Willson earns Esther Farfel Award; four others tabbed for faculty, staff honors


Stephen Greenwell
Dr. Richard Willson of Biochemical & Biophysical Sciences.
Dr. Richard Willson of Biochemical & Biophysical Sciences.

Several members of the Cullen College of Engineering have been recognized via the Office of the Provost's 2020 Faculty and Staff Awards, headlined by Dr. Richard Willson of Biochemical & Biophysical Sciences earning the Esther Farfel Award, the highest honor given yearly.

The award, a symbol of overall career excellence, carries a cash prize of $10,000. Nominees must be tenured faculty members who have held a full-time, continuous faculty appointment for at least five academic years prior, and demonstrate excellence in all areas of faculty responsibility. The selection committee considers 1) the significance and national/international impact of the candidate's research or creative activity; 2) evidence of outstanding teaching ability; and 3) distinctive and exemplary service to the University, the profession, and the community.

Willson is the Huffington-Woestemeyer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the university. His research focuses on biomolecular recognition, and its applications in separations and molecular diagnostics. He had more than 50 academic publications to his credit.

The Moores Professorship – which is five-years and renewable – was awarded to four professors at the university. Included among them was Dr. Stuart Long, a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. His research interests include applied electromagnetics, an array of antenna-related pursuits, and engineering education, outreach, retention and recruiting.

The Career Award, given to faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching over the course of their career at the University of Houston, was bestowed upon Dr. Karolos Grigoriadis of Mechanical Engineering. He is also the director of Aerospace Engineering, and his research interests include dynamic systems and controls – feedback control systems analysis and design, linear and nonlinear systems theory, robust and fault-tolerant control, model reduction, filtering and system optimization.

Dr. David Shattuck, of Electrical & Computer Engineering, received an award for Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence. The award is given in recognition of faculty who have made sustained and significant contributions to education within the context of their responsibilities as a full-time faculty member.

Shattuck has worked on the development of computer-based tools, programs and textbooks for effective instruction in circuit analysis and electronics. He has also contributed to the Fourth Edition of the textbook Electric Circuits by James Nilsson. He has served as a reviewer for several journals and textbook publishers.

Dr. Lars Grabow, of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, was one of three winners of the Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award. The award recognizes the mentorship efforts of faculty at all stages of their careers, and acknowledges faculty who are making a significant impact in their field by supporting and mentoring undergraduate students in research and scholarship endeavors for at least five years.

Grabow's group uses computational methods to understand and predict chemical processes that occur on solid-gas and solid-liquid interfaces. In particular, its work focuses on heterogeneously catalyzed reactions relevant for energy production, energy storage, photocatalysis, pollution mitigation and the production of useful chemicals.


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