Current Dean and Past deans of the college


T. Michael Toole was appointed dean in the summer of 2017.  He received his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering cum laude from Bucknell University and his Master’s in Civil Engineering and doctoral degree in Technology Strategy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Toole is a professional civil engineer (P.E.), and a member of the Order of the Engineer.

He came to Toledo a tenured professor of civil engineering and held the position of associate dean of the college of engineering at Bucknell University.  His professional employment includes serving as a Company Commander in a Seabee Battalion and Assistant Resident Officer in Charge of Construction with the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps, serving as the Purchasing and Construction Services Manager with a publicly traded homebuilder, and as a Vice President with a multidisciplinary engineering firm that specialized in forensics engineering. He has served as the Vice Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Construction Institute Prevention through Design Committee and the Site Safety Committee and as the Co-Chair of the NIOSH NORA Construction Sector Council Construction Hazards Prevention through Design workgroup.

Toole's honors include being elected a Fellow within ASCE, receiving Best Paper awards from an ASCE journal and an ASCE conference, receiving the Class of 1956 Lectureship Teaching Award and Maxwell Award for cross-functional excellence at Bucknell University, and being nominated by Bucknell for the U.S. Professor of the Year award. He is a member of the Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Chi Epsilon, Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board honor societies.

Steven E. LeBlanc, 2014-2015; 2017

Steven LeBlanc received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UT, and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He returned to UT in 1980 as a faculty member in Chemical Engineering, and in 1993 he was appointed chairman of the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department. LeBlanc served as Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Chemical Engineering before his appointment as Interim Dean in July of 2014. A year later, upon Dean Naganathan's return, LeBlanc stepped back into the roll as Sr. Executive Associate Dean of Fiscal Affairs.  In January of 2017, he reprised his role as Interim Dean when Dr. Naganathan accepted the presidency at Oregon Institute of Technology.  Once the new Dean was in place, LeBlanc accepted the offer as Interim Vice Provost for Student Success with UT.

Nagi G. Naganathan, 2000-2014; 2015-2016

Nagi Naganathan was named interim dean after Ronald Fournier
 stepped down in 2000, and was appointed as dean in 2003. Naganathan 
came to UT in 1986 as a faculty member in MIME. He was named the 
first chair of the Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Department. 
As Dean, Naganathan oversaw the establishment of many new programs 
and facilities, including the MIME senior design clinic and College-wide
 senior design exposition, a bi-annual showcase of engineering design
 talent. He was responsible for founding the Engineering Leadership 
Institute, and presided over construction of the Nitschke Technology 
Commercialization Complex and the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady 
Engineering Innovation Center. Naganathan served as Interim President 
of the University of Toledo from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. He returned to the College of Engineering in July 2015 and served as Dean until December of 2016.


Fournier received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from UT. After a period of military service, he returned to Toledo in in 1985 and served on the Chemical Engineering faculty until he was named the inaugural chair of the newly created Bioengineering Department in 1997. As dean, Fournier was responsible for establishing a new program in Computer Science and Engineering Technology, and the renaming of The South Engineering Building to Palmer Hall in honor of former engineering dean, Delos Palmer. He stepped down in 2000 and returned to the faculty of bioengineering.


Phillip White was appointed interim dean in 1999 after the resignation of Vikram Kapoor. Prior to this appointment, White was a professor of the Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME) Department. He received his bachelor’s degree from UT and his master’s degree from Purdue University. Before coming to UT in 1979, White was a graduate instructor and visiting professor of civil engineering at Purdue University, and assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Connecticut. He is currently a MIME professor, specializing in computer graphics, solid modeling, and computer-aided design and manufacturing.

VIKRAM J. KAPOOR, 1994-1998

Prior to serving as Dean of the College of Engineering, Vikram Kapoor taught electrical engineering at Case Western Reserve University and served as Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Under his leadership, the new engineering campus and Nitschke Auditorium were completed. Kapoor was primarily responsible for establishing the co-op program in which engineering students were required to work as full-time employees in engineering-related positions, alternating with semesters of coursework. He is also credited for the creation of the Engineering College Computing office, installation of numerous state-of-the-art computer laboratories, the merger of the Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering Departments (currently MIME), and the approval of a new Bioengineering major. Kapoor stepped down in 1999 when he was named the 14th president of the University of Toledo.

