Award-winning educator joins College of Engineering faculty

John Mativo

John Mativo

Long-time College of Education professor John Mativo will serve joint appointment

John Mativo, a professor in the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education, has been granted a joint appointment in the UGA College of Engineering.

Mativo has been a member of the College of Education faculty since 2007, serving in the Workforce Education program and the Career and Information Studies program. Long active in the College of Engineering, Mativo teaches several engineering courses, serves as a mentor to Senior Capstone Design teams, and has served as a faculty advisor for several student organizations.

“John is no stranger to the College of Engineering and I’m excited that he is joining our faculty in a formal capacity,” said Donald Leo, dean of the College of Engineering and UGA Foundation Professor in Engineering. “His commitment to innovative instruction and experiential learning helps prepare students for success, not only in the classroom but throughout their careers.”

Mativo regularly collaborates with industry leaders in developing solutions to real-life challenges and uses those solutions as the inspiration for instruction to benefit his students. He developed a robotics laboratory at UGA where students learn kinematics in a simulated industrial setting. In the College of Engineering, he established and leads the UGA student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers, now known as UGA Motorsports.

Mativo shares his expertise nationally and globally. As a member of the Research and Innovation in Learning group in the College of Education, he contributed to the development of a robotics curriculum for elementary students that been used in the U.S., China, Korea, Honduras and Tanzania. He currently serves as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on three federally funded grants to promote STEM education. One project promotes robotics education for secondary school students in Tanzania. A second project involves developing a STEM education curriculum for a university in Côte d’Ivoire. The third introduces middle school students in the U.S. to artificial intelligence.

Mativo’s research focuses on workforce education and engineering. His research in workforce education explores the learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content and pedagogy, particularly as they relate to the technology and engineering field. In engineering, his research focuses on energy harvesting and intelligent machines.

“These strands strengthen each other by providing real life engineering case studies for courses I teach and enhance communication skills used as an engineer and educator,” said Mativo.

Earlier this year, Mativo  was awarded UGA’s highest teaching honor, the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship. His additional honors include the university’s Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Society of Automotive Engineers Outstanding Faculty Advisors Award, an international honor.

“I look forward to keep providing students with opportunities to become effective engineers as they make the world a better place,” Mativo said.

Mativo earned his doctorate and his master’s in mechanical engineering at the University of Dayton. He received his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Auburn University. Mativo also holds a doctorate and a master’s in education from the University of Georgia.

In addition, Mativo received a bachelor’s of industrial technology and a bachelor’s in theology at Andrews University in Michigan.

By Mike Wooten

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