Commencement, Dec. 5

Nov 13, 2003

Friday, Dec. 5, is one of Kettering's biggest days of the year -- commencement!!

Friday, Dec. 5, is one of Kettering's biggest days of the year -- commencement!! Kettering will host Commencement ceremonies for 382 graduates at 4:30 p.m. in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center, where colorful flowers and banners will greet graduates, their families and the University community. There are 263 undergraduates, 119 graduate students. Here's an overview:

** Friday, Dec. 5, 4:30 p.m. (EST)
** Connie and Jim John Recreation Center at Kettering University
** Allow about two hours for the ceremony
** No tickets required to attend
** Presiding: Kettering University President James E.A. John
** Student Speakers -- Undergraduate Sean Joseph McBurney and Graduate Daniel J. Brooks
** Free parking available in all Kettering lots, including large lots behind the Academic Building and combined lot behind Thompson Hall and the Recreation Center; a parking shuttle will run from 3-8:30 p.m.
** Graduates: 263 undergraduates, 119 graduate degrees
** Expected number of guests: 1,600
** All degree departments (including the Graduate Studies Office) will host open houses and the Humanities Art Center will also have an open house.

One honorary degree: Honorary Doctor of Engineering
Don B. Chaffin '62
Professor, Industrial & Biomedical Engineering,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Don B. Chaffin, a 1962 graduate of Kettering/GMI, 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 has led to his election into the National Academy of Engineering.

He attended Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute), where he was inducted into the prestigious student leadership organization The Robot Society, and he earned a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 1961. As a junior draftsman at an iron and steel company and then an engineer for General Motors and Bendix, he witnessed the importance of the devices, systems and physical working conditions that contribute to efficiency and safety in the workplace. He continued his studies, earning a master's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1964 and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1967.

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Chaffin joined the faculty at the University of Kansas Medical Center, in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He returned to the University of Michigan in 1969 as an assistant professor of Industrial and Bioengineering. He was promoted to full professor in 1974, and served as Chairman of Industrial Engineering from 1978 to 1982.

From 1982-97, he served as director of the Center for Ergonomics at the University of Michigan. The Center is a multi-disciplinary organization devoted to education and research in ergonomics. It augments the undergraduate and graduate degree programs of Industrial and Operations Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine for the University of Michigan.

Dr. Chaffin helped build the Center's ergonomics research program into one of the largest and best known in the United States. It is respected for its responsiveness to the real-world needs of industry, government and professionals looking for a way to keep up with the latest research and trends in ergonomics.

Today, Dr. Chaffin is the G. Lawton and Louise G. Johnson Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Occupational Health at the University of Michigan. He also is 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 to many different industries.

Software resulting from his work is used in companies and universities throughout the world to evaluate the risk of overexertion injuries when performing a variety of common manual tasks, and to assist in designing workplaces and vehicles to better accommodate a diverse population.

He has published 105 peer reviewed journal articles, 23 book chapters, 86 technical reports and proceedings, and co-authored five books, including the textbook: "Occupational Biomechanics" (3rd Ed. 1999) and "Digital Human Modeling for Vehicle and Workplace Design (2001).

He has received awards for his research from the Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Society of Automotive Engineering, International Ergonomics Association, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, International Biomechanics Society, American Industrial Hygiene Association and the Institute of Industrial Engineers. He was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award from Kettering/GMI in 1994.

Dr. Chaffin is a Lifetime Honorary Fellow in the Ergonomics Society (Great Britain), and is a Fellow in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Industrial Hygiene Association. He has served as secretary general of the International Society of Biomechanics, and as past president of the American Society of Biomechanics.

He was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to serve on the National Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), and was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Grants Review Study Section, and later its Board of Scientific Counselors.

Dr. Chaffin and his wife, Barbara, have three grown children and four grandchildren. They reside in Ann Arbor.

HOTELS/RESTAURANTS: Contact the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: 1-800-24-FLINT or (810) 232-2211 or web site:

CAN WE HELP? 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9585, or 810-762-9585

President's Medal Winners:
Reebecca Lynn Barthlow
Sean Joseph McBurney
Jessica Lynn Miller
Patrick Recker
Jamison Veenhuis

Sobey Scholars:
John William Aarssen
Rebecca Lynn Barthlow
Lynette Kristine Fulk
Patrick Recker

Academic Honors:
Summa Cum Laude (97.0-100): 4
Magna Cum Laude (94.5-96.9): 9
Cum Laude (92-94.4): 28

Bachelor's Degrees = 263
Applied Physics, 1
Computer Engineering, 20
Computer Science, 12
Electrical Engineering, 48
Environmental Chemistry, 1
Industrial Engineering, 10
Management, 9
Manufacturing Engineering, 5
Manufacturing Systems Engineering, 1
Mechanical Engineering, 156

Master's Degrees = 119
Engineering, 14
Engineering Management, 5
Manufacturing Management, 27
Manufacturing Operations, 36
Operations Management, 37

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533