Phi Psi News
New Engineering Center at Valparaiso Honors a Phi Psi
$13 million dollar addition to the College of Engineering to bear the name of Donald V. Fites
On Saturday, October 29, 2011, the official dedication of the Donald V. Fites Engineering Innovation Center will take place with a ceremony on the Valparaiso University campus. Brother Fites Valparaiso '53 has long been a loyal supporter of both his alma mater and Fraternity. He currently serves the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation as a trustee and also as a director on the board of trustees at Valparaiso, where he graduated in 1956 from the College of Engineering. In both volunteer capacities, he was instrumental in leading extensive fundraising campaigns that built on the educational foundations of both entities. His commitment to higher education and the student experience is second-to-none.
The new expansion enhances the experience for students on the northern Indiana campus, and provides a continuing improvement of campus facilities. The following can be read, complete with pictures of the project, interactive tours, floor plans and more at Valpo.edu.
The nearly $13 million project is an addition to the south of the Gellersen Engineering and Mathematics Center that covers 13,470 square feet, and is made up primarily of laboratory and learning space for undergraduate engineering students. The project also includes a renovation of about 4,300 square feet of existing laboratory facilities. This facility – designed to meet LEED certification standards – opened at the start of the 2011 academic year.
Supporting Advanced Undergraduate Research
The Fites Center includes two suites of labs – designed to support advanced student research. One suite has labs for Materials Science, Materials Engineering and Structural Engineering. The second suite is the Energy Systems Suite, which includes the Engine Test Cell, Mechanical Measurements Lab, Fluid Mechanics Lab and Small Engines Lab. Caterpillar Inc. has generously donated a high tech engine for a hands-on educational experience.
Senior Design Space
Accelerating the Journey from Student to Professional One of the College of Engineering’s primary goals is to guide students in their transition from high school students when they enter the program to professionals when they graduate. The Senior Design space is set up to mimic a professional office setting. Each senior student has his or her own work space and their daily routine is much closer to a professional workday than an academic schedule. This environment also fosters collaboration between all three disciplines in the engineering college.
Brother Fites served as chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. from June 1990 until his retirement in February 1999, leading Caterpillar to sales and revenues increases of 83% during this period. His leadership capped over 42 years at Caterpillar, which included 16 overseas management positions, including area manager of Southern Africa; area manager of Central Europe; marketing director of Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd. in Tokyo; and president of Caterpillar Brasil S.A. in Sao Paulo, Brazil.