College of Engineering Announces 2014 Faculty Awards

The UC Davis College of Engineering has announced the recipients of its 2014 Faculty Awards. Four College of Engineering faculty members will be acknowledged during an awards ceremony taking place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, in UC Davis’ ARC Ballroom. The event is free, and the public is welcome.

The 2014 Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award will be presented to Professor Kent Leach of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He regularly scores 4.5/5.0 and above for instructor excellence, even in classes known to be unpopular: the highest level of student satisfaction for any of the departments core courses. He even achieved a perfect 5.0/5.0 for his undergraduate elective course in tissue engineering: a first for the BME department. He also earns high marks for innovative instruction: Video projects assigned to his students were so successful that they later were employed as community outreach, to excite elementary school children about careers in science and engineering.

Photographs of the Athanasiou Lab in the Genome Biomedical Sciences Building.

Kyriacos A. Athanasiou (center), Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopedic Surgery, and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award at the UC Davis College of Engineering

The 2014 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award will be presented to Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, a Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopedic Surgery, and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. During the past several decades, Dr. Athanasiou has worked to develop superior treatment alternatives for patients who suffer from various forms of cartilage damage or deterioration. Four U.S. companies have been founded on discoveries from within his group: companies that now produce widely used medical products. He recently received the 2013/14 Lissner Medal from the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, for outstanding achievements in his field.

Qing Zhao, a professor and Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has won the 2014 Outstanding Mid-Career Faculty Research Award. Professor Zhao has made seminal contributions in wireless sensor and communication networks and cognitive networks, sequential decision theory, stochastic optimization and statistical signal processing. Just last year she earned two prestigious National Science Foundation grants, shared with ECE colleagues, for a combined total of more than three-quarters of a million dollars: the first for a radio sampling project with co-PI Anna Scaglione, and the second for a networking traffic measurement/detection project with Chen-Nee Chuah.

The 2014 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award goes to Professor Ken Loh, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is the lead PI on four NSF grants, and has brought in more than $1.4 million in research funding, in the most recent 13 quarters of his active service. In the spring of 2013 Loh was named a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. He’ll work with researchers at National Taiwan University, to study and prevent bridge collapses caused by “bridge scour”: water-induced erosion at their foundations.

The awards recipients were selected by a committee chaired by Ian Kennedy, of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, who worked with colleagues Venkatesh Akella, Roland Faller, Katherine Ferrara, Bruce Hartsough, Bertram Ludaescher and Bassam Younis.