Faculty Honored During Celebration

September 17, 2014

As part of 2014 State of the University Week, the administration Sept. 16 held the 2014 Celebration of Faculty Excellence. The awards were conferred by Provost Shirley Willihnganz and William Pierce, executive vice president for research and innovation.

“Great universities have great faculty,” UofL President James Ramsey said in his remarks. “We have a great faculty – a truly amazing faculty – at the University of Louisville.  We have a faculty who excel in teaching, service, scholarship, research and creative activity.  A faculty who care.  A faculty who raise the bar for all of us as a university.”

The 13th annual ceremony recognized:

  • Recipients of the President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards in the areas of excellence in outstanding scholarship, research and creative activity; service; and teaching;
  • Recipient of the President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award;
  • 2013 faculty winners of the Community Engagement award;
  • 2013-2014 Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching;
  • New endowed chairs and professors;
  • New Distinguished University Scholar and University Scholars; and
  • Those whose creative work has resulted in new patents, licenses and options.

Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity

  • Recognizing departments engaged in sustained efforts to promote teaching excellence through implementing best practices in teaching and learning;
  • Rewarding departmental faculty teams who collaborate in exemplary ways to enhance student learning;
  • Encouraging and rewarding those who implement research-based initiatives to document student learning at the departmental and unit level; and
  • Supplementing departmental efforts to sustain meaningful innovations in teaching and learning.

President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards

Award winners receive a medallion and a check for $1,000. They will be featured on campus banners later this year.

Steven Koenig, professor, Speed School of Engineering. Koenig is the Endowed Chair of Cardiac Implant Science in the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute and a professor in the departments of bioengineering and surgery. He helped developed an advanced heart failure research program that conducts clinical, engineering and scientific research and development to clinically translate novel diagnostic tools and innovative therapies for advanced heart failure. His broad research focus is to understand physiologic responses and remodeling of the heart, vasculature and end-organs during mechanical circulatory support for the treatment of advanced heart failure to improve heart failure patient outcomes and restore quality of life.

Dr. Koenig was also recognized as a new Endowed Chair Faculty.

Distinguished Faculty Awards in Service

Service to the Profession

Jacek Zurada, professor, Speed School of Engineering. Zurada has been with the University of Louisville since 1981 and serves as a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He authored or co-authored several books and over 370 papers in computational intelligence, neural networks, machine learning, logic rule extraction, and bioinformatics, and he has delivered over 100 presentations and seminars throughout the world. His work has been cited over 8,000 times. Since 2009, he delivered 13 keynote or plenary invited conference talks in Mexico, Chile, Netherlands, China, Singapore, Turkey, Poland, and Italy. He has served as a PhD. advisor to 19 students. He serves as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) V-President, Technical Activities (TAB Chair), and also chairs the IEEE TAB Management Committee.

Distinguished Faculty Awards in Teaching

Distinguished Teaching Professor Award for Full-time Teaching

Jeffrey Hieb, associate professor, Speed School of Engineering. Hieb is an associate professor in the department of engineering fundamentals. In his teaching, he focuses on innovative and effective use of tablets, digital ink and other technology. He is an ASEE campus star and in 2010 he won the best paper award at the Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education for his paper “A digital ink and computer algebra system mashup to enhance classroom learning.” Since 2011, he has been using the flipped classroom model in some of his classes and recently redesigned Introductory Calculus to use the National Center for Academic Transformation’s emporium model redesign. Since 2005, he has been working in the area of cyber security for industrial control systems.

New Endowed Faculty

Kevin Gue, Speed School of Engineering. Gue is the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie Endowed Chair of Engineering Logistics and director of UofL’s Logistics and Distribution Institute. Gue’s research addresses the design and control of logistics systems, with a focus on distribution, warehousing and material handling. He is co-inventor of the warehouse aisle designs known as the Flying-V, Fishbone and Chevron, work that received multiple best paper awards and the Technical Innovation in Industrial Engineering Award in 2009. He and his wife, Bonnie, have eight children and three grandchildren.


Distinguished University Scholars

Mahendra Sunkara, professor of chemical engineering, Speed School of Engineering. Sunkara is a distinguished university scholar and the director of the Conn Center for Renewable Energy. He joined UofL in 1996 and has established a research lab focused on diamond and related materials. His technology on scalable manufacturing of nanowires is being commercialized through a startup, Advanced Energy Materials, LLC. His current research interests include renewable energy technologies such as solar cells, Li Ion batteries, production of hydrogen from water and process development for growing large crystals of diamond, gallium nitride and bulk quantities of nanowires.