Celebrating Awards of Faculty Excellence

With the imminent light of our School’s 150th anniversary shining over the academic year of 2013-2014, there is no better way to close the Fall semester than to honor and recognize the outstanding work of our School’s professors. Casa Italiana housed the School’s Faculty Excellence Celebration on October 23. This event acclaims the awards and recognitions of our faculty from the past year, appointing named professorships and awarding professors on a variety of areas. This year, the Mechanical Engineering Department was especially well-represented, as five of our professors were recognized at the celebration.

Columbia University’s appointment to a named professorship is a manner of recognizing exceptional and unusual academic distinction. The professorship is awarded to a faculty member that has stood out due to the service for students of their respective school and department. At this year’s celebration, the Mechanical Engineering Department was proud to be epitomized by Prof. Gerard Ateshian, one of the three professors recognized as Named Professors.

Professor Ateshian received the title Andrew Walz Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Prof. Ateshian is an alumnus of Columbia’s Mechanical Engineering Department and a lead researcher combining theoretical, computational, and experimental approaches to focus on the biomechanics of biological soft tissues and cells. His research work was also recognized at the celebration, as he was also presented the 2013 OARSI Basic Science Award by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International.

Our Department was also represented under the Recognition/Achievement Awards by two other professors. Professor Jeffery W. Kysar was presented with the Best Poster Award at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) and Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) Users’ Meeting in Brookhaven National Laboratory. Prof. Kysar’s work focuses on the measurements, analysis, and predictions of the mechanical behavior of materials and objects of all sizes and how these properties could with optical, electrical, and other characteristics.

Professor Arvind Narayanaswamy was also presented an award for Best Poster by the Heat Transfer Division at the 2012 IMECE Micro Nano Forum for “Proximity Effects in Radiative Heat Transfer.” Prof. Narayanaswamy’s expertise in energy transport in nano-scale structures and devices has addressed many questions in thermal transfer and transport among a variety of nano-materials.

In representation of Scholarly Leadership, Professor Sunil K. Agrawal was recognized for his masterful words as Keynote Speaker. Prof. Agrawal led the Workshop on Assistive and Surgical Robotics in Taiwan and the 5th Workshop in Applied Robotics and Automation, RoboControl 2012 in Brazil. His leadership and direction of the Robotics and Rehabilitation Laboratory (ROAR) and Robotic Systems Engineering Laboratory (ROSE) here at Columbia emphasizes Prof. Agrawal’s expertise in such topics.

Giving a different perspective on interdisciplinary engineering work, Professor Richard W. Longman has stood out as the HGS Distinguished Romberg Professor. With this award, Prof. Longman was asked to participate in the study training program at the University of Heidelberg’s Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing. He worked closely with young graduate researchers and contributed to the program’s curriculum. Prof. Longman’s contributions to the Departments of Mechanical and Civil Engineering span over 42 years.

From start to finish, the Mechanical Engineering Department was recognized throughout the entire celebration. When it came time to award professors with the Best Papers, Associate Professor Qiao Lin maintained the relevance of our Department. With his involvement as coauthor of Physical Modulation Based Cell Manipulation on a Microchip, Prof. Lin was presented with the CM HO Best Paper at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Nano/Micro Engineered and Molecular Systems.

With the 2013 Faculty Excellence Celebration behind us, the future of the Engineering School maintains its upward trend in the school’s innovative technological achievements and strong representation throughout the world. The Mechanical Engineering Department is proud to have been so well-represented among these world-class professionals.

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