Outstanding Faculty Members Lisa Klein and Benjamin Glasser Honored

The Rutgers University School of Engineering recently honored faculty members Lisa Klein and Benjamin Glasser for their achievements in scholarship, teaching, and service at the annual faculty awards ceremony and reception. Klein, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, was named Faculty of the Year. Glasser, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, is this year’s Outstanding Engineering Faculty.

The Outstanding Engineering Faculty awardee is nominated by a department chair and selected by the School of Engineering Industry Advisory Board. The Faculty of the Year awardee may be nominated by any member of the Rutgers engineering community and is selected by a committee which includes previous recipients of the School of Engineering’s Medal of Excellence and Faculty of the Year awards. Recipients receive an award ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to further their scholarship and research activities.

“These awards are a source of great pride to the School of Engineering and the awardees are representative of the skills and accomplishments of our faculty,” said Tom Farris, dean of the School of Engineering. “In addition to recognizing the outstanding educational commitment of our faculty, the awards are also an excellent opportunity to highlight the leading edge research that is taking place within the School of Engineering.”

The 2018 winners were recognized at an awards ceremony and reception on the patio of the new Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering Building on September 20th, that was attended by faculty, staff, and students.

Faculty of the Year: Lisa Klein

Lisa C. Klein is a distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Since joining Rutgers University in 1977, she has been a vital member of the university community as a scholar, teacher, researcher, advocate, and mentor. Klein’s research interests lie in the area of sol-gel science, a low-temperature process for making glass and ceramics. Her research specifically focuses on processes for forming gels for optical applications, porous membranes, and electrochemical devices such as fuel cells, smart windows, and hermetic seals. Klein has five shared patents covering sol-gel processing for window coatings that help keep buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer, a sol-gel fiber used in fluorescing, and a sol-gel coating for an oxygen concentrator. She is currently conducting research on anti-corrosion coatings for steel and other metals. Klein is also noteworthy for her status at Rutgers University as the first female faculty member in the School of Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In addition, she was the first woman elevated to the professor II status in the School of Engineering, led the materials science and engineering graduate program for many years, and served two terms as president of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT union. A strong supporter of women and minorities in science, Klein was an early contributor to the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science, and Engineering. She has won numerous engineering and other awards, including the 2015 Human Dignity Award from Rutgers for her lifelong commitment to encouraging women, minorities, and economically disadvantaged students to pursue their aspirations. Klein earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgy from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a doctorate in ceramics, minoring in geology, from MIT.

Outstanding Engineering Faculty: Benjamin Glasser

Benjamin J. Glasser is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and his doctoral degree, also in chemical engineering, from Princeton University. Glasser is the director of the Rutgers Catalyst Manufacturing Consortium which focuses on improving catalyst manufacturing operations and is currently funded by eight companies. He is also the director of the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Engineering Program. Under his leadership, the program has developed a curriculum for a professional master’s degree in pharmaceutical engineering and science. As part of the implementation of the new curriculum, Glasser developed and teaches five new graduate classes on pharmaceutical manufacturing. Glasser’s main research and educational focus is particle technology applied to pharmaceutical, catalyst, and chemical manufacturing processes. His research focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of the hydrodynamics, heat transfer, and reactions in these systems and applying this understanding to improve the design and operation of industrial processes. Glasser has pioneered efforts to examine granular processes like fluid processes by developing understanding at the micro, meso, and macro scales through combined numerical, theoretical, and experimental efforts.

Other faculty awards include the Peter D. Cherasia Faculty Scholar Award which was presented to Marco Gruteser, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Established by Peter D. Cherasia ENG’84, this award recognizes and fosters excellence in teaching and scholarly activity in highly quantitative and computational aspects of engineering research related to financial problems. The A. Walter Tyson Assistant Professorship Award was presented to Xiaoli Bai, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Shishir P. Chundawat, assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, Xiang Liu, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Anand D. Sarwate, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Established by A. Walter Tyson ENG’52, this award is used to recruit promising junior faculty.

Promotions and Reappointments          
The School of Engineering is also pleased to announce the following faculty promotions and reappointments:

Promotion to Distinguished Professor
Manish Chhowalla Distinguished Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Peter Meer Distinguished Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Promotion to Professor
Francois Berthiaume Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Hao Lin Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Husam Najm Professor and Undergraduate Director, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jeffrey D. Zahn Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Promotion to Associate Professor
Gerardo Callegari Associate Research Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Hana Godrich Associate Teaching Professor and Undergraduate Director, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jie Gong Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Laleh Najafizadeh Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Shishir P. Chundawat Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Weihong Guo Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Jonathan Singer Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Jay C. Sy Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
George Tsilomelekis Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Haoran Zhang Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering