COLUMBIA — Previously suspended MU College of Engineering Associate Professor Greg Engel is suing the UM System Board of Curators and three MU faculty members for $5 million in damages.
Engel filed suit in the 13th Circuit Court for Boone County on Friday.
The suit alleges Noah Manring and Scott Kovaleski of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and James Thompson of the College of Engineering subjected Engel to “a hostile and offensive work environment, harassment, retaliation, and deprivation of his constitutionally protected interests,” according to the petition for damages.
The suit outlines how Engel’s relationship with Manring, Kovaleski and Thompson became fractious after he was removed as head of a project to research electromagnetic launchers, or rail guns. The project, authored and proposed by Engel, had won a $2 million grant from the Office of Naval Research.
Engel was suspended from teaching duties Nov. 13, 2010, on the grounds of “sexual and racial discrimination" after four female students lodged complaints against him.
Engel claims three of the students, who are Chinese, committed plagiarism.
An email included in the case file alleges the charges of plagiarism against the three students, were suspiciously filed only “minutes” after Manring notified Engel that the students had complained about Engel’s behavior.
On Dec. 17, 2010, faculty from the College of Engineering signed charges of professional and academic irresponsibility against Engel, which were delivered to Provost Brian Foster.