Faculty Excellence Awards Recognize Outstanding Contributions
This year’s honorees have made exceptional marks in wide-ranging and critical areas, including online learning, inspirational mentoring, biomedicine and wireless communications research, curriculum updating, STEM learning advancement, and industry and government collaborations to benefit manufacturing and transportation.
“The recipients of these awards are examples of the persistent pursuit of excellence that is the hallmark of Purdue Engineering,” said Mark Lundstrom, acting dean of the College of Engineering.
Arvind Raman, executive associate dean of the faculty and staff of the college, said: “We are really grateful to those who nominated faculty for these awards, wrote letters, or provided testimonials. The testimonials of students, faculty colleagues or peers outside Purdue are a key measure of the impact of the work these faculty are doing.”
2020 Award Recipients
Dean A.A. Potter Undergraduate Teaching Award
Carl R. Wassgren Jr.
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
For motivating students with challenging mechanical engineering curriculum through resource material, practice problems and application-based learning models geared toward relevant, modern examples, and for helping to strengthen students’ backgrounds in science and technology.
Wassgren has established a reputation as a premier teacher while conducting courses in thermofluids for more than 20 years. His lectures and homework have integrated such relatable topics as popular movies “The Martian” and “The Terminator.” He also has worked with undergraduates as participants in his research, and he advises the Official Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering.
The new recognition follows Wassgren’s selection as a 2017 recipient of Purdue University’s highest honor in teaching, the Charles B. Murphy Award.
Early Career Teaching Award
Michael L. Mashtare Jr.
Assistant Professor, Agronomy, and Environmental and Ecological Engineering
For innovative coursework in Urban Ecosystem Services and Soil Science, harnessing various active learning techniques, such as a hybridized lab/lecture format, to enrich the student experience, and to enhance engagement and critical thinking skills.
Recognized for his knowledge and enthusiasm, Mashtare has brought inventive teaching methods to more than 1,300 undergraduate students in the environmental and ecological engineering courses he has taught since September 2015. For example, he has incorporated hybrid classroom-online learning, more active learning, and game-playing into instruction. In addition, he has advised two EPICS classes.
Among many previous honors, in 2019, Mashtare received the Purdue University Teaching Leadership Award and was named a fellow of the Purdue Teaching Academy.
Graduate Student Mentorship Award
Arezoo M. Ardekani
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
For invaluable contributions to her graduate students’ research, writing and communication skills, affording them the skillset to become great researchers with long-term career opportunities and a built-in professional network.
Highly dedicated to her graduate students and research, Ardekani mentors students regarding both research challenges and career pursuits. Working with PhD students in her Complex Flow Lab, she encourages them to expand their understanding and experience through internships, professional networking and conference participation. Many of these students continue collaborating with her after obtaining desirable academic and industry positions.
Ardekani previously has received honors including the College of Engineering Faculty Excellence Award in Early Career Research, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and the Presidential Early Career Research Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Online Education Award
James D. Jones
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
For enthusiasm in enhancing student learning through advanced principles such as engineering estimates and online course instruction via Video Express, providing segmented lectures, coast-to-coast asynchronous viewing, concept mapping and onscreen demonstrations.
A recipient of nearly every teaching award from the College of Engineering and Purdue University for which he is eligible, Jones makes the most of technology to reach online students with energy, passion and effectiveness.
Supported by a grant, he redesigned his ME 270 online course in 2017, using video hardware and software that allows faculty to singlehandedly record professional-quality, multimedia videos. In addition to serving co-op and internship students, his course provides critical support for students with unique needs.
Early Career Research Award
Chi Hwan Lee
Assistant Professor, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering
For the introduction of leading-edge technologies such as wearable biomedical devices, battery-free wireless sensors and silicon nanoneedle patches, resulting in widespread applications that push the boundaries of next-generation engineering research and education.
As a Purdue faculty member since 2015, Lee has developed a highly innovative and productive program in wearable biomedical devices with potential to address key human health issues. Applications range from prosthetics control and human-robot interactions to wearable, real-time physiological monitoring systems. Lee also is developing functional nanomaterials for applications involving intracellular measurement of pH, temperature, pressure, strain, and electrophysiologic signals.
His inventions, four of which have received patents, have attracted honors, such as the National Institute of Health Trailblazer Award, in 2019.
Early Career Research Award
Partha P. Mukherjee
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
For scientific ingenuity and engineering insight in mesoscale physics and stochastics, impacting electrochemical energy storage and conversion research.
A leading figure in electrochemical energy storage and conversion research, Mukherjee examines the relationship between the active and inactive elements of lithium-ion batteries and how the micro-structures and nano-structures of their respective ingredients affect their performance, life and safety. As founder and director of Purdue’s Energy and Transport Sciences Laboratory, he oversees the lab’s holistic approach toward gaining fundamental understanding of the materials-transport-interface interactions in energy storage and conversion.
