Bernard Gordon Prize, Top ME Professors, & Design Engineer Hire

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has announced the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education winners. The Gordon prize is split between the school and the individual professors recognized by the NAE. This year’s Prize goes to four educators at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in Massachusetts, “for a project-based engineering curriculum developing leadership, innovative problem solving, interdisciplinary collaboration and global competencies.”

Two of the four individuals from WPI are Tau Bates, including: Diran Apelian, Ph.D. (PA Z ’68), professor of engineering & Richard F. Vaz, Ph.D. (MA A ’79), Dean of Interdisciplinary and Global Studies and associate professor of engineering. Read the award announcement for more information.

Τ has published a list of the “top 25 professors of mechanical engineering” to assist those interested in developing their skills and becoming an engineer under the tutelage of “some of the brightest minds in the field.” Click here to read the blog post that recognized each educator and their contributions to academia. The following is a brief description of the six Tau Bates that were included in the list.

  • Jeffrey S. Allen, Ph.D. (OH Q ’88) – professor at Michigan Technological University
  • Jonathan Cagan, Ph.D. (NY K ’83) – professor at Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
  • B. Terry Beck, Ph.D. (MI Q ’71) – professor at Kansas State University
  • Victor M. Bright, Ph.D. (CO E ’86) – professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Andrew S. Douglas, Ph.D. (MD A ’75) – Vice Dean for Faculty & professor at Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Vijay K. Dhir, Ph.D. (CA E ’68) – Dean School of Engineering & professor at UCLA (CA)


Nate J. Hicks, SD A 2010, has been hired by KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens as a new parts sales development engineer. Most recently he was a project engineer for Springs Fabrication, Inc. (CO). According to the announcement, Hicks’ primary responsibilities will include “increasing customer up-time and reducing overhead costs through improved parts design, according to the company.” His new position will have him return to South Dakota where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.


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