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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Faculty, Staff Honored at Annual Engineering Awards Banquet

February 28, 2007

The College of Engineering honored a Hall of Achievement inductee, three faculty and one staff member at Annual Awards Banquet for their outstanding achievements in research, teaching and administrative support. These were in addition to the many awards presented to students for their superior academic performance.

Hall of Achievement inductee Larry J. Hornbeck is a TI Fellow at Texas Instruments. Dr. Hornbeck’s pioneering innovations over the course of nearly three decades have resulted in a new generation of projectors and large screen TVs enjoyed in literally millions of homes and businesses around the world. In early 1987, Dr. Hornbeck initiated the design of the Digital Micromirror Device, a MEMS-based array of fast, reflective, digital light switches, monolithically integrated on a silicon chip. By late 1987 he demonstrated the first DMD chip. Today, TI supplies subsystems worldwide to more than 75 manufacturers of DLP TVs, front projectors and DLP Cinema® projectors. More than 10 million DLP units have been shipped, and there are more than 3000 DLP Cinema theaters.

Dr. Hornbeck holds 33 U.S. patents, including the fundamental patents for the DMD chip and its manufacturing technology. He has received numerous national and international awards and honors, and is a Fellow of the SPIE and the IEEE.

Sherri Warwick, assistant to the chair of the Computer Science & Engineering Department, received the Fay Van Dam Outstanding Staff Award, presented to a member of the support staff whose everyday performance and dedication to the college demonstrates a constant desire to go above what is normally required and accepted. Sherri was noted for her “soft and efficient way of addressing difficult problems, her attention to detail and her willingness to help anyone who needs it.”

Dr. Choong-Un Kim of the Materials Science & Engineering Department received the College of Engineering Excellence in Research Award, presented to a distinguished faculty member who has demonstrated superior scholarship by advancing the state of knowledge in his or her chosen field of research. Dr. Kim was cited as “a tireless worker who significantly improved the research infrastructure of the department and opened many new areas of research and sources of funding.” He developed new testing methods and processing techniques, participated in interdisciplinary research projects within and outside of the university, secured the donation of instrumentation valued in excess of one million dollars, and served as the principal investigator on 17 projects and as the co-PI on four others. This is not the first time Dr. Kim has been recognized by the College of Engineering for his accomplishments; he received the Outstanding Young Faculty Award in 2002.

Dr. Jean Gao of the Computer Science & Engineering Department received the College of Engineering’s Young Faculty Award, given to a young, tenure-track faculty member who is judged to be our most promising teacher and scholar, based on his or her body of accomplishments since coming to the College.

Since joining the College of Engineering only four years ago, Dr. Gao managed to bring national and international recognition to her self and the university. Her colleagues cited her remarkable ability to identify the most promising emerging interdisciplinary research topics and to establish collaborative projects inside and outside the university on these topics. In these efforts, she demonstrated strong leadership skills, a well-developed research vision and outstanding communications abilities. Because of these abilities, she managed to secure approximately one million dollars in funding for her projects and received one of the nation’s most prestigious accolades - the National Science Foundation’s Early Career Development Award.

Dr. Roger Goolsby, who holds joint appointments in Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, received the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Excellence in Teaching Award, presented to distinguished educators who have demonstrated their dedication to the teaching profession by their superior classroom instruction and exceptional interactions with students.

The letters of nomination and support for Dr. Goolsby include statements such as “an outstanding teacher and student mentor,” “lectures are well organized, clear and to the point,” “gives tough exams and is a tough grader, but nonetheless receives some of the strongest teaching evaluations from students,” “provides explanations for mistakes students make so the they can learn after reviewing the returned homework,” “excelled at recruiting new students and mentoring current ones,” “a constant source of encouragement to many graduate students who encounter difficulties in their studies,” and “assists students who have never made a presentation with the tools to be an effective communicator.”

Former students who are now tenured faculty at respected universities also commented. One states “Because of his mentoring experiences with me, I have made undergraduate mentoring a significant focus of my work. One of my students is now working on her Ph.D. at Northwestern and was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship.” Another writes, “Through him, I was taught to appreciate the basic skills of professionalism, ethics and importance of life-long learning; something that I still value the most.”