ONU engineering faculty member J. Blake Hylton earns Rising Star Award

Ohio Northern University T.J. Smull College of Engineering faculty member J. Blake Hylton, Ph.D., has been selected to receive the 2020 National KEEN (Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network) Rising Star Award. The honor recognizes faculty members who display an entrepreneurial mindset in their careers as educators and who contribute to the profession in that manner.

Hylton will receive a $10,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation to advance KEEN’s mission and will receive his award at the 2021 KEEN National Conference.

Hylton, who joined the ONU faculty in 2015, is assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

In describing his teaching style, Dean J-D Yoder wrote: “Constantly searching for opportunities to improve his classes, draw connections between courses and content, and develop new and better ways to unlock the value in that content for students has really become the core of Blake’s teaching philosophy and who he is as a faculty member.”

“In the classroom, Blake encourages and demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit at every opportunity … He is always positive, energetic and inspirational – in the classroom, in conferences, in working outside of class with students.”

ONU President Daniel DiBiasio said, “Dr. Hylton is an exemplar of the entrepreneurial mindset. His devotion and dedication to the foundational elements of KEEN program inform his teaching and scholarly pursuits. His is constantly working to help students look beyond easy answers, persist through false starts and failures, and make connections across multiple disciplines and broader applications of learning.”

Hylton’s enterprising spirit is demonstrated in projects that go beyond ONU’s classrooms and labs.

In 2018, Hylton and fellow ONU faculty member Todd France, assistant professor of engineering education, helped to design a project that is intended to implement engineering design activities into high school classrooms. The project was awarded a three-year, $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Hylton earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa and both his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Purdue University.