BRUCE K. POLING, 1993-1994

Bruce Poling received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from The Ohio State University, and he earned his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois. Poling served as chair of the Chemical Engineering Department before his appointment as Interim Dean in 1993, following the resignation of Edward Lumsdaine. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the UT Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. 


Edward Lumsdaine was appointed as Dean after Leslie Lahti’s retirement in 1988. Lumsdaine served as the Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan-Dearborn for six years prior to his appointment at UT. He stepped down in 1993 to take a position as dean at Michigan Technological University. He is currently a professor of mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University and an honorary professor of business at the University of Nottingham (UK).

LESLIE E. LAHTI, 1980-1988

Leslie Lahti earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Tri-State, a master’s degree from Michigan State, and a Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University where he was a fellow for the Ford Foundation. He oversaw a period of great growth for the College, particularly in the Department of Engineering Technology. At this time, students with associate’s degrees could transfer into the program to complete a bachelor’s degree. Also under Lahti’s leadership, the number of faculty doubled from 45 to 90, and external funding of research increased from $250,000 to $3 million. He retired in March of 1988.

JAMES B. FARISON, 1970-1980

Farison was named Dean of the college at the young age of 33. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from UT in 1960, where he graduated Summa cum Laude. He went on to earn a master’s and doctoral degree from Stanford University. As dean, Farison oversaw the approval of an engineering Ph.D. program and BS programs in Engineering Technology and Computer Science and Engineering. Farison stepped down in 1980 and continued his career at UT as a faculty member. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Engineering at the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Farison died in 2017.

OTTO F. ZMESKAL, 1957-1970

Otto Zmeskal succeeded Edwin Harrison as Dean of the College of Engineering in 1957. Prior to his appointment at UT, Zmeskal was a research professor at the University of Florida. He held a doctoral degree in physical metallurgy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Zmeskal was known for being enthusiastic about a “university high school of science,” the start of a campaign for building and equipment upgrades at the College. In addition to bringing all engineering classes and laboratories together in a new Engineering-Science Building, Zmeskal laid the groundwork for a doctoral program in engineering. He was also responsible for promoting opportunities for women in engineering.

EDWIN D. HARRISON, 1955-1957

Edwin D. Harrison was born on January 8, 1916. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in 1939, and served in the Navy until 1945. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1948, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1952. Harrison was appointed as dean in 1955, and served for two years before he was selected to be President of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He died on October 23, 2001 at the age of 85.

W SHERMAN SMITH, 1953-1955

W Sherman Smith was named interim dean in 1953 after the sudden death of John Brandeberry, and he served until 1955. Smith received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Purdue University, and his master’s degree from The University of the City of Toledo. Prior to his years as dean, he was a professor in the Civil Engineering Department and Assistant Dean to the College of Engineering.


John Brandeberry earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Union, a master’s degree from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Brandeberry joined the UT faculty in 1915 as a professor and chairman of the Department of Mathematics. He served the University as the first head football coach, president of the Mid-American Conference, and chair of the Interim Operating Committee. As dean of the College, Brandeberry pushed to develop a new engineering program to support rapid increase in enrollment. The accreditation of new departmental degree programs in engineering brought success to the College until Brandeberry’s unexpected death in 1953. He was 59 years of age.

DELOS M. PALMER, 1934-1943

Delos M. Palmer proposed the first engineering curriculum at the University of Toledo. Palmer was born on June 23, 1897 in Monroe Country, Michigan. He attended the Junior College at the University of Toledo where he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1919. He earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan. Palmer began his UT career as an assistant professor of physics and mechanical engineering in 1926. He became chairman of the engineering program when renovations to the university campus were completed in 1931. In 1933, University President Henry Doermann approved Palmer’s proposal for a four-year engineering curriculum and appointed Palmer as Acting Dean of the College of Engineering in 1934. During his 9 years as dean, Palmer taught courses such as Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Metallography, and directed the Civilian Pilot Training Program. A general engineering curriculum was ABET accredited in 1942, just before his resignation one year later. He pursued a career in industry before his death in 1976.





Last Updated: 6/30/19