Robert Fleischman graduated from NL in 1981. He has earned a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985, a M.S. from Lehigh University in 1989, and a Ph.D. from Lehigh University in 1994. Fleischman has worked as a Tall Building Construction Engineer in NYC, a Designer in Chicago, and a Seismic Assessor in San Francisco. He has led Earthquake Reconnaissance Teams to Haiti in 2010 and New Zealand in 2011. He has taught courses at both the University of Notre Dame and Syracuse University. In 2019, Fleischman worked in Italy as a US Fulbright Scholar. He is currently a Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Arizona, where he has been recognized by the Civil Engineering Department as Teacher of the Year eight times. Fleischman has been awarded over $6 million in Federal Research Grants in Earthquake Engineering, and results of his research were adopted in the 2015 US Building Code. He is the winner of seven National Research Awards for work in Earthquake Engineering.
Fleischman currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife, Jennifer Eufemi. In his free time, Fleischman can be found playing basketball, cycling, desert hiking, engaging in creative writing, and drinking coffee. His interests include architecture, the Kansas City Chiefs, live theatre, and learning Italian. Fleischman notes several things that he appreciates about the time he spent at NL, “starting with the positive influence on my life of my two closest high school friends, Todd Klick and Eric Wentling. Back then, you started at the high school building in 7th grade, so you had to grow up quick which was valuable. Getting to know your classmates over 6 years was interesting, it was like a family. Good, bad or in-between, we went through all those experiences together. Sports were such a big part of our lives, I remember the smell of cut grass during August soccer practices, the hardwood floors in November basketball practices, and of course the manure at our baseball “spring training.” This was also a “family,” travelling on the road to away games, going to Esther’s before a night game, skipping out of study hall to hit pitches in the batting cage. Probably the thing I appreciate most about this was the incredible mentoring of Coach Ludwig. To this day, it’s hard to find better leadership. What an example he set for us! The teachers also treated us well and were interested in our well-being; it was a very friendly environment. Finally, we moved to Lebanon County from the city when I was in 5th grade. Though our family has scattered across the US after I graduated, we return every year for Christmas. Growing up in the country, among kind neighbors and beautiful nature, was such a big positive in our lives. I value this above all. And yes, I can still sing the Alma Mater, word for word.”
The following is Fleischman’s advice for current students: I teach students only a few years older than the students at NL so maybe some of what I tell them would be helpful. First of all, self-evaluation is important. Try to recognize what you are good at, but as importantly, what makes you happy. It might be working with your hands, working with your brains, being creative, raising a family. Don’t worry about what other people think is important, be your own person. Try to build a life around your strengths and what gives you satisfaction, both in your personal life and your career. If you can’t make a living at something you enjoy, find a way to make it part of the rest of your life. (I am an engineer, but one of my most satisfying accomplishments was helping coach a HS basketball team to the PA state quarterfinal!). Make a plan to get where you want, but enjoy the journey. Take pride in what you do, and try to be honest, ethical and thoughtful of others.