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J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering awarded in CECS

Dr. Asad Salem was awarded the J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering in Marshall University’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences in April. Salem is the interim chair of the Weisberg Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“Dr. Salem has served Marshall University in mechanical engineering very well for a number of years, and is very deserving of this honor,” said Dr. David A. Dampier, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.

The J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering supports an endowed faculty position in mechanical engineering at Marshall. J.H. Fletcher & Co., along with the Fletcher family, established the endowment in 2010 with a gift of $125,000, which was matched by the trust fund at that time.

Fletcher, who died in May 2009, moved to Huntington in 1947 with his family business. Alongside his father and brother, he designed underground roof support systems for coal and limestone mines and built a manufacturing plant in Huntington. Today, J.H. Fletcher & Co. is one of the world’s premier manufacturers of underground roof support systems.

“I’m honored, and I would like to thank Fletcher for their support of the mechanical engineering program here at Marshall,” Salem said. “I am appreciative of Dean Dampier who trusted me and saw my hard work to award me this professorship.”

The funds Salem received will support his research in the areas of coal mining production, mining equipment and mine safety.

In 2012, Marshall received a $721,000 bequest from the Fletcher estate to fund the engineering professorship. The donation was matched through the state’s “Bucks for Brains” West Virginia Research Trust Fund for a total benefit to the university of more than $1.4 million.

Salem has been with Marshall since 2013. He is the founding chair of the mechanical engineering program. Fletcher was instrumental in establishing the program through monetary gifts.