2022 Tandon Faculty Awards
Our faculty members spend countless hours in the lab, devote themselves fully to their students, and continually seek to apply their knowledge and skills to better the world. While the work may be its own reward, at Tandon, we publicly recognize their efforts each year with a series of awards.
Excellence in Research Award
The annual Excellence in Research Award is bestowed upon a faculty member who has published in prestigious journals, mentored students, been recognized by professional societies, and conducted important translational research, and this year the honor went to Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Zhong-Ping Jiang, who is an affiliated member of Tandon’s Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications (CATT) and the Connected Cites for Smart Transportation (C2SMART) Center.
Jiang’s research interests lie at the interface of control and learning for network systems and have practical applications in many areas, including helping clinicians devise new ways to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s and developing safe and robust automated lane-changing technology that will encompass interactions between vehicles, complex routing choices, and interactions between vehicles and the environment — a project that could greatly increase road safety.
Junior Faculty Research Award
Assistant Professor Chen Feng (with a joint appointment to Tandon’s Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) is the recipient of this year’s Junior Faculty Research Award, which is presented annually to a tenure-track assistant professor in recognition of significant research accomplishments as demonstrated by publications in top-tier venues, funded research proposals, student mentoring, and recognition by professional societies. Chen oversees the AI4CE Lab, where he is working to advance fundamental automation and intelligence technologies such as robot vision and machine learning, while addressing the challenges their applications pose.
Distinguished Teacher Award
Industry Associate Professor Rakesh Behera (MAE) received Tandon’s Distinguished Teacher Award, which is bestowed upon someone who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching. Rakesh is widely known among students for his accessibility and patience, as well as his use of active-learning techniques and real-life examples that make his labs and lectures exceptionally engaging.
Jacobs Excellence in Education Award
The Jacobs Excellence in Education Award, aimed at recognizing and fostering innovation and excellence in teaching, went jointly to Industry Assistant Professor Christopher Policastro (TMI) and Industry Professor Pavlos Mourdoukoutas (TMI Program Director). Together, they spearheaded a transformative Industry Partnerships program for the Management of Technology Capstone course that has substantially boosted the school’s reach and reputation.
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Online Education
Professor Daniel Katz-Braunschweig (CSE) and Industry Associate Professor Itay Tal(CSE) received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Online Education, given to instructors who have demonstrated excellence, through personal commitment to students and the development and delivery of innovative online education material. The two are responsible, in large part, for the success of Tandon’s Bridge program, which prepares students with little to no STEM background for challenging technical master’s programs and which has grown from 16 students in the 2016 pilot phase to 700, with that number expected to exceed 1,000 soon.
Inclusive Excellence Award for Faculty
Assistant Professor Andrea Silverman (CUE, SEI, CUSP, C2SMART, NYU College of Global Public Health) is the recipient of NYU Tandon’s inaugural Inclusive Excellence Award for Faculty, established to honor a faculty member who demonstrates inclusive leadership and manifests the ideals of diversity, belonging, and equity through research and scholarship, creative work, teaching, mentoring, and service. Before coming to Tandon, she demonstrated her deep commitment to improving conditions for marginalized communities at the International Water Management Institute in Accra and at a nonprofit in Nairobi. Here in Brooklyn, she has demonstrated a similarly deep commitment to inclusivity in STEM, and her research group is one of the most diverse at Tandon.
Miguel Modestino (CBE and Director of the SEI) was accorded the title of Donald F. Othmer Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, based on his outstanding record of academic research, institutional service, and teaching achievement.
Juliana Freire (CSE, CATT, and co-founder and co-director of VIDA) had the distinction of becoming an Institute Professor, a rare title that honors exceptional and sustained contributions to the School of Engineering through outstanding research and educational activities.