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Hall of Achievement Honoree, Faculty, Staff Recognized at Annual Engineering Awards Banquet

April 4, 2008

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. In addition, many awards were presented to students, recognizing their superior academic performance.

Alan L. Boeckmann was inducted into the College of Engineering’s Hall of Achievement. Membership in the Hall of Achievement is accorded to individuals who, through their performance and example, have made significant contributions to the engineering profession. Mr. Boeckmann is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Fluor Corporation, one of the world's leading and largest engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services companies. He graduated from the University of Arizona, with a degree in electrical engineering. Since joining Fluor in 1974 as an engineer, Mr. Boeckmann has held various management positions, including assignments in California, Texas, South Carolina, South Africa and Venezuela. He became president and chief operating officer of Fluor January of 2001, and then was named chairman and CEO in February of 2002.

The College of Engineering’s Excellence in Research Award was presented to Bioengineering Professor Hanli Liu. She is an innovator who has brought honor to the college and university for more than 10 years through work that has gained national and international recognition. A tireless researcher, Dr. Liu has secured more than three-and-a-half million dollars in project funding, has had 53 peer-reviewed journal articles published, has presented more than 65 conference papers, and has been invited to give 36 talks. Dr. Liu has previously received the university’s Outstanding Research Achievement Award and the college’s Outstanding Young Faculty Award, as well as the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from a professional society; all as the result of work resulting in breakthroughs in medical imaging.

The College of Engineering’s Outstanding Young Faculty Award went to Computer Science & Engineering Assistant Professor of Yonghe Liu. The award is 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. Thought he has been with the college for less than five years, Dr. Liu has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research projects valued at more than one million dollars, developed two new courses and is currently teaching three undergraduate and graduate courses, published 37 refereed journal or conference papers, Served as a reviewer for a professional journal and on NSF and Army Research Office grant proposals and secured several U.S. patents and has several more pending.

The Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Mechanical Engineering Professor David Hullender. The award honors distinguished educators who have demonstrated their dedication to the teaching profession by their superior classroom instruction and exceptional interactions with students. Statements from his peers included statements such as this: “Reports produced by his undergraduate students were comparable to thesis or research projects that I have seen from graduate students and showed a depth of understanding and analytical ability seldom seen at the junior-level.”

Statements from students include “He always fostered a spirit of inquiry and the development of critical thinking skills.”, “I feel that he has prepared me more than any other teacher for real-life engineering obstacles and “If someone asked me to describe him in a word or phrase, I would reply ‘Do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do.’ It wasn’t just his tone; it was about his daunting exams and key assignments. They pushed you. They pushed you to be a stronger student. They somehow made you do the right thing. Because you become a better engineer and, more importantly, a better person.”

The Fay Van Dam Outstanding Staff Award was presented to Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Administrative Assistant Donna Woodhead. Letters of nomination and recommendation described her as “an indispensable staff member who always shows a cheerful willingness to help the faculty and staff,” “an outstanding professional who displays tremendous patience and compassion in assisting students,” “has a special talent for working with people” and “gets the job done, gets it right, gets it promptly”