Mines faculty recognized for teaching, research excellence

An associate professor of metallurgical and materials engineering received the Faculty Excellence Award while the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics swept the Mines Teaching Awards at Colorado School of Mines’ annual faculty awards celebration held April 24.

The Faculty Excellence Award, which recognizes a tenured or tenure-track faculty member for significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship, was presented to Corinne Packard.

“Dr. Packard is a leading researcher in the mechanical properties and advanced processing of semiconductors for solar cells,” said Interim Provost Tom Boyd, who presented the awards alongside President Paul C. Johnson. Boyd said Packard’s teaching has won positive reviews from students, who are particularly enthusiastic about her incorporation of computer-based illustrations and use of industrially relevant software.

“Even with an intensive research focus, Corinne has a consistently strong funding level and was responsible for bringing a state-of-the-art secondary ion mass spectrometer to Mines,” Boyd said. “This distinguished instrument is heavily used and significantly enhances research capabilities on campus.”

“We are all truly grateful and honored to have the opportunity to know and work with Corinne,” Boyd said.

Teaching Professor Deb Carney received the Mines Teaching Award for non-tenure-track faculty.

“Dr. Carney is a proven and respected leader who manages a multitude of roles in overseeing the entire AMS teaching operation,” Boyd said. Carney serves as assistant department head, math core coordinator and ABET coordinator, schedules all math courses, hires and supervises adjuncts and mentors the department’s postdoctoral teaching fellows. Carney co-created the Society for Women in Mathematics, and her course redesign for linear algebra is held up as a model by the Trefny Innovative Instruction Center.

Professor William Navidi received the Mines Teaching Award for tenured/tenure-track faculty for his role as the driving force of the statistics program —from leading curricula design for BS, MS and doctoral degrees, to teaching just about every single statistics course.

“Those in AMS have noted that Dr. Navidi is statistics at Mines,” Boyd said. “He is often a favorite with his students due to demonstrating those direct connections between statistics and their future jobs.”

Faculty Senate President Tzahi Cath, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Stefanie Tompkins, vice president for research and technology transfer, presented the research excellence awards.

The Senior Research Excellence Award went to Physics Professor Lincoln Carr, whose areas of study include complexity sciences, quantum physics and technology, condensed matter physics and bridging the sciences and the humanities.

The Junior Research Excellence Award was presented to Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Professor Vladan Stevanovic and Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Josh Sharp.

Roel Snieder, W.M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Professional Development Education, presented the W.M. Keck Mentorship Awards, which recognize extraordinary activities beyond regular advising.

Physics Teaching Professor Kristine Callan was recognized for her mentorship of undergraduates through her work with three groups: the Teacher Education Alliance, Equality for Awareness and the Society for Women in Physics.

Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Kathryn Johnson and Diane Witters, adjunct faculty in geophysics, were honored for developing mentoring groups for female graduate students that explore professional development topics.

Kamini Singha, professor of geology and geological engineering, also received a mentorship award for her support of incoming Mines faculty.

Seven retired faculty who have been awarded emeritus status by the Mines Board of Trustees were recognized. 

Stephen Liu, emeritus professor, was a member of the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department for 31 years, served as director of the Center for Welding, Joining and Coatings Research and held the American Bureau of Shipping Endowed Chair, among numerous other duties. Over the decades, he has overseen 27 PhD and 54 master’s students.

Laura Guy, emeritus librarian, joined Mines as a systems librarian 18 years ago, achieved the rank of librarian in 2007 and has undertaken numerous initiatives in support of the library’s strategic plan. “This includes shepherding Arthur Lakes Library through nearly two decades of dramatic technological change,” Boyd said. “Her devotion to the advancement of the Arthur Lakes Library is truly without peer.”

Panos Kiousis, emeritus associate professor, joined Mines in 2000 as an associate professor in the Division of Engineering before joining the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In addition to a solid publication record, Kiousis “has provided excellent mentorship to both undergraduate and graduate students in the civil engineering program,” Boyd said. Kiousis was also critical to the success of the department’s non-thesis master’s program in structural engineering, teaching much of its core curriculum.

John Scales, emeritus professor, has been a faculty member at Mines since 1992, first in geophysics, then physics. Among his many research accomplishments, Scales developed advanced optimization algorithms, created new technology for laser ultrasound and made the first sub-millimeter measurements of in-situ electrical properties of rocks. He is also a member of the group that holds the world record for the lowest order symmetry ever inferred from spectra in Earth materials.

Steven Thompson, emeritus associate professor, joined Mines in 1986 as visiting scientist and retires from Mines and the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the end of this semester. His research has focused on microstructural analysis using transmission electron microscopy; he has 65 publications with almost 1,700 total citations. 

Charles Vestal, emeritus teaching professor, began his long association with Mines when he earned a professional degree as a petroleum refining engineer from the university. He went on to earn an MS and PhD in chemical and petroleum refining engineering. After many years in industry, Vestal returned to Mines two decades ago to serve as adjunct professor, lecturer, teaching associate professor and teaching professor. “Dr. Vestal’s vast industrial experience ensured that he spoke to the interests and needs of students by presenting relevant material in the classroom,” Boyd said.

Richard Wendlandt, emeritus professor, has delivered, developed and taught 28 unique undergraduate and graduate classes in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering over the past three decades. He has received the Outstanding Mines Faculty Award and Mines Alumni Teaching Award, among other teaching honors and culminates his tenure at Mines with the establishment of an National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Subsurface Earth Resource Modeling after years of team building. “As this is the first center in the geosciences in the history of this program, Dr. Wendlandt has made a lasting impact that will shape research at Mines for decades to come,” Boyd said.

Outstanding Teaching Awards, voted on by graduating seniors:

  • Applied Math and Statistics: Mike Nicholas
  • Chemistry: Matthew Posewitz
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering: Rachel Morrish
  • Civil Engineering: Jeff Holley
  • Computer Science: Christopher Painter-Wakefield
  • Electrical Engineering: Chris Coulston
  • Environmental Engineering: John Spear
  • Geology and Geological Engineering: Bruce Trudgill
  • Geophysics: Andrei Swidinsky
  • Mechanical Engineering: Derrick Rodriguez
  • Metallurgical and Materials Engineering: Gerald Bourne
  • Mining Engineering: Kadri Dagdelen
  • Petroleum Engineering: Elio Dean

For a full list of faculty members who were awarded promotion and/or tenure, go to: http://www.minesnewsroom.com/news/22-mines-faculty-awarded-promotion-and-tenure.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu

About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.