UPS Industrial Engineering Director Don Wittke (center) presents a $40,000 check in support of the UPS Doctoral Fellowship in Human Factors and Safety to ISE Interim Department Head Eileen Van Aken and ISE Professor and UPS Grant Coordinator John G. Casali.

UPS Industrial Engineering Director Don Wittke (center) presents a $40,000 check in support of the UPS Doctoral Fellowship in Human Factors and Safety to ISE Interim Department Head Eileen Van Aken and ISE Professor and UPS Grant Coordinator John G. Casali.
UPS Industrial Engineering Director Don Wittke (center) presents a $40,000 check in support of the UPS Doctoral Fellowship in Human Factors and Safety to ISE Interim Department Head Eileen Van Aken and ISE Professor and UPS Grant Coordinator John G. Casali.

(November 16, 2017)  On November 14, 2017, the United Parcel Service (UPS) Foundation provided a $40,000 grant to the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) for the UPS Doctoral (Ph.D.) Fellowship in Human Factors and Safety. This grant represents 21 consecutive years of funding from UPS, totaling approximately one million dollars, in support of education at Virginia Tech. From this Fellowship, a stipend and tuition is provided for at least one Ph.D. student per year in the Human Factors and Safety concentration of ISE, providing the student with flexibility to conduct their dissertations on cutting edge topics of interest. Students submit an application including a detailed research proposal for the Fellowship, in the UPS focus area of community safety. This year, the following technical areas were emphasized in the call for proposals:

  1. reduction of stress-strain injuries that result from physical activities in performing materials handling operations;
  2. reduction of accidents that occur in driving vehicles that are related to compromised situation awareness, driver distraction and/or lack of visibility, including pedestrian-strike accidents, or
  3. reduction of warning-related accidents wherein victims were insensitive to, or did not heed, warning signals.

The UPS Doctoral Fellowship was first funded in 1996 and has been funded in all consecutive years since, according to Dr. John G. Casali, Grado Professor of ISE and UPS Grant Coordinator since its inception. Dr. Casali stated that 27 ISE PhD students have received support toward their degree completion in ISE. Mr. Don Wittke, UPS Director of Industrial Engineering has assisted with the grant for the past 6 years. He is also a member of the ISE Advisory Board and ISE Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Established in 1951 and based and based in Atlanta, GA, the UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, the UPS Foundation identified the following focus areas for giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety and the environment. In 2016, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $116.6 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/foundation.