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MU Engineering announces faculty fellowships and honors

Clockwise from top left: Prasad Calyam, Jack Cheng, Curt Davis, Dong Xu, Chad Xing and Noah Manring.

This past spring, faculty representatives from the College of Engineering developed a Faculty Honors Program to adhere to the campus guidelines for awarding faculty fellowships and honors. This program was approved by Christine Holt in March 2018, and Dean Elizabeth Loboa has since sought recommendations for honorees from the College’s Dean’s Council for Teaching Excellence, Dean’s Council for Research Excellence and Engineering Policy Committee. Based upon their input and my review, Loboa recently announced the following recipients of the faculty honors:

  • Prasad Calyam, Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, to receive the Robert H. Buescher Faculty Fellows honor. Calyam consistently receives the highest ratings on his annual evaluations in all areas of teaching, research and service. This past year his research expenditures were over $365,000, and he has received numerous research and teaching awards. He has achieved so much in his short academic career and plans to utilize the funding from this award to help establish a multi-university, multi-disciplinary “Cyber Research and Education Initiative” at MU in the area of Big Data Cyberinfrastructure to foster Information Technology innovations.
  • Jianlin (Jack) Cheng, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, to receive the William and Nancy Thompson Missouri Distinguished Professorship in Engineering. Cheng is one of the most cited scholars in his field compared to others in a similar career stage with an H-index of 38 and an overall reputation score in ResearchGate of 40+, ranking him among the top 2.5 percent of all researchers in the database. Cheng has over $375,000 in research expenditures in FY17 and continues to develop nationally competitive research in the area of bioinformatics.   
  • Curt Davis, Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, to receive the F. Robert and Patricia N. Naka Professorship in Electrical Engineering. Davis is the Director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence (CGI), the President and Co-Founder of Terra 4D Systems LLC and has amassed over $550,000 in research expenditures for FY2017. In 2016, the center was awarded a five-year, $12 million contract to deliver comprehensive data science education programs for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, making this one of the largest awards in the college’s history. He was awarded the MU Top Faculty Achievement Award in 2017.
  • Noah Manring, Professor and Interim Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, to receive the Barton Professorship in Fluid Power in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Manring was the unanimous recommendation amongst all of the reviewers, as his work is extensively in fluid power having been awarded over 30 grants for fluid-power research resulting in almost $3 million in shared credit. Additionally, he has published two fluid power textbooks and has been awarded 11 patents in fluid power.
  • Yangchuan (Chad) Xing, Professor in Chemical Engineering, to receive the C.W. LaPierre Professorship in Engineering. Xing is a stellar faculty member with a nationally and internationally known research program. He has secured large, competitive federal grants which has placed his research in the top tiers in the areas of rechargeable batteries for electric cars. In 2016, Xing’s research expenditures of over $500,000 were the highest in the College, and in 2017, he brought in over $600,000 in expenditures, ranking second highest in the College. Additionally, he consistently ranks high in his student evaluation teaching scores and is well respected by his peers. Xing plans to utilize the funds from this honor to establish a research center at Mizzou, the Center of Energy Manufacturing Innovations, as well as develop online video modules and courses.
  • Dong Xu, Professor, and Director of Information Technology, to receive the Paul K. and Dianne Shumaker Endowment in Bioinformatics. This endowment was established to provide support for research and education in the field of bioinformatics. Chi-Ren Shyu — the original holder of the Shumaker Endowment who played an influential role to work with  Shumaker and the Advancement team to secure the $1 million endowment and has an outstanding track record in biomedical informatics research — will have a campus-level role and has gracefully passed the endowment to the deserving faculty in the College. Xu has extensive expertise and has performed stellar research in the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology. Xu has over 13,000 citations with an h-index of 58.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He continues to serve the college in a myriad of ways while maintaining a truly exceptional research program.

All of the above honors are intended to be awarded for three years but will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure good stewardship of the honor.

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