Marc Christensen named Bobby B. Lyle Professor in Engineering Innovation

Geoffrey Orsak

Marc Christensen named Bobby B. Lyle Professor in Engineering Innovation

Marc Christensen, SMU's Bobby B. Lyle Professor in Engineering InnovationSMU’s Lyle School of Engineering has appointed Marc P. Christensen to its Bobby B. Lyle Professorship in Engineering Innovation. He is the first professor to be named to the recently established chair.

Christensen came to SMU from industry as the co-founder of Applied Photonics Inc., a Washington, D.C. area-based company focusing on the development of a new method in multi-scale optical design. Since arriving at the University, he has served as chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, providing leadership to the faculty while pursuing greater departmental productivity in research.

“Marc is one of our most valued and inspiring classroom instructors, a true innovative engineer, and an extraordinary researcher continuously striving to create novel solutions for challenging problems on the forefront of engineering and science,” says Engineering Dean Geoffrey Orsak. “His co-development of the SMU Innovation Gymnasium ‘Innovation Fridays’ lecture series and his central role in the redesign of our first-year engineering experience are just two examples of how his entrepreneurial spirit, intellect and energy continue to motivate young engineers.”

Dr. Christensen has been awarded several optoelectronic design patents, with several more pending. In addition to his scholarship, he has written numerous articles for engineering journals and serves as an invited guest speaker at many conferences. He has also contributed to or been featured in articles that have appeared in Wired Magazine, Discovery Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Among his honors for teaching and research are the 2004 SEJC Electrical Engineering Department Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, the 2007 SMU Golden Mustang Award, the 2007 DARPA Young Faculty Award, the 2008 Gerald J. Ford Research Fellowship, and the 2010 SEJC Electrical Engineering Department Outstanding Professor Award.

Christensen earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University in 1993. He received his master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1998 and his Ph.D. in electrical and computing engineering in 2001, both from George Mason University.

March 25, 2011|News|

Volkan Otugen named to George R. Brown Chair in Mechanical Engineering

M. Volkan Otugen, SMU's George R. Brown Chair in Mechanical EngineeringSMU’s Lyle School of Engineering has named M. Volkan Otugen to its George R. Brown Chair in Mechanical Engineering. The appointment is effective as of March 2011.

The endowed position was established in 1995 and previously held by Jack Holman, who retired in 2005.

Otugen’s appointment recognizes his “exceptional record as an educator, researcher, and leader,” says Geoffrey Orsak, dean of the Lyle School. “His proven excellence in these areas, combined with his international reputation, provides tremendous value to students in the Mechanical Engineering Department, the Lyle School and to the entire SMU community.”

Currently, Otugen serves as chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department in the Lyle School, as well as director of the Micro Sensor Laboratory. His undergraduate courses include thermodynamics, aerodynamics and rocket propulsion. At the graduate level, he teaches transport phenomena and convective heat transfer.

The holder of two patents pertaining to micro-optical sensor technology, Otugen has won significant research support from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in addition to continuous financial support from major international corporations. He serves on several international technical committees, including the Aerodynamic Measurement Technical Committee and the Sensor Systems Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Otugen is a contributing author for more than 120 technical journal articles and conference papers. His honors and awards include recognition as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fulbright Fellowship in 1998.

Dr. Otugen attended Istanbul Technical University, earning his B.S. degree in naval architecture and marine engineering in 1978. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering and mechanics from Drexel University in 1982 and 1986.

March 25, 2011|News|

Lyle School announces Hart Center for Engineering Leadership

Caruth Hall, Lyle School of Engineering, SMUDallas business and philanthropic leaders Linda and Mitch Hart are providing a gift to fund the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.

Housed in the Palmer Engineering Leadership Complex in the Lyle School’s new Caruth Hall, the Hart Center will build on the Lyle School’s co-op and internship programs, adding leadership seminars and workshops, a business plan competition, community engagement projects, innovation competitions and mentoring relationships.

Career fairs, mock interviews, a series of debates on engineering ethics and formal, videotaped presentations made in an executive boardroom will help students develop social and communication skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.

