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Engineering faculty promoted; annual awards presented

Dean Kenneth F. Galloway announced May 10 the promotions of four engineering faculty members at the final faculty meeting of the 2010-2011 academic year and presented four awards at a reception following the meeting.

Sharon M. Weiss


One faculty member has been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure:Sharon M. Weiss, electrical engineering. Three faculty members have been promoted to the rank of professor: G. Kane Jennings, chemical and biomolecular engineering; Clare McCabe, chemical and biomolecular engineering; and Nilanjan Sarkar, mechanical engineering.

The Vanderbilt Board of Trust in December named Carol Rubin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus; Frank Parker, Distinguished Professor of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, Emeritus, and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Emeritus; and Michael Fitzpatrick, Professor of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, Emeritus. A.B. Bonds on Sept. 1 will become Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, Emeritus.

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.

Linda Hurst, technical supervisor II, received the 2011 Judith A. Pachtman Staff Service Award for her exceptional service and the importance of her work to the School’s mission. Hurst serves as supervisor of the Media Center, where she interacts with students, staff and faculty on a daily basis.

The Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to mechanical engineering professor Nilanjan Sarkar. 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.

Sarkar excels in classroom teaching and his undergraduate and graduate student ratings are among the highest in the school. Colleagues say he has had a major positive impact on the department’s curriculum. He also has developed an effective collaboration with Peabody faculty in creating a robot-mediated autism intervention program that is funded by the NSF and the NIH.

The 2011 Edward J. White Engineering Faculty Award for Excellence in Service was presented to biomedical engineering professor, emeritus Paul King for his exemplary service to the School of Engineering.

King’s service to the school spans 43 years and he is a pioneer in biomedical engineering design. He developed the fourth-year capstone biomedical engineering design course in the School 21 years ago. Over those 29 years he has taught biomedical design to 1,280 learners formulated into 526 teams. He is the co-author of the first biomedical-specific textbook on engineering design.

Galloway recognized mechanical engineering graduate student D. Caleb Rucker, whose paper – “A Geometrically Exact Model for Externally Loaded Concentric-tube Continuum Robots”  –  was published in the October  issue of the IEEE Transactions on Robots. Rucker will complete his Ph.D. and graduate in 2012.