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Guides

Each Multidisciplinary Senior Design team is assigned a Guide, an experienced professional with a technical background who guides his or her team(s) through the design process, from problem definition to verification/validation.  Most of our guides have extensive experience as engineers in industry, although their backgrounds also include work in the sciences, engineering project/program management, entrepreneurial activities, and work with non-profit organizations.  Our guides are an invaluable part of the MSD program, collectively bringing hundreds of years of work experience to share with our students. 

Lou Beato

Professor Louis J. Beato received both his B.S. Electrical Engineering and his M.S. Electrical Engineering previously from RIT.  He joined the Computer Engineering Department as a Lecturer in January 2016.  Prior to pursuing a career in academia, he worked at Eastman Kodak and Kodak Alaris for over 30 years.  About half that time was spent in the Kodak Research Labs and the other half in product development. At Eastman Kodak, his areas of expertise were in computer languages (C, C++, C#), digital image processing, object recognition, algorithm optimizations, mobile processing with OpenCV, and Intellectual Property. He was a Distinguished Inventor at Kodak Alaris with over 10 issued US patents and many international patents in the areas of Information and Image processing.

Tom Bitter

Tom Bitter joined the Multidisciplinary Senior Design program in the Fall of 2015 as a member of the Adjunct faculty guiding senior engineers through the product delivery process. Tom previously spent 35 years at Xerox Corporation in a variety of Chief Engineer, Program Manager and Systems Engineering roles with responsibility for delivering large printer programs to the worldwide marketplace. Tom’s international experience includes significant work with counterparts in Japan, the United Kingdom and India. He has a BSEE from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. After retiring in 2013, Tom began providing his business and leadership skills to community non-profits through his service as Board Chairman for The Healing Connection, Inc. and as Logistics Manager for the Rochester Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Sarah Brownell

Sarah Brownell is a lecturer in Design, Development and Manufacturing.  She works with multiple Multidisciplinary Senior Design student teams each year, developing and leading projects with service learning, design for global development, sustainability or student initiated components.  She received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and a MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the UC Berkeley.  Her interests include ecological sanitation, composting, improving subsistence agriculture, water disinfection, human centered design, and popular education.  She hopes to engage her students as global citizens who can offer their creativity, skills and training in partnership for the benefit of ecosystems and humanity, especially with those living on less than $2/day.  Before coming to RIT, she co-founded the non-profit organization Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) which introduced urine diversion composting toilets in Haiti.  At RIT she has helped develop and implement the Program in Engineering for the Earth, People, and Society (PEEPS) including the course Engineering and the Developing World and study abroad trips to Haiti.  She also developed a course for the School of Individualized Study in collaboration with Engineers for a Sustainable World USA called Wicked Problems.

Vincent Burolla

Vince has been a guide in the MSD program since 2010 after a 40 year career at Xerox Corp.  His engineering assignments ran the gamut from assembly quality control, advance manufacturing, manufacturing program management, component engineering, electronics packaging and electrical integration.  Products supported included personal ink jet printers, office copiers and digital production printing systems.  Prior to his civilian work experience, Vince served in the US Air Force for 4 years as a ground electronics officer working in air defense (USA) and tactical command and control systems (Vietnam).  He received his B.E.E. degree and USAF commission from Manhattan College in 1965.

David Durfee

Dave holds a BSME degree from UNH, with a minor in Ocean Engineering, and graduate studies in Business Admin. and Optics. His 40+ years work experience ranges from ocean-going equipment and underwater sound sources to manufacturing robotics, IR shutters and test systems, optical systems, precision optical alignment, and micro-positioning. His work has involved product design/development, project management, and operations management, often within a fast-turn environment of smaller companies or divisions. As a volunteer, he has developed teaching aids for special-needs children. He is now semi-retired, working part-time as an equipment design consulting engineer. Recent interests include robotics, Arduino apps, marine gear, and tech for social causes, including accessibility, biomedical, “green” energy and vehicles, and “appropriate technology” for developing countries. Sports include SCUBA diving, sailing, hiking, and snow sports. In retirement, Dave and his wife, Barbara, hope to continue occasional travel and humanitarian mission projects.

Susan Farnand

Susan Farnand received her BS in engineering from Cornell University, her Masters in Imaging Science and her PhD in Color Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  After beginning her career at Eastman Kodak, she moved to RIT where she currently works as a Visiting Professor in the Program of Color Science.  Her research interests include human vision and perception and color science. She is the Publications Vice President of the International Society of Imaging Science and Technology and serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Imaging Science and Technology. Susan also hold eight patents in the area of printer design.

Gerald Garavuso

Gerald Garavuso has 35 years of experience in product development beginning at Xerox Corp where he developed new technologies, characterized product designs based on critical parameter management and authored 25 US patents. He also developed engineering environments and processes for the Engineering Excellence Institute specifying tools, methods and tactics to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of the engineering process. He managed product programs leveraging a process whereby several companies collaborated to generate product designs that leveraged their existing engineering and production capabilities to deliver competitively superior products.  At Kodak he managed sixteen concurrent product development projects and the associated administrivia. At Storage Technologies Corp. he was the director of corporate quality ensuring application of PMBOK and ISO standards.  At Optical Dynamics he was the VP/GM of International Business Development building distribution, sales and service capabilities on five continents.  He has also provided consulting services in the areas of international education and market attack planning.

Ed Hanzlik

As an educator, Mr. Hanzlik prides himself in teaching courses that provide an experiential spine to compliment the core mechanical engineering curriculum.  Over the past five years, he has taught various laboratory courses in the thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer disciplines. These laboratory courses emphasize the application of sound theoretical principles to practical applications.  In addition, Mr. Hanzlik has been assisting in the development and delivery of an upper-level course that teaches practical investigative skills through the use of open-ended, project-based design of experiments approach.  Across a wider spectrum, Mr. Hanzlik has been actively involved in the KGCOE Multidisciplinary Senior Design Project Course.  He has used his experience in product delivery at Xerox to actively guide over thirty-five teams from clean sheet to project completion.

