Dr. Ashok Midha, professor and former chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is now director of the Missouri S&T Product Innovation and Creativity Center (PICC). The appointment began on Sept. 1.
Located largely at the center of Toomey Hall, Missouri S&T’s mechanical and aerospace engineering complex, the PICC gives students a place to enhance their leadership, teamwork and communications skills while tackling real-world, hands-on design engineering projects. The center houses the Havener presentation hub, Orlofsky design studio, Dorf prototyping loft, Boeing CNC machining center, Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers (AMAE) conference room, Clubb rapid prototyping lab, multimedia conference and presentation room, fabrication corner, student machine shop, and GTA office.
“The PICC is a vital link in the educational process of Missouri S&T’s mechanical and aerospace engineering students, providing our graduates with the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in private industry,” says Dr. Warren K. Wray, interim chancellor at Missouri S&T. “Dr. Midha’s longtime service as chair of the department, and his leadership and vision in the area of design education, makes him an ideal candidate to lead this facility.”
In his new role, Midha will collaborate with Dr. Frank Liou, who became the university’s first Michael and Joyce Bytnar Product Innovation and Creativity Professor on Sept. 1.
Midha earned Ph.D. and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and 1970, respectively. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the National Institute of Technology in the steel city of Jamshedpur, India, in 1968.
Midha joined Missouri S&T in 1997 as professor of mechanical engineering and chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Prior to that, he held positions of professor and associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. He also held positions of associate and assistant professor at The Pennsylvania State University, and assistant professor at Michigan Technological University.
Prior to his academic career, Midha served as a mechanical engineer for two years with FluiDyne Engineering Corp., in Minneapolis.
Midha has conducted research and consulted in the following areas: mechanical design, kinematics and dynamics of mechanisms, rigid-body and compliant mechanisms design, and machine vibration and stability. He has written nearly 140 journal articles, conference proceedings papers and book chapters, and has received several best paper, design, and college research awards. His more recent efforts have been devoted to design education and the development of a methodology for design of compliant mechanisms.
Midha received the coveted American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Design Engineering Division Mechanisms Committee Award in 1998 for “Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Mechanism Theory and Design, and Valued Services in Advancing the Engineering Profession.” He was named Fellow of the ASME in 2002. He served as an associate editor for the Journal of Mechanisms, Transmissions, and Automation in Design (now known as the Journal of Mechanical Design), and the feature editor of Mechanism and Machine Theory, the Journal of the International Federation for the Theory of Machines and Mechanisms (IFToMM).