The United Parcel Service (UPS) Foundation has for the 16th consecutive year awarded an academic grant in the amount of $40,000 to Virginia Tech’s Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Funds will be used to support doctoral students in the Grado department’s Human Factors Engineering Ergonomics graduate program. “The fundamental use of the UPS award is to support Ph.D. students who are undertaking practical, applied research in ergonomics, safety, and human factors engineering,” said John Casali, the John Grado Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering. “We recognize that these areas of workplace safety and health have long represented hallmarks of UPS. The UPS grant allows our human factors option to attract and retain graduate students of the highest caliber.”

Casali made his first UPS grant proposal in 1995, and has since served as the foundation’s coordinator at Virginia Tech. In all, the delivery giant has awarded almost $800,000 under this particular grant to the College of Engineering, thereby funding about three dozen doctoral degree students.

Casali’s relationship with UPS also has resulted in other areas of support for the college by the Atlanta-based corporation. Don Wittke, UPS corporate engineering manager, serves on the industrial and systems engineering department’s advisory board. He was again instrumental in assisting with this year’s grant proposal, Casali said.

Established in 1951, the UPS Foundation identifies specific areas in nonprofit effectiveness, economic and global literacy, encouraging diversity, community safety, and environmental sustainability in issuing its grants.

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