The United Parcel Service (UPS) Foundation has for the 15th consecutive year awarded an academic grant to Virginia Tech's Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the amount of $40,000 for 2011.

Funds will be used to support doctoral students in the Grado department's Human Factors Engineering/ Ergonomics graduate program.

“The primary use of the money is for support of doctoral 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.

Casali made his first proposal for the UPS grant in 1995, and since has served as the foundation’s coordinator at Virginia Tech. UPS has awarded approximately $750,000 under this particular grant to the College of Engineering, thereby funding more than three dozen doctoral degree students.

Casali’s relationship with UPS also has resulted in representatives from the corporate giant serving on the industrial and systems engineering advisory board since the mid-1990s. Don Wittke, corporate engineering manager at UPS and a current member of the Grado advisory board, was instrumental in assisting with the proposal for this year’s grant, Casali said.

Based in Atlanta, 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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