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Syracuse University professor Eric Lui named TACNY’s College Educator of the Year
Syracuse University professor Eric Lui named TACNY’s College Educator of the YearMay 07, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Eric M. Lui, associate professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIE) in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS) at Syracuse University, has been named the 2007 College Educator of the Year by the Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY). He will be honored at TACNY’s Ninth Annual Celebration of Technology Awards Banquet on Monday, May 14, at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Liverpool.
Samuel Clemence, professor of civil and environmental engineering in LCS and a Meredith Professor For Teaching Excellence, nominated Lui for the award. Clemence says Lui is an exceptional researcher and scholar, who has been successful in research and publishing activities and devotes a great deal of time to educating and mentoring students, on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. “It is clear that the overriding motivation in his career has been the education and nurturing of students, beginning with their classroom experience and extending into their professional careers,” Clemence says in his nomination letter.
“I am very pleased to see Eric receive this award,” says LCS Interim Dean Shiu-Kai Chin. “Eric exemplifies the kind of dedication to education and scholarship that is important for our students. In addition to all the scholarly work he does, Eric works tirelessly as department chair and is providing valuable leadership for CIE that is advancing the interests of the L.C. Smith College.”
Lui teaches some of the most rigorous courses in the engineering curriculum, including Mechanics of Materials, a key sophomore course for engineering students. “The course includes many difficult homework sets and challenging examinations, yet the student evaluations for Dr. Lui are always excellent — a testament to his ability to teach intellectually demanding material to undergraduate students,” says Clemence. “This is also true of his courses at the senior and graduate level. He is a very demanding teacher yet one that is perceived as fair, dedicated and always willing to assist students.”
Clemence also notes Lui’s ability to work with faculty members across the college and University. As department chair, Lui has provided mentoring and guidance to younger faculty members. An increase in the number of alumni donations and bequests to the department has occurred during Lui’s tenure, and “much of that success is attributable to the gracious manner in which he treats everyone and his thoughtful and kind demeanor to all of our alumni,” Clemence says.
Lui has been a faculty member in LCS since 1986, and he has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of mechanics of materials, numerical methods and structural analysis and design. He has served as the co-author and co-editor of five books in the field of structural engineering, and he was named a recipient of the College of Engineering and Computer Science Crouse Hinds Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997.
He has served as the faculty advisor to SU’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for more than a decade and was named recipient of the ASCE Faculty Advisor Reward Program from 2001-03. Under his guidance, the ASCE chapter at SU has received numerous accolades from the national chapter of ASCE. Lui has been a longtime member of the ASCE and has served on many ASCE publications, technical and educational committees. He has co-authored the leading textbooks in the field of structural steel design and analysis.
Liu is also a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction, the American Concrete Institute, the American Society of Engineering Education, the American Academy of Mechanics and Sigma Xi. He has been listed in more than 10 Who’s Who publications and has served as a consultant for numerous state and local engineering firms.
Lui received a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering (with high honors) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in civil engineering (with emphasis in structural engineering) from Purdue University.
TACNY enhances and facilitates the development, growth and advancement of education, awareness and historical appreciation of technology within the Central New York community. Through its programs and support efforts, the organization serves as a key link among technical societies in Central New York. Annually, TACNY recognizes the achievements of Central New York individuals, educators, companies and projects that contribute to the growth of technology within their region and throughout the world.