UCF (FTU) would be starting in 69. At that time we were called electrical engineering and computer engineering. It was one department. When we went out there first it was like one department for the entire college because you were in what is currently the library building and there was no administration building. There was no engineering building…
In this excerpt (7:14) from an oral history interview on October 31, 2011, Dr. Benjamin Patz traces the progress of the University of Central Florida from the early days of Florida Technological University (FTU) when Dr. Bruce Matthews came down from Gainesville to chair the Electrical Engineering Department to the development of graduate and research programs. He discusses having people from diverse backgrounds together, chemical engineers, metallurgists, physicists and finding out what projects they were working on, you get cross-pollination. He says, “It was always cutting edge. It wasn’t in books any place. The foundation was in books but not the details.”
Dr. Benjamin Patz’s scientific contributions to our area include working in the GENESYS Program at Cape Canaveral, Lockheed Martin, teaching at the Naval Training Equipment Center, Rollins College, and the University of Central Florida. His students from the UCF Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science recall Professor Patz as a patient teacher who spent diligent time with everyone, undergraduate or graduate. In the GENESYS Program at the Cape his students were people working at Martin Marietta and NASA. Dr. Patz says, “They had interesting problems they would discuss with you… It was a good chance to go over control systems, electromagnetic fields, the boundary value problems.”
Dr. Patz’s oldest son, Ben Patz, CEO of Coleman Technologies, was awarded Florida’s Entrepreneur of the Year for technology services in 2002 and the UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award.