Jose Zayas-Castro to speak on the 'Learning Factory'

Published: Feb 28, 2006 2:36:58 PM
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Jose Zayas-Castro will be speaking Friday, March 3 on his National Academy of Engineering award-winning project, the Learning Factory. The lecture will begin at 10 a.m. in 202 Dunstan Hall. The university community is invited to attend.

The Learning Factory is an undergraduate educational program that uses real-world experience as part of the engineering curriculum. The program incorporates design, manufacturing and business practices into the engineering program, while offering students in traditional engineering fields an opportunity to prepare for the onset of their careers.

Zayas-Castro earned his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. He received master's degrees in both industrial and management engineering and business administration, as well as a doctorate in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently the department chair for industrial and systems engineering at the University of South Florida, where he incorporates the Learning Factory into the school's senior design program.

Zayas-Castro received the Bernard M. Gordon Prize, an award given by the National Academy of Engineering to recognize new methodologies and experiments in education designed to develop effective leaders in engineering. The award focuses on innovations in curriculum design, teaching methods and technology-enabled learning that strengthen students' capabilities to grow into leadership roles. Zayas-Castro is one of five recipients honored for their work with the Learning Factory. They received $500,000 as part of the Gordon prize, with half going to further the purposes and the vision of the Learning Factory.