Jason Kolodziej

Dr. Jason Kolodziej is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from SUNY at Buffalo. His research focus was primarily in controls and nonlinear system identification for parameter and state estimation from measurement data using a statistical variance approach.

For eight years Dr. Kolodziej worked in industry for General Motors Fuel Cell Activities as a Sr. Research Engineer with his principle duties in hybrid electric-fuel cell vehicle powertrain controls and system architecture. To date he has applied for, or has been granted, 15 U.S. Patents related to fuel cell vehicle systems mainly as the principle investigator.

John Kaemmerlen

John Kaemmerlen received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering and M.Eng in Engineering Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Mr. Kaemmerlen came to RIT initially as an adjunct professor, and then became a full time Lecturer in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department (ISE) in 2007.  This followed a 31 year career at Eastman Kodak Company, during which he worked in numerous line and staff positions in manufacturing, engineering, and logistics, including the deployment of “lean” in their film product line.  Mr. Kaemmerlen teaches courses in lean, facilities planning, and supply chain management, and helps guide many of the multidisciplinary senior design projects that are taken by 5th year undergraduate students.  

Chris Leibfried

Chris has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Management, both from Rochester Institute of Technology.  After a 30 year career with Xerox as an engineering manager, he retired in 2014 to pursue his ambition of getting involved with volunteer organizations building infrastructure projects in developing countries.  In support of that goal, Chris is in the process of completing his degree in Civil Engineering.  He has been an adjunct instructor at RIT since 2015, helping to guide multidisciplinary student engineering teams through the design and build of their capstone projects.  He is currently involved with Bridging the Gap Africa, which is an organization that assists local communities in rural Kenya to build foot bridges across dangerous rivers.  He also works as a part time land surveyor in the Rochester area.  Chris and his wife Beth have two adult children; they hope to travel and be a part of humanitarian projects in their retirement together.

Ken Mihalyov

Ken Mihalyov joined the Multidisciplinary Senior Design program in February 2017 as a project team guide after a 39-year career at Xerox Corporation and PARC, Inc. He held various innovation management, research and technology management, engineering management and engineering delivery roles during his career. His experience includes international innovation management and business value creation from innovation. Ken received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from RIT in 1982, and he has been awarded nine US patents. His RIT education helped to open doors for him that he hopes to help open for others through his participation in the MSD program.

Arthur North

Arthur North has been working with multidisciplinary senior design students since 2013.  He earned a BA in physics, with a math minor in 1967, and worked at the Xerox Corporation from 1967-1981 in applied research, the technology center, and in the international corporate program office.  Since 1981 he has been self employed as a small business consultant for finance, marketing, technology, multi-user networking & database applications, internet communications & applications, commercial publications contributor, data acquisition and process control systems, design/implementation, and bringing products to market.  He ran vehicle washing businesses and equipment with sales > $35 million.  He holds several US and international patents & trademarks, and is a private pilot.

Bill Nowak

Coming soon.

Harold Paschal

Harold Paschal. has been an MSD guide since Spring of 2013 – 2014. He is an electrical engineer with decades of experience at large and small manufacturing companies. He has contributed to multidisciplinary product development teams as a design engineer, a manufacturing engineer, a product support engineer, and as a design engineering supervisor. Mr. Paschal earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Ohio University.  He also has an MBA from the University of Rochester and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Russel Phelps

Russell Phelps is supporting RIT students as an adjunct guide in both Design Project Leadership and Multidisciplinary Senior Design engineering courses.   He holds a BSME degree from Clarkson and an Engineering MS from RIT.  Working for Xerox Corporation for 38 years, he initially developed numerous high speed production paper handling and booklet stitching subsystems over their full life cycle, from concept to production to remanufacturing and end of life.  He has spent the second half of his career in Systems and Reliability Engineering, Design Quality engineering, both leading to senior Technical and Program Management responsibilities including plan creation and execution, risk assessment, program problem resolution and product  launch in Xerox’s full color production products.

George Slack

George Slack received his B.S. Electrical Engineering in from RIT and his M.S. Electrical Engineering in from the University of Rochester. He teaches courses in electrical engineering.  He joined the Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering Department in 2003.  Prior to pursuing a career in academia, he worked at Xerox Corporation and Bosch Security Systems.  At Xerox Corporation, his primary focus was on digital processing of monochrome and color high speed printing via ESS (Electronic Sub-System).  Primary focus was on real time and off-line diagnostic data processing for the purpose of early failure prediction, detecting process errors and hardware failures. His primary responsibility is to teach Senior Design I and Senior Design II, but he has also taught Introduction to Digital Systems and Freshman Practicum.

Charlie Tabb

Coming soon.

Gary Werth

Coming soon.

Mike Zona

Mike joined RIT as an industry guide to the Multidisciplinary Senior Design program in 2010.  He received his B.S. in Manufacturing Technology from RIT in 1993 and a M.S. in Systems Engineering in 2010 from Walden University.  He is a current Xerox employee with 25 years of product development experience working in design, manufacturing, and research of xerographic hardware and toner over his career.   He is a certified Design for Lean Six Sigma (DfLSS) black belt and a Shainin Red X apprentice and uses the tools and discipline from both to solve problems and manage critical parameter development to enable products that meet or exceed customer expectations.  He currently holds 55 US patents.  Mike enjoys guiding multiple teams through the product development process each semester and sharing his industrial experiences with the students.