Honoring exceptional teaching and student support
Each day, Marcelo Dapino and Marcello Canova go above and beyond to ensure that their students complete their courses with a clear understanding of even the most complex engineering concepts.
On April 21, Dapino and Canova’s dedication to teaching, mentorship and guidance earned them both top awards from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Canova was awarded the 2017 Michael J. Moran Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Dapino was named the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.
"Professors Dapino and Canova exemplify the very best that our faculty have to offer, especially in the development of our graduate and undergraduate students as professionals," said Vish Subramaniam, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. "They are outstanding educators, researchers and mentors, and their dedication and passion to engage, inspire and develop the next generation of engineering professionals is valued and being recognized by these awards."
For Dapino, mentorship is a calling
When asked to choose their favorite educator, students couldn’t say Dapino’s name fast enough. The professor and Honda R&D Americas Designated Chair in Engineering challenges his students to push themselves to become better students, better researchers and, ultimately, better engineers.
For the Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board, Dapino was the clear choice for this year’s Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award recipient. The honor was created in 2014 to recognize those who consistently work to foster a superior culture for graduate student mentoring. And, Dapino does just that.
“Students just love him,” said Lynn Faulkner, a Mechanical External Advisory Board member and chief engineer at VTX Technology, who presented the award to Dapino. “Almost all of his students said the same thing: he is one of the very best instructors that they’ve ever had.”
Having served as an advisor to more than 70 students since joining Ohio State, Dapino’s impact as an educator can be seen in the successful careers of his students. After graduating, they’ve gone on to become leading researchers, faculty members and practicing engineers.
As the director of the Smart Materials and Structures Laboratory, Dapino guides his students and post-doctoral researchers as they devise experiments to understand smart materials and explore new smart system designs utilizing analytical and computational methods.
“This recognition is very special to me,” said Dapino, after accepting his award on April 21. “This is what we are here for: to educate and mentor young minds, and to play a positive role in shaping the careers of future engineering professionals. It is very humbling to be selected by this board.”
Among other awards and honors, Dapino is the recipient of the 2017 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Award; he was awarded Ohio State’s Harrison Award for Excellence in Engineering Education in 2014; and he was elected as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2012.
He earned his MS in mechanical engineering from the University of Uruguay and his PhD in engineering mechanics from Iowa State University.
Canova brings charisma and passion to teaching
In 1990, the Excellence in Teaching Award was named in honor of Professor Emeritus Michael J. Moran, a passionate educator and nationally recognized expert in engineering thermodynamics.
Following in Moran’s footsteps, Canova strives to make an impact in the lives of his students. As an associate professor and associate director of graduate and continuing education at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), Canova demonstrates his broad range of knowledge in mechanical engineering. He does this while also connecting with his students on a personal level.
"It is a privilege and an honor to be recognized by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and its advisory board for something that I love and consider an important part of my life,” said Canova, after receiving his award.
Canova also inspires his students through his research, which explores fluid and thermal sciences and energy systems. He holds four patents, and manages a research portfolio of more than $1 million. His research is supported by top names in the automotive industry, including Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda of America, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
While announcing the award, Pete Miller, a member of the Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board, shared more about Canova’s impressive contributions to his students through his teaching activity and his role as the Buckeye Current team’s faculty advisor.
“Dr. Canova creates an engaging educational environment for his students,” said Miller, the retired vice president of business development at the United Technologies, Allied Signal and Honeywell subsidiaries. “Marcello is extremely hands on when it comes to the racing experience.”
Currently, his Buckeye Current team holds two East Coast Timing Association speed records. They earned two third place finishes at the 2013 and 2014 Isle of Man TT Zero and two third place finishes at the 2015 and 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the electric motorcycle category.
Before becoming a faculty member, Canova served as a CAR research associate and research scientist. He earned his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the Università degli Studi di Parma.
- Kam King, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering