organizations do not. I have seen firsthand how some of those other organizations have inadvertently created negative messaging and artificial barriers that dissuade folks from selecting a major that could lead to an engineering career. This is hurting some of the very schools and programs that we as ASEE members care so deeply about. Over the last decade, I have been in communication with these organizations about how they could be doing more to improve the attractiveness of engineering into historically underserved populations.
I have the passion, experience, and connections to be a very effective Vice-President, External Affairs. If elected, I will continue to work passionately for you and a brighter future for all.
Dr. Pritpal Singh is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Villanova University. He received his BSc in Physics from the University of Birmingham in England in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Applied Science/Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1984.
Dr. Singh has been working in solar energy research for over 40 years, working right from the cell level to the systems level. He teaches postgraduate courses in power electronics, renewable energy systems, sustainable product development for low resource settings and information, communication, and energy technologies for development (ICET4D). He ran his own solar business in India for five years and has consulted for the US Department of Energy and two private companies on solar electric systems. He has worked with UNICEF in Nicaragua, Burundi and Zimbabwe giving workshops on renewable energy and entrepreneurship. He has recently worked on humanitarian projects in Ecuador in renewable energy and connectivity with colleagues from the Escuela Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Dr. Singh served as the IEEE Special Interest Group for Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) Education Subcommittee Chair from 2017 - 2019 and is presently the Chair of the 2022 Partnerships Committee of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee. He served as the Technical Chair for the 2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference and will serve as Co-Chair and host of the 2023 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference.
For ASEE, he has served as the Middle Atlantic ASEE section, Zone 1 Chair and has hosted the Middle Atlantic Section meeting three times. He is currently meetings chair for the section. He has been involved with the International Division for several years and is presently a Member-At-Large for the Division. At last year’s annual conference, he organized a dinner for the International Division to help recruit new members to the Division.
Dr. Singh is the 2022 Duncan Fraser Global Engineering Education awardee which he will receive at the World Engineering Education Forum conference in Cape Town on November 29, 2022.