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On Campus

November 2, 2000 - VOL. 27, NO. 22

Two faculty members cited for teaching excellence


Jodi Mecke



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Two UT Austin College of Engineering faculty members, Dr. Mark Mear and Dr. Christine Schmidt, were honored as outstanding educators at an awards banquet on Oct. 10.

Dr. Mark Mear, associate professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, was awarded the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Excellence in Engineering Teaching Award.

Mear received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from UT Austin. He earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from M.I.T. and two degrees from Harvard: a master's in applied mathematics and a doctorate in engineering science.

Mear's research includes both theoretical and applied approaches to solid mechanics, with specialization in micromechanics, fracture mechanics and boundary element methods. In addition to teaching a popular course in Mechanics of Solids, Mear serves as the aerospace engineering undergraduate advisor and as an assistant graduate advisor to the engineering mechanics program.

Dr. Christine Schmidt, assistant professor of chemical engineering, received the Outstanding Teaching by an Assistant Professor in Engineering Award. She earned her bachelor's degree from UT Austin and her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Schmidt studies "biomaterials" unique blends of biological and inorganic substances which, when implanted into a living organism, promote growth or regeneration in the surrounding natural tissues.

She and her graduate students recently developed a biomaterial that specifically targets blood vessel growth and has potential applications in the fields of neurosurgery and reconstructive surgery.

Her innovative class in Cell and Tissue Engineering, which she designed to give students an opportunity to experience a real life work environment, accommodates both undergraduate and graduate students.

Schmidt also teaches the undergraduate chemical engineering course Unit Operations 1, for which she created a highly interactive lecture format that has been adopted as the departmental norm.


November 3, 2000
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