The concept for the multifaceted program emerged from growing evidence that successful, contemporary engineering leaders rely on a variety of skills that go beyond applied math and science. The Hart Center works with faculty across the campus to provide focused curricula and personal and team experiences to develop the leadership skills of future engineers.

For example, the engineering student who needs to build confidence for formal presentations may be guided toward a theater class offered through SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. A business plan competition offered in collaboration with the Cox School of Business can introduce students to working with a multidisciplinary team.

Approximately 750 undergraduate students in the Lyle School, including about 250 first-year students, are participating in the program this semester. Hart Center programs also are available to graduate students.

“This project has special meaning for both Linda and Mitch, who have a passion for promoting leadership,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The Linda and Mitch Hart Center for Engineering Leadership will prepare all of our students at the Lyle School to succeed with a strong combination of technical, management, communication and social skills essential for leadership and collaboration.”

“Over my lifetime, I have learned that leadership is not defined by a position,” said Mitch Hart. “A leader is someone people choose to follow – someone who can make a difference. It is my great pleasure to work with the Lyle School to provide students the tools they need to develop their leadership skills and maintain engineering’s role as a driver of economic growth.”

“Today’s engineers will be called upon not only to excel in their fields and be persuasive, but also to interpret their expertise in both business and public settings, contribute their talents to civic issues, and consider the ethical dimensions of problems and solutions,” said Linda Hart. “This Center will add tremendous value to an SMU engineering education by connecting Lyle students to faculty from a variety of non-engineering disciplines who will help hone their leadership skills.”

“This unique program is key to the expanding role of engineers in our economy and society,” said Lyle School Dean Geoffrey Orsak. “Our engineers will be able to work across disciplines, cultures and management styles to get things done – an absolute necessity to maintain our nation’s competitiveness.”

(Above, SMU’s Caruth Hall, home of the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership.)

> Read more from SMU News
> Visit the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership online

October 13, 2010|News|

Faculty in the News: Sept. 14, 2010

Fred WendorfWilliam Lawrence, Dean, Perkins School of Theology, talked about American attitudes toward the Muslim faith with The Dallas Morning News Sept. 11, 2010. In addition, he provided expertise for an article on the United Methodist Church’s recent membership survey in The New York Times Sept. 1, 2010.

Fred Wendorf (left), Henderson-Morrison Professor Emeritus of Prehistory in Dedman College, opened the UNM-Taos/SMU lecture series in Taos, New Mexico, Sept. 8, 2010. He was the subject of a profile in The Taos News on the same day.

Geoffrey Orsak, Dean, Lyle School of Engineering, wrote about the need for innovation in America for Design News. The article was published in the magazine’s August 2010 edition.

September 14, 2010|Faculty in the News|

Engineering school dedicates all-new Caruth Hall April 16

Artist's rendering of SMU's new Caruth HallThe entire SMU community is invited to celebrate the dedication of the new Caruth Hall in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. at 3145 Dyer Street, immediately south of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

The new structure, built on the site of the old Caruth Hall, is the second engineering building at SMU to be constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Standards.

It is also the third new engineering facility built at SMU in the past 5 years.

Funded in part by the Caruth Foundation of the Communities Foundation of Texas, the 4-story facility contains more than 64,000 square feet of space for teaching, research and innovation – nearly doubling the size of the previous facility bearing its name. It will house the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education as well as the Engineering Management, Information and Systems (EMIS) and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) departments.

Nearly half the building will be devoted to the Palmer Engineering Leadership Complex – including the Center for Engineering Leadership, the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Lab in the Innovation Gymnasium, a student advising center and a conference center.

The Hillcrest Foundation Amphitheater will offer exterior space for public gatherings, presentations and competitions. The 146-seat Vester Hughes Auditorium will provide special event space.

Engineering Dean Geoffrey Orsak will host an open house immediately following the dedication ceremony. RSVP online to SMU’s Second Century Campaign.

April 14, 2010|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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