Engineering Faculty Members Honored With Institute Awards and Service Recognition

Engineering Faculty Members Honored With Institute Awards and Service Recognition

June 16, 2020

The research, mentorship, and teaching innovation of several faculty members in the School of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were recently recognized with the 2020 Institute Awards. The annual honors also included recognition for exceptional service and dedication.

John Wen, the Russell Sage Professor and head of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, received the William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award. Established by Edward P. Hamilton ’07 in memory of William H. Wiley, from the Class of 1886, the award honors those who have won the respect of the faculty through excellence in teaching, productive research, and interest in the totality of the educational process.

Jian Shi, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, received the James M. Tien ’66 Early Career Award for Faculty, which honors a faculty member in recognition of their scholarly activities. 

Shankar Narayanan, an assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, received the Class of 1951 Outstanding Teaching Development Grant. This award recognizes faculty members for their outstanding accomplishments in education and provides support for deserving faculty who wish to experiment with and/or develop new and novel methods for improving student learning. 

In addition to the annual award winners, a number of faculty members were recognized for their dedicated years of service:

25 Years of Service:

Kurt Anderson, an associate dean and professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering

Richard Siegel, the Robert W. Hunt Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

X. George Xu, the Edward E. Hood Endowed Chair Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering

30 Years of Service

Amir Hirsa, a professor mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering

35 Years of Service

William Foley, a lecturer of industrial and systems engineering

50 Years of Service

David Duquette, a professor of materials science and engineering  

55 Years of Service

Bimal Malaviya, a professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering

"These awards recognize excellence in teaching, research, and service to Rensselaer and the broader community. I congratulate the winners for this well-deserved recognition," said Shekhar Garde, the dean of the School of Engineering.

Additionally, Ricardo Dobry, an Institute Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yannick LeCoz, an associate professor of electrical, computer, and system engineering, Michael Podowski, a professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, and Xu are all also being honored as they prepare to retire this year.

Dobry, who is also the director of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation National Science Foundation Geotechnical Centrifuge Research Center at Rensselaer, is a renowned expert on soil dynamics, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and geotechnical dynamic centrifuge testing. His expertise has played a critical role in the formation of U.S. building codes.

During his career, LeCoz was a visiting faculty member at LSI Logic Corporation and at Sandia National Laboratories, in addition to being named a Digital Equipment Corporation Fellow. His research has focused on transport in semiconductor devices, equilibrium heterojunction theory, and random-walk algorithms for the physical design of integrated circuits.

Podowski, who is the director of the center for Multiphase Research, has also served as head of the Nuclear Safety Review Board, head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, and technical expert to the International Atomic Energy Commission. During his career, Podowski has consulted for many industrial organizations and governmental agencies worldwide, and has authored or co-authored more than 260 technical publications.

Xu is an internationally recognized expert on radiation dosimetry and safety. His research has wide applications ranging from radiation shielding design for nuclear facilities to medical software tools that improve imaging and radiation therapy of cancer patients. Earlier this year, Xu was selected by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) to receive the Edith H. Quimby Award for Lifetime Achievement in Medical Physics.


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