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Faculty member and wife establish legacy for his engineering students

Trustee Matching Scholarship
Doc Mueller in his computer engineering technology class.
2/2/2012 —



Benefits Students in
Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology Program

For the past 14 years, Robert "Doc" Mueller, associate professor of engineering at Penn State New Kensington, has helped his students earn engineering degrees; now he is helping them pay for the degrees.

Mueller and his wife, Linda, recently established the Doc and Linda Mueller Trustee Scholarship at the campus. The $50,000 endowment is a need-based scholarship, and new and current students are eligible to receive the annual awards. First preference will be given to students in the four-year Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (EMET) program.

“Our motivation was that scholarships allowed me to attend college,” said Doc Mueller, who was born and raised on a small farm in Kansas. “It is an appropriate way to repay the opportunities that were given to me because I had a degree.”

Mueller joined the campus faculty in 1998 and teaches upper-level courses in electro-mechanical engineering and lower-level courses in computer engineering technology. The EMET degree program emphasizes all fields of engineering technology related to typical, highly-automated manufacturing, production, or assembly plant processes. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and earned a bachelor's degree from Wichita State University in Kansas.

Prior to Penn State New Kensington, Mueller spent more than 30 years in the private industry working with industrial control systems. A registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania, he is a consultant regarding industrial automation and serves as an expert witness in product liability and wrongful death lawsuits. He served for 21 years in the military and retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mueller is a member of the American Society of Engineering Educators and the American Society of Military Engineers, as well as a senior grade member of the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society and the Institute of Electrical Engineers. His consulting firm, Industrial Automation and Control Inc., provides engineering solutions for control system problems. The company is located in the Westmoreland County Business and Research Park on Pennsylvania State Route 780, about four miles from campus.

Linda Mueller is founder and president of a personal care home in Butler, Pa. The 40-bed facility serves disabled veterans. Her association with the campus goes back to her student days. After becoming a registered nurse, she enrolled in the new bachelor’s degree in nursing program. She was a member of Penn State New Kensington’s first class of nursing graduates.

The Freeport, Pa., residents are longtime Penn State donors and have advocated for other campus scholarships and programs. They sponsor the annual Chancellor’s Gala that raises funds for the Advisory Board’s Trustee Scholarship, and they support the Faculty Speaker Series, a biannual lecture and discussion program that is geared to the local community. Doc Mueller received a teaching award in 2010. In keeping with his support of engineering students, he donated the award money to the Bernard and Geraldine Guss Endowed Scholarship. Bernie Guss, professor emeritus of engineering, established the scholarship in 2001 for local students majoring in engineering technology at the campus.

In addition to his academic responsibilities and philanthropic generosity, Doc Mueller co-chairs the campus' Faculty/Staff Campaign for the University's current $2 billion fundraising effort, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. The campus is responsible for raising $3 million of the total and is on track to reach its goal. With two and a half years remaining in the campaign, the campus has already hit the $2 million mark, which is 66 percent of its total.

The campus offers a two engineering degrees --a  bachelor's in electro-mechanical engineering, (http://www.nk.psu.edu/Academics/Degrees/39807.htm); and an associate's degree in biomedical engineering technology (http://www.nk.psu.edu/Academics/Degrees/bet.html).

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