Engineering faculty promoted; annual awards presented

Dean Kenneth F. Galloway announced the promotions of three engineering faculty members at a May 5 reception after the final faculty meeting of the 2008-2009 academic year.

Computer science and computer engineering professor Xenofon Koutsoukos has been promoted to associate professor with tenure.  Biomedical engineering professor Anita Mahadevan-Jansen has been promoted to full professor. Electrical engineering professor Bharat Bhuva has been promoted to full professor.

The Vanderbilt Board of Trust in May named Professor Taylor G. Wang  a Centennial Professor of Mechanical Engineering, emeritus; a Centennial Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, emeritus; and a professor of applied physics, emeritus.

Wang join the Vanderbilt faculty in 1988 as a Centennial Professor. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he served as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Challenger. Professor Wang has received many awards including the Llewellyn J. Evans Outstanding Scientific Award; and the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal and the Space Flight Medal, both from NASA.  He is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and has served as president of the Association of Space Explorers USA, and as a member of the Space Applications Board of the National Research Council.

Dean presents awards

Galloway also presented two faculty awards, one staff award and one research award based on an outstanding paper written by a graduate student.

Janiece Harrison, director of Finance and Administration, received the Judith A. Pachtman Staff Service Award for her exemplary performance throughout her tenure in the biomedical engineering department, and as the assistant director of VaNTH.

A significant portion of her work in BME was dedicated to grants management. She instituted a grants management system that created a structure to assist faculty PIs – and increased the BME success rate higher.

Harrison’s contributions were crucial to the successful operation of the NSF supported VaNTH Engineering Research Center at Vanderbilt. In December 2008, Harrison left the BME department to become the director of Finance and Administration for the School of Engineering.

The Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to professor Xenofon D. Koutsoukos. Nominations for this award are made by School of Engineering faculty and any engineering student group recognized by the University, and it is given to a faculty member who has made significant contributions to excellence in undergraduate or graduate instruction during the past year.

The Edward J. White Engineering Faculty Award for Excellence in Service was presented to civil engineering professor Robert E. Stammer Jr. for his exemplary service to the School of Engineering.

Stammer’s service to the school spans 28 years and a number of titles, including Associate Dean for Students Affairs, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs in Athletics, ASCE faculty advisor, faculty advisor for Tau Beta Pi, and program director for engineering science.

Galloway recognized graduate student Peter N. Ciesielski, author of the Best Student Research Paper of 2008. Ciesielski’s paper –  “ Functionalized Nanoporous Gold Leaf Electrode Films for the Immobilization of Photosystem I ” –  was published in December in ACS Nano, which, in only its second year of existence, is considered a highly influential journal for beautiful images and innovative methods in nanoscience and nanotechnology.