Professor Ron Schrimpf receives Chancellor’s Cup

Ron Schrimpf, Orrin Henry Ingram Professor of Engineering and faculty head of Memorial House, was surprised in the middle of a presentation at a meeting of the Engineering Alumni Council Thursday, Oct. 21, by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos and given the Chancellor’s Cup.

The Chancellor’s Cup is given annually for the greatest recent contribution outside the classroom to undergraduate student-faculty relationships. The faculty member’s contribution must be of educational importance and relevant to the central purpose of the university. The awards are $2,500 contributed by the Nashville Alumni Club, an engraved pewter cup as a permanent trophy and one year’s custody of a silver bowl by Tiffany bearing the names of all recipients since 1963.

Ron Schrimpf receives the Chancellor’s Cup from the Chancellor. (photo by Vanderbilt University/Susan Urmy.)

Schrimpf, said Chancellor Zeppos, embodies the spirit of Vanderbilt University through his interactions with students.  Not only does he teach and conduct research, but Schrimpf and his wife live with first-year students in Memorial House at The Commons.

“The success of The Commons rests on the shoulders of people who are there 24/7,” said Chancellor Zeppos. “Ron touches the lives of students every day.”

“The reason Kathy and I moved into The Commons was to make a difference,” said Schrimpf.  “We learn from them as they are learning from us. They have really made a difference in our lives.”

Schrimpf is a professor of electrical engineering and his research activities focus on microelectronics and semiconductor devices. In particular, he has a very active research program dealing with the effects of radiation on semiconductor devices and integrated circuits. The Radiation Effects and Reliability Group at Vanderbilt is the largest of its type at any American university.

Schrimpf, who joined the School of Engineering in 1996, is the director of the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics. The engineering staff of ISDE performs design, analysis, and modeling work for a variety of space- and defense-oriented organizations. ISDE is the world’s leading academic center for study of radiation effects on computers and other electronics. Its customers and sponsors include NASA, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Medtronic, Cisco, Boeing, Texas Instruments, AMD and others.

He is a previous winner of the Chancellor’s Award for Research in 2003 as well as the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award in 2008. The Branscomb Award is for distinguished accomplishments at furthering the aims of Vanderbilt University.

Schrimpf’s passion for teaching was recognized in 2008 with a School of Engineering teaching award.  “Ron’s legacy of mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students over the years exemplifies his generosity,” said Kenneth F. Galloway, dean of the School of Engineering.

“His commitment to freshmen students in this unique community; his consistent top 10 percent ratings among faculty in his department as evaluated by students; and his remarkable research achievements are but a few of the many reasons that he is deserving of this award,” Galloway said.