College of Engineering faculty and staff awards for 2005 were presented at the second annual Spring Appreciation Celebration held May 3.
When Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Peter J. Bosscher was young, his family provided him opportunities to participate in projects involving care for children in inner cities, recycling, and teaching English to Vietnamese refugees.
Throughout his life, he has continued such activities and today, as the founder and advisor of UW-Madison's chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Bosscher uses that instilled sense of social integrity and responsibility to educate engineering students about the global effects of their work. "Just doing the best technology is not sufficient," he says. "You have to think about larger issues."
The group, he says, provides students with a new context in which to do engineering in which they have to think outside the boxes of the developed world. "At the same time, it brings good things to the lives of the people in the communities in which they're working," says Bosscher." BIO
Chemical and Biological Engineering Program Assistant Diane Peterson has truly made a difference for the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. She is appreciated for her exceptional organizational skills and ability to work quickly, accurately and efficiently at any task that comes her way. After starting her employment with the department as a technical typist many years ago, she is now a leader among CBE's classified staff. BIO
Mechanical Engineering Faculty Associate Glenn Bower put the college's many automotive competition projects "in gear." As advisor to projects like FutureTruck, Clean Snowmobile Challenge, Baja Car and Formula Car, he helps students take their design and technical skills out of the classroom and into the cars and snowmobiles they are building. But he does much more — he teaches them about teamwork and leadership. He also teaches them to be ambassadors for their projects with industry and the public, learning valuable communication skills in the process. As a result of his exceptional dedication, the college's student teams have an enviable record of national achievement — including several national championships for Future Car, Future Truck and the Clean Snowmobile. BIO
The Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to Assistant Professor of Chemistry Martin Zanni for his innovative approach to teaching chemistry to engineering students, particularly Chemistry 109. Numerous letters of support of this nomination spoke of Zanni's enthusiasm, dedication and skill, and his ability to explain difficult concepts in understandable terms. Many engineering students wrote that rather than dreading the class, they became very excited about it and looked forward to it as one of their favorite classes. BIO
The Byron Bird Award for Excellence in a Research Publication recognizes Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor James Rawlings' important work on model-based predictive control, in particular two landmark journal articles: "Model predictive control with linear models," published in the AIChE Journal, and "Stability of constrained receding horizon control," printed in IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. This work has been described as "unusually broad and deep, extending across the entire spectrum from the shedding of light on the principles of model-based predictive control to innovations in education and drastically improved industrial practice." BIO
In his many years of teaching chemical engineers, Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Charles G. Hill, Jr. has been known as an exemplary leader and mentor. Letters of support for his nomination consistently spoke of the tremendous impact of his teaching in courses like Kinetics and Reactor Design, and Operations and Process Laboratories. He is widely admired for his skillful use of the Socratic method to keep students challenged and engaged in the classroom. His high standards are accompanied by a willingness to meet with students individually to help them improve their understanding of course concepts. He also has been an advocate and frequent instructor of overseas programs, including the well-known summer lab course. He is one of the college's most honored teachers, and is a past winner of thirteen Polygon teaching awards, Tau Beta Pi teaching award, and the Benjamin Smith Reynolds award, to name just a few. He is also a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy. BIO
A guy who's fascinated by technology, Professor Gregory Moses develops elaborate computer models that predict and then analyze the results of large-scale inertial-confinement fusion experiments. But when he began wondering how to use computer technology to enhance the learning process, students in his "Problem-Solving Using Computers" class were the first to benefit.
Several years ago, Moses, Computer Sciences and Mathematics Professor John Strikwerda and researcher Mike Litzkow developed eTEACH, a multimedia presentation authoring tool that enables faculty members on campus and elsewhere to integrate and synchronize video lectures, animated PowerPoint slides, web links and closed-captioning for online instruction. The elements appear in quadrants in a single window on the computer screen and students who view each multimedia lecture can pause, rewind or fast forward the video. eTEACH also incorporates a self-assessment as part of the presentation, so students can gauge their comprehension of the material and rewind and review the lectures, if necessary.
The software is one of a few such tools that include closed captioning and work with a screen reader. Moses worked closely with staff at the college's Trace Research and Development Center and the university's Division of Information Technology to build those features into eTEACH. BIO