Engineering student organizations celebrated the positive mark that faculty members and graduate teaching assistants made on students' lives and academic careers at the annual School of Engineering and Applied Science Excellence in Teaching Awards.

“These educators creatively taught their students in the lecture hall and classroom by offering real-world applications and different methods for solving problems,” said Caroline Zhao, president of the undergraduate Engineering Council and a sophomore majoring in chemical and biological engineering. “In office hours they were eager to help their students grasp difficult concepts, and they were willing to stay as long as necessary.”

The teaching awards, organized by the undergraduate engineering council, recognize outstanding instructors in courses held during the spring semester 2021-22 and the fall semester 2022-23. Winners are selected by the vote of engineering undergraduate and graduate students. At the March 22 ceremony, Ramon van Handel, associate professor of operations research and financial engineering, and Matt Weinberg, assistant professor of computer science, received lifetime achievement awards, which recognize a recipient’s fifth teaching award.

award presentation to Ramon van Handel
Sophomore Ron Shvartsman presents a lifetime achievement award to associate professor Ramon van Handel

Dean Andrea Goldsmith, who gave an introduction, noted that the awards are selected by students, and that the dean’s office has no say in who wins.

“It’s a wonderful tradition,” Goldsmith said. “We’re here to celebrate the winners, congratulate the winners, recognize the importance of outstanding teaching by our faculty and by our wonderful students.”

Jessica L. Wilson, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering, presented a teaching award to Clarence Rowley, the Sin-I Cheng Professor in Engineering Science and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. She took an applied dynamical systems class with him, and she said he regularly showed his passion for the subject in part by using colorful chalk for extra clarity to draw complicated images of dynamics.

“In going about his teaching in such an artistic way, he also impressed us with his deep appreciation for the beauty of the subject,” Wilson said.

“Thank you, Clancy, for sharing your love of lifelong learning, applied math, and dynamical systems with us. Thank you also for all that you do to make your classroom and the campus at large a good learning environment,” Wilson said.

award recipients
Award recipients

Senior Jayla Cornelius presented an award to civil and environmental engineering graduate student Melanie Galantino. She saluted Galantino for going out of her way to take times to explain things to students during office hours, helping spark their love of engineering.

“Her dedication to the students and willingness to explain things one, two, and sometimes even three times without making me feel like a burden is a rare skill to have,” Cornelius said.

award recipients
Award recipients

The recipients are:

Spring 2021-22

Christopher Moretti (COS 217) Introduction to Programming Systems

Clarence Rowley (MAE 541) Applied Dynamical Systems

Matt Weinberg (COS 445) – (Lifetime Achievement) Economics and Computing

Drew Carson (CBE 441) Chemical Reaction Engineering

Abhinav Prem (PHY 104) General Physics II

Lena Sabidussi (MAE 222) Mechanics of Fluids

Yiheng Tao (ENV 302) Practical Models for Environmental Systems

Fall 2022-23

Sujit Datta (CBE 430) Squishy Engineering: Using Soft Materials to Solve Hard Problems

Lamyaa El-Gabry (MAE 221) Thermodynamics

Sonja Francis (CHM 201/207) General Chemistry I

Daniel Marlow (PHY 103) General Physics I

Ramon van Handel (ORF 309) – (Lifetime Achievement) Probability and Stochastic Systems

Niki Abbasi (MAE 305) Mathematics in Engineering I

Melanie Galantino (CEE 467) Design and Behavior of Steel Structures

Andi Tan (PHY 103) General Physics I

Katie Wu (MAE 501) Mathematical Methods of Engineering Analysis I

This story has been revised: The award is organized by the undergraduate Engineering Council. 


  • Sujit Datta

  • Ramon van Handel

  • Christopher Moretti

  • Clarence Rowley

  • Matt Weinberg

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    Chemical and Biological Engineering

  • Three students look closely at a model of an architectural structure.

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  • Computer Science

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  • Professor writes on white board while talking with grad student.

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  • Student uses drill press while others observe.

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  • Sherrerd Hall

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