UF Engineering receives $1M gift to boost Innovation

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — UF College of Engineering will receive $1M from the Leo Claire & Robert Adenbaum Foundation to establish the Robert W. Adenbaum Professorship in Engineering Innovation. This gift is intended to bolster the efforts of the Engineering Innovation Institute on top of supporting the vital role the college plays in the larger ecosystem of innovation in the state of Florida.

“Bob is widely known among family and friends to enjoy tinkering with gadgets that he’d put together himself, if he’s not already working on engineering projects or improving the products manufactured by his own company,” recalled long time associate and co-trustee of the foundation, Dr. George Stechel. “Robert Adenbaum was an avid innovator,” added UF alumnus, Jody H. Oliver, J.D., and co-trustee of the Adenbaum Foundation. Adenbaum founded Accurate Molding Company after serving in the Air Force during the Korean War and making brief stays with other manufacturing companies following. He later joined his father at Dadson Building Corporation for the next twenty years, before moving to Florida where he bought an industrial park in Palm Beach County and developed it into a thriving business where he served as President and Owner. Adenbaum attended the University of Florida in 1946 and earned his bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College and his MBA from MIT.

“There is nothing like being acknowledged for innovation by a pioneer innovator himself,” Cammy Abernathy, dean and professor at the college of engineering enthused. “Robert Adenbaum is undoubtedly celebrated as an innovator, an entrepreneur and an industrialist in his community. His foresight that one engineer with the purpose of innovation can create the kind of multiplier effect that benefits many, deeply resonates with our college. I cannot thank the Adenbaum Foundation more for choosing Gator Engineering to carry forth this vision.”

The Leo Claire and Robert Adenbaum Charitable Foundation was created by Mr. Adenbaum’s family in 1962 and the recipient of his estate, Dr George Stechel, Gerhard Jakits and Jody H. Oliver followed the benefactor’s wishes by donating $1,000,000 to the University of Florida College of Engineering to establish The Robert W. Adenbaum Professorship in Engineering Innovation. The gift will be used to recruit a faculty member whose work supports engineering innovation at the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. Biomedical engineering is the college’s fastest growing department, with its unique advantage of co-location with UF’s health sciences including medicine, pharmacy, public health, nursing and veterinary medicine all on the same campus; thus enabling faster access to interdisciplinary and translational research.

A check presentation ceremony will take place at the Emerson Alumni Hall on February 6th during breakfast hosted by the Engineering Innovation Institute in conjunction with the inaugural Gator100 event that honors the 100 fastest growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses.