Class of 1959
After graduating from Roger Bacon, Dr. Dan Metz (’59) spent a year racing automobiles throughout the Midwest before enrolling in the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Metz began working at Ford Motor Company in Detroit as a design engineer and then returned to school to obtain his M.S. degree at the University of Detroit and his PhD at Cornell University, both in mechanical engineering. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi (τβπ) national engineering honor society.
“When I entered Bacon as a wide-eyed freshman in 1955, I did not have a clue about how to study. I had never really been academically challenged before, but it did not take me long to figure out that I needed to work at my studies at Roger Bacon. I sometimes did my best to fail, but my teachers taught me that failure due to laziness was not an option,” says Dr. Metz.
Dr. Metz accepted a professorship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1970 and pursued a 28-year career in teaching and research, specializing in research in the areas of vehicle dynamics and vehicular accident reconstruction. At Illinois, he taught undergraduate and graduate students and advised numerous graduate-level theses. While at Illinois, Dr. Metz won numerous Department, College, Campus and University teaching awards, several more than once.
Dr. Metz has reconstructed almost 1,000 road accidents and more than 75 racing accidents, including many at the Indianapolis 500-mile race. He has worked as a consultant to the Illinois State Police, Indiana State Police, California Highway Patrol, the Transportation Research Board, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as dozens of insurance companies and other clients. He has published more than 90 referred scientific papers. He also continues consulting work and research in his own company, Midwest Accident Reconstruction Science.
Dan and his wife Mary Ann still live in Champaign, Illinois and have four children and seven grandchildren. He visits the Cincinnati area occasionally and always stops by 4320 Vine Street to reminisce and recall his time at Roger Bacon. He credits everything he has done in his 60+ year career to the educational foundation he received during his four years at Roger Bacon.
Dan adds, “I learned the most valuable lesson in life at Roger Bacon: you get out what you put into things. I have been lucky in life, but the harder I worked, the luckier I got and the easier living by the lesson became. When I joined the academic world, I tried to pass on this lesson to my own undergraduate and graduate students. I can only hope I succeeded. Everything I have achieved I owe to the lesson of work and its rewards that I learned at Roger Bacon.”