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Engineering Societies Honor Two Grove School Professors

Dr. Mitchell B. Schaffler

Robert Paaswell Elected Distinguished Member of ASCE, Mitchell Schaffler Elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

Two professors in the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York have been elected to top honors in their respective fields.  Dr. Robert E. Paaswell, Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, has been elected a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  Dr. Mitchell B. Schaffler, Wallace Coulter and Presidential Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows.

“‘Buz’ Paaswell and Mitch Schaffler are pillars of the Grove School faculty and we are very proud that these prestigious societies have recognized their contributions to their respective fields,” said Dean Joseph Barba in congratulating them.  “Having faculty of their caliber holds out the promise that our students will benefit from access to professors of world-class stature.”

Distinguished membership in ASCE is given to persons who have attained acknowledged superiority in engineering.  In the society’s 159-year history only 614 other engineers have attained this status.  Professor Paaswell, who served as interim president of CCNY, 2009 – 2010, is one of 14 distinguished members elected this year.   He will be inducted at the 141st ASCE Annual Civil Engineering Conference this October in Memphis, Tenn.

Professor Paaswell, who heads CUNY's Institute for Urban Systems (CIUS) and is director emeritus of the University Transportation Research Center, Region Two, (UTRC-2) is a national leader in the fields of public transportation and urban infrastructure.

At CIUS, which he founded in 2000, he led a major university-wide initiative to examine how contemporary infrastructure is impacted by new technology, finance and changing institutional structure.  UTRC-2 is a consortium of 12 major academic institutions that is based at City College and conducts research and projects on surface transportation. Under Professor Paaswell’s leadership it became one of the nation’s premier transportation research centers.

His work on public transportation issues spans governance, labor relations and new technologies. In 2010, former Gov. David Paterson appointed him to the New York State High-Speed Rail Planning Board.  Earlier this year, the Council of University Transportation Centers presented him with its Distinguished Contribution to University Transportation Education and Research Award.

Prior to joining the CCNY faculty in 1990, Professor Paaswell served as executive director of the Chicago Transit Authority, the nation’s second largest public transit agency. Professor Paaswell holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University and a PhD from Rutgers University.

Professor Schaffler’s election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is in recognition of outstanding achievement in medical and biological engineering. The College of Fellows is comprised of only 1,000 members who represent the top two percent of the medical and biological engineering community. Their contributions impact biomedical devices and processes, treatment of diseases, and public policy related to all aspects of bioengineering. He was inducted in February at AIMBE’s annual meeting in Washington.

Professor Schaffler is best known for his research on biomechanics of skeletal tissues, skeletal fragility and age-related changes in skeletal issues and skeletal biology. He has served on the editorial boards of such journals as “Bone,” “Journal of Orthopedic Research” and “The Anatomical Record.”

He has also served on advisory and scientific review panels at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NASA, as well as review groups for the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation.  He has received research grants from the Whitaker Foundation, NASA, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and the NIH.  In addition, he authored some 300 papers, proceedings and book chapters and has been an invited professor throughout the United States and internationally.  He received his PhD in cell biology and anatomy from West Virginia University and his BS in biology from SUNY Stony Brook.

About the American Society of Civil Engineers
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 140,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society.  For more information visit  

About the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering was founded in 1991 to establish a clear and comprehensive identity for the field of medical and biological engineering - which is the bridge between the principles of engineering science and practice, and the problems and issues of biological and medical science and practice.  For more information, visit:

On the Internet:

Professor Paaswell’s profile

Professor Schaffler’s profile

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering



Ellis Simon
p: 212.650.6460