College of Engineering honors faculty and staff award winners
The College of Engineering recognized 21 engineering faculty and staff at its 2007 Appreciation Day celebration May 8. Four faculty won UW-Madison Vilas Associate Awards, which presents recipients with limited research salary support for two summers, and a $12,500 flexible research fund each fiscal year. The 2007 Vilas Award winners are:
- Vicki Bier, industrial and systems engineering
- Xiaochun Li, mechanical engineering
- Gregory Harrington, civil and environmental engineering
- Robert Nowak, electrical and computer engineering
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chin Wu received the Class of 1955 Award as part of the 2007 Distinguished Teaching Awards.
For her work on the Partners in Giving Combined Campaign, Administrative Assistant Catherine Knuteson received the Combined Campaign Secretary’s Award.
Transfer Admissions Coordinator Ann Morris earned a 2007 Chancellor’s Award for her efforts bringing transfer students into the College of Engineering.
College of Engineering Information Officer Gene Masters and Information Technologist Becky Torrisi received a Chancellor’s Best Practice Award for work on a tool that provides easy access to grant financial information.
The faculty and staff winners of the Polygon Teaching Awards, as chosen by engineering undergraduates are:
- Brenda Ogle, biomedical engineering
- Eric Shusta, chemical and biological engineering
- Gregory Harrington, civil and environmental engineering
- David Anderson, electrical and computer engineering
- Susan Hellstrom, engineering professional development
- Michael Plesha, engineering physics
- Michael Smith, industrial and systems engineering
- Paul Evans, materials science and engineering
- Gregory Nellis, mechanical engineering
Recipients of the College of Engineering annual awards each receive privately funded stipends and permanent recognition on a plaque in Engineering Hall. Each winner is chosen by a committee of his or her peers.
Ragnar E. Onstad Service to Society Award—Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Pascale Carayon
Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Pascale Carayon is a devoted patient advocate. She not only has pursued research opportunities within healthcare but also has volunteered with local, national and international organizations to help reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. She has studied a variety of medical errors in several care settings and enthusiastically shares her expertise with the healthcare community. In addition to her regular teaching and advising duties, she also shares her knowledge of patient safety with health care professionals, UW-Madison students and the public via seminars, certificates and courses.
Classified Staff Distinguished Achievement Award—Engineering External Relations Program Associate Roxanne Beisel
Roxanne Beisel responded to the changing nature of her job by developing specialized skills via her personal talents and commitment. She often paves new ground to meet the expectations of her evolving position. Her attitude, depth of knowledge, independence and initiative in a complex, changing environment allow staff to focus on their mission. Her sixth sense for trouble in an otherwise smooth process has repeatedly saved clients, staff and the College as a whole time and money.
The Bollinger Academic Staff Distinguished Achievement Award—Director of Transfer Admissions Programs Ann Morris
A 40-year college employee who began her career here as an office assistant, Ann Morris has built a reputation among colleagues at college campuses throughout the state as a role model for the way engineering transfer advising and admission should be done. With her caring one-on-one approach, staggering knowledge base, and strict attention to detail, she has provided thousands of both domestic and international students a seamless transition into the college.
Passion is a defining trait of Frank Fronczak’s teaching style. Since joining the College of Engineering in 1983, he has been instrumental in expanding the design curriculum to help students transition from study to practice. He is known for giving students input and advice while allowing them to experience project management for themselves. Says one student, ”I will not forget what I learned in his class, even if I never see another hydraulic pump for the rest of my life.”
An internationally recognized researcher, Materials Science and Engineering Professor Chang-Beom Eom has made exceptional contributions to the field of superconducting thin films. As a PhD student, he developed a method for thin-film deposition that is still the standard. Then, using his new technique, he developed a new class of materials for electrical connections for thin-film oxides, focusing on one oxide that is recognized as the best contact for ferroelectric materials. His innovation, insight and cheerful personality have earned respect from colleagues across the globe.
A highly accomplished theoretical, numerical, laboratory and field researcher, Associate Professor Chin Wu applies active teaching methods that engage and inspire each individual student. A dynamic, enthusiastic speaker, he uses practical physical demonstrations, computer-aided experiments and a self-compiled video series to turn one of the most difficult and dreaded undergraduate environmental courses into one of the most anticipated. His students frequently punctuate course evaluation forms with such comments as, “Best teacher I ever had,” “Cared about how every student did,” “Made complex ideas easy to understand,” and, “We love you!”
In Professor Larry Bank’'s courses, students don’t just learn engineering technology—they use technology to learn engineering. To excite, educate and empower his students, he has integrated into his undergraduate and graduate courses such familiar (to them) communication technologies as Voice over Internet Protocol, Internet video conferencing, instant messaging, interactive forums, and collaborative project posting and review tools. He encourages students not only to use the Internet as a source of inspiration and information, but to understand, analyze and communicate what they have read to the entire class for feedback in a nonthreatening manner.