CEAS Celebrates 2016 Faculty & Staff Awards

Every year, the College of Engineering and Applied Science honors exceptional faculty and staff members with college awards. Each 2016 Faculty & Staff Award recipient below has furthered the legacy of excellence, scholarship and innovation that defines the college. Congratulations, 2016 CEAS Awardees!

Mary McCormick Staff Award

Becky Tudor (left) receives the 2016 Mary McCormick Staff Award from Dean Lim (right).

Becky Tudor (left) receives the 2016 Mary McCormick Staff Award from Dean Lim (right).

The Mary McCormick Staff Award, is named in honor of the late Mary D. McCormick, who was the secretary in the dean’s office for many years. This award was established in 2008 to recognize the “unsung heroes” who support faculty and students on a daily basis.  This year’s recipient is Becky Tudor.

Becky has been a staff member at the University of Cincinnati since 2005.  In her current role as the Director of Student Recruitment, Becky directs the admission process for the college; coordinates nearly 100 on-campus events and 150+ visits to off-campus high schools annually; and manages a comprehensive communication plan with prospective students. 

Additionally, she serves as the Director of the Rowe Center for Women coordinating events and opportunities to aid in the recruitment and retention of female students within the college. 

Becky consistently goes above and beyond ordinary job duties with a high level of talent, dedication and wit.  As a mentor for the CEAS Ambassadors organization, Becky is cited by a student as being one of the “most influential staff members.”  The same student noted, “she has always treated student ambassadors with respect and value, which can easily be seen in the reciprocated admiration that the students feel towards her.”

College Research Award

Dr. Punit Boolchand (right) receives the 2016 College Research Award from Dean Lim (left).

Dr. Punit Boolchand (right) receives the 2016 College Research Award from Dean Lim (left).

The College Research Award is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding research as part of the college.

This year’s winner is Dr. Punit Boolchand, Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computing Systems. Punit is a condensed matter scientist and the Director of the Solid State Physics and Electronic Materials Laboratory. In 1998, along with his students, he discovered the Intermediate Phase (IP). The discovery of the Intermediate Phase led to Punit being recognized by the prestigious Stanford Ovshinsky Award in 2003 and nominated for the Oliver Buckley Prize, which is the American equivalent of the Physics Nobel Prize!

Punit has over 10,000 citations and has published over 250 publications in prestigious journals like Langmuir and the Journal of Chemical Physics. He has launched the careers of more than 45 graduate students, many of whom are women, and many of these individuals work at renowned institutions like Intel, Semiconductor Industries, University of California, and the US Patent Office in Washington, DC.

Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems Department Head, Dr. Arthur Helmicki, reflects: “As Punit’s long and distinguished record demonstrates, he has established an impressive research portfolio that has been extensively recognized by his peers internationally as making major contributions in his area.”

Research Award for Young Faculty

Murali Sundaram (left) receives the 2016 Research Award for Young Faculty from Dean Lim (right).

Dr. Murali Sundaram (left) receives the 2016 Research Award for Young Faculty from Dean Lim (right).

The Research Award for Young Faculty. This award is given to faculty with ten years or less of service to the College and who are at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. This year’s Research Award for Young Faculty winner is Dr. Murali Sundaram.

Murali is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. He joined UC in 2009 and during these past six years, Murali has established an outstanding research program in the area of nontraditional manufacturing technology. His exemplary research accomplishments were recognized by the prestigious NSF CAREER award in 2014.

Murali has published five book chapters, 41 journal papers and 32 peer-reviewed conference articles, 8 invention disclosures and one provisional US patent since joining the College. He has mentored 15 graduate students and 18 undergraduate students.

Department Head of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Dr. Jay Kim, says: “Murali is a rising star and his research and service activities are increasingly becoming visible at the international level. He has also developed a state-of-the-art Micro and Nano Manufacturing Laboratory that will serve very well for his research in many years to come.”

Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award

Dr. Carla Purdy (left) receives the 2016 Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award from Dean Lim (right).

Dr. Carla Purdy (left) receives the 2016 Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award from Dean Lim (right).

The Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award. The winner of this special honor is selected by a faculty committee based on the quality of their teaching.

This year’s winner is Dr. Carla Purdy. Carla is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems. She joined UC in 1986 and was one of the five WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) founding faculty 16 years ago. Carla has developed over 15 new courses and has greatly contributed to the overall continuous improvement of her department’s academic programs.

Currently, Carla serves as the head of her department’s Computer Engineering undergraduate program and coordinates the department’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee which oversees four undergrad programs. She has graduated 3 PhD students, 85 MS students, 3 MEng students and served on many PhD and MS committees.

Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems Department Head, Dr. Arthur Helmicki, says of Carla: “The work she has done as chair of the Undergraduate Council and Program Chair of Computer Engineering to coral these programs and move them forward is quite honestly remarkable. Her contributions benefit all of our department: students, faculty and staff alike, and by extension, the College and the University as well.”

Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award for Young Faculty

Dr. David Wendell (left) receives the 2016 Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award for Young Faculty from Dean Lim (right).

Dr. David Wendell (left) receives the 2016 Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award for Young Faculty from Dean Lim (right).

The Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award for Young Faculty. This teaching excellence award is given to faculty with ten years or less of service to the College and who are at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. The 2016 Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award for Young Faculty goes to Dr. David Wendell.

David is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering. He joined UC in 2009 and has since demonstrated an impressive effort to enrich the student participation in environmental engineering, including developing his own teaching website and online course. David has also developed four courses from scratch and was the first professor at UC to integrate iPads into the classroom.

David received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award for his work with protein photocatalysts as well as the 2010 Earth Award for his photosynthetic foam work, which was presented by the King of Malaysia.  He has also been recognized by the American Chemical Society Breakthrough Science and many of the students he has mentored have gone on to become independent academic and professional scientists.

Department Head of Biomedical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Dr. George Sorial, says: “Dr. David Wendell has shown truly outstanding performance in classroom teaching, in educational innovation, and in research mentoring and academic advising as evidenced by the exceptional success of his students in winning competitive research awards.

The Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence

UC Provost Beverly Davenport and UC Vice President for Research Patrick Limbach recently announced the creation of the new award, The Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence, which is intended to recognize outstanding faculty members in each college who represent excellence in all its forms.

These awards are for those individuals who deans feel have done an exceptionally outstanding job for their college or department in the past year. They may have done an exceptional job of service in an especially important or innovative way. Perhaps their research has received special recognition, or their teaching has been especially innovative or important in meeting new milestones or changing the department or college culture in significant ways. Or perhaps, and even more importantly, they best embody the Principles of a Just Community by the ways they practice civility, honor, inclusion, seek integrity, or promote justice.

Each college may select up to two faculty members who have been exceptional college citizens.

Dr. Karen Davis (right) receives the new Dean's Award for Faculty Excellence from Dean Lim (left).

Dr. Karen Davis (right) receives the new Dean's Award for Faculty Excellence from Dean Lim (left).

The first winner of the Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence for the College of Engineering and Applied Science is Dr. Karen Davis.

Karen joined UC in 1991 and served as Associate Department Head of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems from 1999 to 2003. She regularly contributes to keeping our curricula up-to-date and continually seeks out innovative techniques such as “classroom flipping” and new ways to use technology to improve students’ learning outcomes.

This year alone, Karen will have advised approximately 100 MEng students. She is also deeply involved in numerous advising and mentoring activities designed to encourage young women to consider careers in computing, such as her efforts to organize and run the “Girls on the Go” computing camp for high school women.

Department Head of Electrical Engineering & Computing Systems, Dr. Arthur Helmicki, says: “Karen is a truly dedicated teacher and an inspiring colleague who embodies what it means to be a master educator. In all aspects of education, Karen has consistently performed at the highest levels during the more than 20 years that I have known her. She continues to contribute to her students, her department colleagues, the College, and the broader educational community. She is a champion for educational innovation and for fostering diversity among both students and faculty.”

Dr. Tom Huston (right) receives the new Dean's Award for Faculty Excellence from Dean Lim (left).

Dr. Tom Huston (right) receives the new Dean's Award for Faculty Excellence from Dean Lim (left).

The second inaugural winner of the Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence for the College of Engineering and Applied Science is Dr. Tom Huston.

Tom graduated with his PhD in Industrial Engineering from UC, has been teaching as a Visiting and Adjunct Professor since 1985, and was appointed as an Associate Professor Educator in the College in 2008. Over the years, he has taught more than 40 different courses, several of which he developed himself.

Tom teaches many courses both at the undergraduate and graduate levels while also teaching Design Clinic, senior capstone design courses of the Mechanical Engineering program, all by himself for the last seven or eight years.

Department Head of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Dr. Jay Kim, reflects: “Dr. Huston has also made outstanding service contributions to the university community. His dedicated effort has been recognized by several major awards that include University of Cincinnati President’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award and the CEAS Master Educator Award. Tom also serves on the CEAS Makerspace Committee and is the Deputy Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Engineering Program, managing a large scale education and research program funded by NIOSH. Whenever asked by the department or the college, Tom is always the first who volunteers.”