His previous accolades include being named a Scialog Fellow of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, as well as receiving the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Emerging Leader distinction in the Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage.
Impact on Industry Award
Cummins Distinguished Professor, Mechanical Engineering
For pioneering efforts in tribology resulting in sustained technology transfer to global industry partners in the fields of bearings, automotive, aerospace, heavy and light duty industry, and for bringing together a consortium of competitors to advance the state of the art in the field.
Sadeghi’s collaborations with more than 45 industry partners and government agencies have propelled crucial advances in the state of the art in rolling element machinery. Supported by most major bearing manufacturers and users of heavy-duty bearings around the world, he has pioneered many tools and methods, including micro sensors for measuring the pressure and temperature states at rolling contacts in machines, as well as physics-based models for predicting how lubrication is distributed and how fatigue cracks progress in bearings.
The Mechanical Engineering Tribology Laboratory (METL), which Sadeghi founded, is a premier lab in lubrication, friction and wear. He also has received the highest awards from the tribology community: the M.D. Hersey Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the International Award from the Society of Tribologists and Lubrications Engineers (STLE).
David J. Love
Nick Trbovich Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
For groundbreaking research on the design, analysis and development of MIMO systems adapting to channel conditions, revolutionizing 4G and 5G wireless systems, and for and leading to a new area of research known as limited feedback communication.
A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of the National Spectrum Consortium’s executive committee, Love is a renowned researcher in wireless communications with emphasis on feedback-assisted adaptive wireless systems. He leads the College of Engineering’s preeminent team on efficient spectrum usage, which is researching ways to reduce interference in radio communications and minimize disruption for high-priority radios used for the military and disaster relief.
His groundbreaking research into the design and analysis of communication systems and MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) array processing has produced results including 200 technical papers,13,000 citations, 31 U.S. patents, and frequent consulting on cellular and Wi-Fi systems.
SERVICE AND ENGAGEMENT AWARDS
Dean H.T. Yang Leadership in Service Award
Jon D. Fricker
Professor, Lyles School of Civil Engineering
For superb dedication to modernizing the Lyles School of Civil Engineering’s undergraduate curriculum to offer students greater flexibility, diversity and integration of technical areas, and enhancing the preparation of CE graduates for today’s career environment.
As chair of the Civil Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Fricker recently led the most comprehensive and systematic review of the school’s curriculum since 1973. The resulting updated core curriculum better prepares graduates for today’s career environment. His efforts included mentoring young faculty members as they developed unique one-credit, low-cost courses to introduce first-year and sophomore engineering students to stimulating topics.
Fricker has received several major national awards, such as the Harland Bartholomew Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers, as well as the D. Grant Mickle Award of the Transportation Research Board, a unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Engagement Award (Individual)
Professor, Lyles School of Civil Engineering, and Environmental and Ecological Engineering
For providing unique professional development opportunities for STEM learning to area teachers focused on content knowledge, lab skills and data analysis techniques, and for fostering undergraduate student research of environmental challenges in the green economy and building interest in engineering graduate studies.
Engagement has been a hallmark of Hua’s 24 years at Purdue. Among her federally supported initiatives, she collaborated with Tuskegee University of Alabama in directing a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site. Over four years, she oversaw 27 Indiana and Alabama high school science teachers as they researched sustainable electronics, took part in professional development, and designed new curricula.
An industry advisory board, including Dell, Nokia, IBM and Honeywell representatives, guided teachers in connecting their research to curricula. The new curricula were integrated into chemistry, physics, environmental science, biology, and other high school classes, reaching an estimated 3,000 students.
Engagement Award (Team)
Ayman F. Habib
Thomas A. Page Professor, Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Darcy M. Bullock
Lyles Family Professor, Lyles School of Civil Engineering
For the Joint Transportation Research Program’s widespread impact on transportation infrastructure systems throughout the State of Indiana, providing multi-disciplinary focus and increased communication for best practices in areas of work-zone safety and unmanned aerial systems for standardized processing of crash and crime scenes.
The high-impact research team led by Bullock and Habib has a strong history of collaborating with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), educational institutions and industry partners to bring about innovations that address critical transportation challenges – resulting in improved planning, construction and operation of Indiana’s transportation infrastructure.
In the past five years, the JTRP has fostered 148 research projects involving more than 270 INDOT employees, as well as 420 Purdue faculty, staff and students. For example, the JTRP’s LiDAR mapping and photo log references on several hundred miles of construction work-zones to assess lane widths and pavement marking quality received a national award from the U.S. Transportation Research Board and is being used by INDOT’s Work-zone Safety Task Force to improve coordination with contractors. Bullock and Habib also have been recognized for educating government officials about the use of drones to enhance transportation and efficiency.