WKU engineering receives $300,000 from Logan Aluminum

Taylor Harrison

Johnson City, Tenn., senior Matt Rice did more than prepare for his last season behind the plate as catcher for the WKU baseball team last fall.

Rice, a mechanical engineering major, also worked with Logan Aluminum, where he said he “gained valuable industrial experience” while working with the Russellville-based company.

WKU’s Department of Engineering announced a partnership on Tuesday with Logan Aluminum fueled by a $300,000 gift at the Center For Engineering and Biological Studies.

The money creates the Logan Aluminum Industrial Partnership Program and an endowment to fund the Logan Aluminum Student Fellowships. That’s addition to the Logan Aluminum Conference Room in the Center for Engineering and Biological Studies building.

Kathryn Costello, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, said the partnership will include co-ops and internships, full-time employment, projects within classroom curriculum and industrial opportunities for WKU faculty at Logan Aluminum.

“This program is a formal, institutionalized way to help WKU engineering students and faculty work together on meaningful partnerships with our industrial partners,” Costello said.

Other speakers on Tuesday included Blaine Ferrell, Dean of Ogden College of Science and Engineering, Julie Ellis, Head of the Department of Engineering, and Randy Schumaker, president of Logan Aluminum, Inc.

Schumaker said he wanted to help “raise the stature” of WKU’s engineering program.

“In our view, this means providing WKU’s engineering students with greater access to real-life problem-solving opportunities in the local manufacturing companies throughout Bowling Green and the surrounding counties,” he said.