Lewis named inaugural Moog Professor of Innovation

Kemper Lewis

Kemper Lewis, Moog Professor of Innovation and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Published January 28, 2019

Kemper Lewis, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been named the first Moog Professor of Innovation.

“We value Moog’s partnership and deep commitment to our school and we see the named professorship as another example of our shared effort to explore new frontiers of technology.”
Liesl Folks, dean
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Long a loyal supporter of the university, Moog Inc.’s $1.5 million gift supports the creation of the professorship, a three-year appointment of a highly regarded faculty member who demonstrates a strong track record of research, teaching and industry collaboration in areas of mutual interest to Moog and UB.

Lewis is a renowned expert in design theory, advanced manufacturing, systems optimization, tradespace modeling, and machine learning in design, with a proven track record of productive collaboration with industry.

He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and director of UB’s Community of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART), an initiative that harnesses the strengths of faculty across the universityto develop advanced manufacturing processes including autonomy, intelligence and materials technologies that enable cost-effective design of highly customizable, high-quality products.

His current research is funded by a National Science Foundation grant and focuses on cyber-empathic design, which is the use of
embedded sensors (in addition to surveys and other traditional sources of data) in products to measure their effectiveness in the ever-emerging Internet of Things.

“Moog has supported SEAS in innumerable ways over the years – including supporting our students through internships, competitions, and mentoring, and helping to develop online courses in digital design and manufacturing,” said Liesl Folks, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “We value Moog’s partnership and deep commitment to our school and we see the named professorship as another example of our shared effort to explore new frontiers of technology.”

Under this collaboration, representatives from Moog and the school will meet and communicate regularly to cultivate ideas and new initiatives. The collaboration is designed to go beyond the discipline of engineering and will include cross-functional teams from areas such as architecture and planning and medicine.

It also opens avenues for UB students to gain experience through internships, co-ops and fellowships, in addition to possible eventual employment at Moog.

“Moog has enjoyed a strong and productive relationship with the university,” said Moog CEO John Scannell, “from collaborating on research projects and serving on advisory boards to guest lecturing and designing online courses. UB is a wonderful training ground for tomorrow’s engineers, and we are pleased to expand our involvement. It is also a testament to the university that so many UB alumni are employed here at Moog.”

Adapted from a UB Now story by Barbara Byers.