Professors make switch to new programs in fall

Rebekah Maple

College of Technology welcomes researchers

The College of Technology welcomes two new faces for the fall semester.

Associate professor Augustine Samba and assistant professor Michael Fisch are transitioning from different programs within Kent State for the new semester.

Samba, a Sierra Leone native, came from the university’s computer science program where he has been an associate professor since 2004. Prior to that, he was an adjunct professor at the Kent State Geauga Campus for three years.

“My area of interest is in computer engineering technology,” Samba said. “This college does more applied research, and it’s small, industry-oriented.”

Not only is Samba a professor, but he is also an inventor. He said he designed in June a “system that allows telecommunications companies and wireless companies to effectively manage multimedia traffic in networks.”

So far, Samba’s research has led him to receive six patents from around the world, including ones earned in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan.

Samba explains his process of invention as an idea that comes naturally during any activity or any time of the day.

“Most times it happens when I’m driving on the long road,” he said. “Sometimes you might even be taking a shower. Certain things come naturally in your field.”

His patents are among Samba’s many accomplishments. He has also been granted more than nine awards including many for patent recognition.

Samba earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone. He also earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics and a doctorate of philosophy in computer science at the University of Liverpool in England.

“My objective is to prepare students so they are more effective in industry,” Samba said. “To do this, I have to keep abreast with technology and industry.”

Samba stresses the importance of hands-on learning in his classroom.

“All of my classes will have a lab component,” he said. “It’s not just textbook, but we apply the theoretical aspects in the program domain. Students can actually feel that this is real and not abstract.”

In the fall, Samba will be teaching computer-aided manufacturing, microprocessor systems and visual basic programming.

Michael Fisch worked as director for Kent State’s program on electron beam technology in Middlefield, Ohio for 10 years. He will be teaching this fall while trying to get a research program in applied polymers.

According to Kent State’s NEO Beam Web site, “(The) Middlefield Research and Testing Laboratory has the most comprehensive dosimetry lab in the U.S. and complete polymer testing capabilities.”

Fisch said the research program was started at NEO Beam and was then moved to Kent.

Fisch received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from John Carroll University. He received his doctorate in applied physics from Harvard University and received his post-doctorate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Fisch worked as a faculty member in the physics department at John Carroll for more than 10 years. He said it was a great place to be an undergraduate, but isn’t worth “twice that of Kent State.”

After writing his thesis in liquid crystals, Fisch joined Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute from 1999 to 2003. He said he has been working with liquid crystals ever since. He is currently working to develop energy storage materials.

“Kent State is a marvelous environment to work in,” he said.

Fisch will be teaching fundamentals of electric circuits, materials and processes II, hydraulics/pneumatics and strength of materials.

He said he is happy to be working at Kent State and feels it is important for the College of Technology to have a presence on campus.

Contact technology reporter Rebekah Maple at [email protected].