UB engineering alum donates $4 million to School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


UB alum Stephen Still donated $4 million to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, President Tripathi announced at a press conference Thursday. 

The funds will go toward the Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics, which has been re-named the Stephen Still Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics. 

ISTL is a cross-disciplinary initiative led jointly by the engineering and management schools. The center focuses on “in depth exploration of environmentally friendly and socially responsible technologies,” according to Paul Tesluk, Dean of the School of Management.

The institute offers research programs, an interdisciplinary M.S. degree in sustainable transportation and a graduate certification.

The field of transportation, logistics and supply-chain management includes policies, trend and current issues within air, maritime and ground transportation. It encompasses manufacturing, distribution, retailing, recreation and national security. Effective transportation, logistics and supply-chain management can help conserve energy, reduce pollution and help sustain human life during disasters and extreme events, according to ISTL’s website.

“An important tenet of transportation studies is it has to be interdisciplinary,” Still said. “It’s not just a bunch of engineers going off in the corner doing their engineering things.”

Transportation education takes a “full bodied approach,” which includes political scientists and business leaders as well as engineers, according to Still.

Still grew up in a family of “modest means,” but through scholarships and the low cost of tuition, he was able to attend UB. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UB and said the university’s “world class” transportation field inspired him to pursue it as his career.

“I’m a child of the 1970’s environmental movement and UB really opened my eyes to the impact that transportation can have on society,” Still said. “I believe to build an environmentally efficient society we need skilled planners, partnered with civic and business leaders to create livable, connected communities.”

After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Still earned a master’s and Ph.D from Princeton University. He co-founded, managed and then sold two successful businesses. 

He serves on the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Dean’s Advisory Council and on the Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board. He also serves on the ISTL board.

“Thanks to [Still]’s generosity, the Stephen Still Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics can offer the best in research programs and more meaningful collaborations with the industry,” Liesl said in a statement, “It will serve as an even bigger umbrella that unites faculty across the university.”

It made sense to Still to give back to UB because of the opportunities his education has afforded him.

“I’ve been fortunate way beyond my expectations,” Still said. “So it’s a very easy decision for me to share what I’ve been blessed with and give it back a place that’s been so important to me.”

Maddy Fowler is a news editor and can be reached at maddy.fowler@ubspectrum.com