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Six receive Distinguished Faculty Fellowships

Six Lamar University faculty members received Distinguished Faculty Fellowships thanks to a generous contribution from Diane and Don Shaver of Beaumont, university officials announced.

The six fellowships, two of which are named, recognize faculty performance and leadership in research, creative activity, and teaching and are awarded to the faculty members for a three-year period.

“Faculty fellowships play a vital role in the academic excellence of an institution and the development of exceptional faculty,” said James Marquart, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Support from generous donors like the Shavers enables us to provide fellowships that further strengthen specific academic programs by supporting faculty members research, scholarship and creative activity and also help us recruit and retain outstanding faculty and exceptional students. We are grateful for their support.”

Rafael Tadmor, associate professor in the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, was named the Jimmy Simmons Distinguished Faculty Fellow.  Tadmor holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. He received the University Scholar award in 2011, and the Ann and Paul Pique Fellowship in 2012. He is the founder of Wet Scientific, producer of state-of-the-art surface science characterization tools including the world’s only Centrifugal Adhesion Balance, the result of years of NSF funded research.

Amy Smith, assistant professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages, was named the Don Shaver Distinguished Faculty Fellow. Smith holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Binghamton University. Smith, who joined LU in 2009, is associate director, Support and Mentoring to Advance Research and Teaching, a role she fills in addition to active teaching and research.

Kendrick Aung, Xuejun Fan, Weihang Zhu and Qiang Xu each received fellowships.

Aung is a professor of mechanical engineering and holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. His research interests include renewable energy and energy systems, hydrogen flames and combustion, and alternative fuels. In the classroom, his passions include experiential learning in engineering education and the integration of simulation tools in teaching engineering. Aung received presidential fellowships for research and teaching innovation from LU in 2014 and 2015.

Fan is a professor of mechanical engineering and holds a Ph.D. in solid mechanics from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His research interests include reliability physics of materials, components and system in micro- and opto-electronics manufacturing and packaging, as well as multi-scale and multi-physics modeling and characterization.  His teaching interests include solid mechanics as well as heat and mass transfer. Fan received a presidential fellowship in support of undergraduate research in 2014 and 2015, and the 2015 Office of Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award in 2015.

Zhu is an associate professor and graduate advisor in the Department of Industrial Engineering. Zhu holds a Ph.D. in industrial and system engineering from North Carolina State University.  Among his many research interests are high performance computing, GPU computing and mobile computing, logistics, supply chain and port management, CAD/CAM/CIMS, multi-axis CNC machining, as well as engineering education and pedagogy. Zhu received a university merit award in 2009, as well as fellowships from the National Science Foundation in the areas of nano-manufacturing, nano-technology, and energy manufacturing in 2008 and 2010.

Xu is a professor in the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering and holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His research interests include chemical process modeling, simulation, optimization and synthesis, industrial flare minimization and waste minimization, as well as regional air quality modeling and control. His teaching interests include process control, advanced engineering mathematics, and computational methods for engineering applications. He received a university merit award in 2010 and was named University Scholar in 2012.