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Faculty and staff honored with 2019 External Advisory Board awards

Four exemplary faculty and staff recently received recognition from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s External Advisory Board. During the board’s spring meeting on April 12 and the faculty and staff meeting on May 24, Satya Seetharaman, Cliff Whitfield, Sandip Mazumder and Ann Sanders were honored for their teaching, support of graduate students and service to the department.

“When I conduct my annual reviews of faculty performance, these three names —Satya, Cliff and Sandip—always come up,” said Department Chair Vish Subramaniam. “They are consistently our best teachers and mentors, and these intangible qualities inculcate the very best values in our students and we’re very grateful for that.”

“The staff in this department do a great deal for us and they are invaluable partners in our executing our mission,” he continued. “They are a critical part of the operation—they really keep things going. That’s why we wanted to present this year’s service award to a staff member.”


Michael J. Moran Excellence in Teaching Mechanical Engineering Award

Photo of Satya SeetharamanLongtime department lecturer, Satya Seetharaman, received the 2019 Michael J. Moran Excellence in Teaching Award for his exceptional dedication to teaching undergraduate mechanical engineering students. Named in 1990 in honor of department faculty member Michael Moran, awardees are selected who exhibit similar dedication to undergraduate education as he did throughout his accomplished career.

“[Satya] really brings a unique and special [approach] and obviously enjoys teaching,” commented board co-chair Dan Kimmet. “[He] generally teaches three courses per semester. Even with this large teaching workload, he consistently receives high ratings from his students for his exceptional teaching skills.”

Since Satya joined the department in 2011, he has taught a total of 12 different courses. His areas of expertise include engineering mechanics, system dynamics, machine dynamics and thermodynamics.


Gerald M. Gregorek Excellence in Teaching Aerospace Engineering Award

Photo of Cliff WhitfieldNew this year is the Gerald M. Gregorek Excellence in Teaching Award. It recognizes dedication to and excellence in the undergraduate teaching of aeronautical and astronautical engineering. This award recognizes the exceptional dedication to teaching exhibited by Professor Emeritus Gerald Gregorek throughout his career. The inaugural recipient is Cliff Whitfield, associate professor of practice.

Board member Michael Heil presented the inaugural award. “Going through the [student] surveys of a number of powerful candidates, one person really floated to the top: top rates from the students, top comments in terms of the quality of the education and the quality of the teaching. He was a very clear-consensus winner.”

Whitfield, who joined the department in 2013, has taught eight different courses, including two new courses that he developed. In addition to teaching he was recognized for his role in the aerospace program’s ABET accreditation review in 2017. He is also the faculty advisor for the Ohio State Design.Build.Fly team.


Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

Photo of Sandip MazumderThe 2019 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award was presented to Professor Sandip Mazumder in recognition of his exceptional support and guidance to graduate students. Established in 2014, the award focuses on excellence in classroom teaching, graduate curriculum development, thesis advising and professional development, research advising and mentoring.

“He serves a whole number of graduate students,” said board member Lynn Faulkner. “Teaching is the main thing…but students need different information. There’s [sic] so many different students and they all want to know different information, different things. So, working with different students and with individuals, that’s exactly what we’re looking for, that’s what he’s been doing.”

Mazumder has taught eight different courses, currently advises a total of 18 students and has authored 30 journal articles. Students and alumni submitted glowing comments about his teaching.


Service to Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Award

Photo of Ann SandersService to Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Award. This year’s recipient is Ann Sanders, who received the citation based on her contributions of service to the department over the past year. Established in 2018, the award aims to recognize outstanding effort put forth by faculty and staff in enabling student success.

“Those of us who work with Ann know that she’s a team player, she’s a problem solver,” said Subramaniam. “All of our staff are outstanding, but of course some rise to the top, especially when there are challenges. Faculty have complete confidence in her ability to solve problems.”

Sanders has served the department for four years as the fiscal officer and has been at the university since 2006.

The annual awards presented by the department aim to recognize the outstanding efforts faculty put forth in enabling student success.