CEAS Professors Honored at 2017 All-University Faculty Awards Celebration

Date: April 20, 2017

UC CEAS faculty members, Dr. Punit Boolchand, Dr. Dionysios D. Dionysiou, and Professor Mark Fellows, were honored at the 2017 All-University Faculty Awards Celebration on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.   

Each year, the University of Cincinnati (UC) salutes one of its greatest assets - its faculty - at its annual All-University Faculty Awards Celebration. And no one shone brighter at the 2017 ceremony than the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) with three outstanding faculty members being recognized for their distinguished research and teaching excellence.  

Dr. Punit Boolchand, Dr. Dionysios D. Dionysiou and Professor Mark Fellows were each honored with a prestigious University award. Please see below for their winner profiles.  

For a complete listing of the 2017 All-University Faculty Awards winners, please visit http://www.uc.edu/facultyawards.html.   

Photo/UC Creative Services

Photo/UC Creative Services

Distinguished Research Professor

Virtually anyone who drops a cell phone can thank Professor Punit Boolchand, PhD, if the screen does not break.

Boolchand and his research team at the College of Engineering and Applied Science have changed the way materials scientists think about glass. This understanding contributed to the creation of Corning Gorilla Glass used in more than 1 billion cell phones and tablets around the world.

John C. Mauro, senior research manager at Corning, said Boolchand’s work will shape the company’s future research as well.

“Put simply, he has changed our atomic-level understanding of these ‘inexplicable’ materials to an extent far beyond anything since the theory of superconductivity,” Mauro said in a letter endorsing the nomination of Boolchand as UC’s Distinguished Research Professor (STEMM).

Boolchand has taught both physics and engineering at the university since 1969. He also has served as visiting faculty at Stanford University in California, the University of Hyderabad in India and the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. He is also the director of UC’s Solid State Physics and Electronic Materials Laboratory.

In more than 230 published papers funded by nearly $7 million in research grants, Boolchand has examined such diverse topics as gamma optics, oxide superconductors and optoelectronic materials. He has presented his findings at physics and engineering conferences around the world.

In his nomination letter, Teik C. Lim, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, called Boolchand’s research groundbreaking.

“Dr. Boolchand has a passion for research that has produced an extremely impressive body of work and has impacted new discoveries and developments in his field,” Lim said.

Boolchand previously received UC’s George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Distinguished Scientific Research and was nominated for the American Physical Society’s prestigious Oliver E. Buckley Prize for his work on the “Intermediate Phase,” a breakthrough in glass research now named for him.

Boolchand especially takes pride in helping to launch the careers of more than 45 graduate students he has mentored at UC. He stays in touch with many of them in their professional positions in academia, industry and government labs.

“One reason we were able to do so much in the fundamental research of disordered materials was in part because of these students,” Boolchand said.

On the way to his university office each day, Boolchand walks past a plaque that reads: “A mind that is stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimension.”

“That is the truth. Once you find a new way of thinking, you can never go back,” Boolchand said. “That’s what’s happening more and more in our field.”

Author: Michael Miller

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Photo/UC Creative Services

George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Distinguished Scientific Research

As a native of the Island of Cyprus, Dionysios (Dion) D. Dionysiou, PhD, UC environmental engineering professor, knows firsthand the value of water. Thus, he has devoted his career to addressing the need to secure enough clean, drinkable water in arid countries and the developing world.

The Herman Schneider Professor of Environmental Engineering and Graduate Program Director in the College of Engineering and Applied Science has worked on more than 50 water quality projects and his research has received millions of dollars in funding from national and international organizations including the National Science Foundation,  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine/U.S. Agency for International Development, The Ohio Sea Grant, and DuPont. Dionysiou has collaborated with several universities and has received many prestigious awards in the fields of water quality, treatment and sanitation, such as the ARCADIS/Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Frontier in Research Award.

Dionysiou is a fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and served as Program Chair of the Division of Environmental Chemistry from 2008 to 2016. He is currently serving as chair-elect of the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry. He is a leading member of Sustainable Solutions Laboratories, the Center of Sustainable Urban Engineering, and the Drinking Water, Water Supply, Quality, and Treatment, and Environmental Nanotechnology Laboratories.

As the author or co-author of more than 310 refereed journal publications, over 86 conference proceedings, 29 book chapters publications, 24 editorials, and more than 550 presentations, Dionysiou is considered to be “among the top 1 percent of scientists/engineers in the field of advanced oxidation processes,” states Virender Sharma, PhD, director of the Program for Environment and Sustainability, Texas A&M. Dionysiou has edited several books, is editor of three prestigious journals and is an editorial board member of more than 10 journals. Dionysiou holds an impressive H factor of >63 with more than 13,000 citations of his work, further attesting to his high impact on the field.

Author: Ashley Duvelius

Photo/UC Creative Services

Photo/UC Creative Services

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award

Through his nationally recognized expertise and dedication to the field of aerospace engineering, Mark Fellows, MS, MBA, has compiled an astonishing record of student success as an adjunct professor at UC. Fellows has coached five capstone groups, four of which received wins at the international SAE Aero Design competition.

Beyond the Capstone Aircraft Design and Integrated Aircraft Engineering courses, Fellows is noted as having exceptionally prepared undergraduate students with knowledge of aircraft performance.

“Mark Fellows is an outstanding adjunct with a strong personal commitment to our students and our program,” stated Paul Orkwis, PhD, his department head. Orkwis believes that in being a UC alumnus, Fellows is all the more committed to the mission of the program. “He is the epitome of student-centric teaching and is amazing in his devotion to the students of aerospace engineering.”

Fellows has collaborated with all of the major U.S. aircraft companies including Northrop Grumman, Lockheed, General Dynamics, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing. Prior to joining UC, he worked at the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (AFB) in Dayton for 36 years. His AFB efforts led to the F-22 and F-35 – now frontline tactical fighters.

Thomas Black, colleague and visiting assistant professor, states that Fellows “is the example of an alum who made a major difference for the United States and has now returned to his alma mater to give back and prepare the next generation of aerospace leaders to follow in his footsteps.”

Author: Staci Jones