Engineering professors receive awards for contributions

Daily Sundial

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Four CSUN engineering and computer science professors were recently recognized by the San Fernando Valley Engineers’ Council for their contributions in engineering education.

Professors John Motil, Ahmad Sarfaraz, Jeffrey Wiegley and Robert Ryan were recognized at the Engineers’ Council’s 50th Anniversary National Engineers Week Honors and Awards Banquet held Feb. 26.

“The council is very grateful for excellent engineering educators, including all of whom CSUN has nominated for special recognition during National Engineers Week,” said Robert Tarn, president of the council.

Motil, computer science professor, was awarded the Distinguished Engineering Achievement Award for his leadership in engineering education.

Sarfaraz, manufacturing systems engineering professor, and Wiegly, computer science professor, were awarded Outstanding Engineering Achievement Merit Awards for their accomplishments in engineering education at CSUN last year.

Mechanical engineering Professor Robert Ryan was awarded the Engineering Educator of the Year Award for his leadership in engineering education.

Sarfaraz, who has been at CSUN for about 5 years, initiated and implemented an academic community service learning component for one of his senior design courses, Facilities Planning and Design.

“In this course, student projects are linked with the Valley Economic Development Center, a nonprofit organization providing service and resources for communities in need,” Sarfaraz said. “The center works with the North Los Angeles Small Business Development Center to provide services for companies located in federal economic development zones.”

Sarfaraz was also involved with the development of the M.S. Engineering Management online program. He has developed and implemented three courses for the online program.

“Designing and implementing these courses is a challenging and time-intensive process,” Sarfaraz said. “The process involves developing PowerPoint slides and designing suitable enhanced visuals and interactive workshops to enhance student learning in each subject area.”

Ryan, who attended CSUN in the early 1970s, is the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Section faculty adviser. He is known for his contributions to students’ extracurricular engineering activities.

“The best part about working at CSUN is the interaction with students,” said Ryan. “We are fortunate to have a lot of fine students in our program, and they are fun to work with.”

Both Sarfaraz and Ryan said they feel honored to have received awards from the council.

“I have worked hard here at CSUN, and I am pleased and proud that my contributions to our program were recognized,” said Ryan. “Clearly, it is a special honor, and something I will remember as a highlight in my career.”

The San Fernando Valley Engineers’ Council was founded in 1955 through joint efforts of the California Society of Professional Engineers, the American Institute of Plant Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, said Tarn.

“The award recipients are chosen from nominations submitted to the council,” said Charles Valk, Technical Symposium Committee chair with the San Fernando Valley Engineers’ Council. “There is a subcommittee of the Council Board that reviews the nominations and decides on the appropriateness of the award based on meeting the criteria that have been established for each award.”

“Through the years, the San Fernando Valley Engineers’ Council has presented numerous awards recognizing outstanding contributions by individuals in our community and throughout the world in the fields of engineering, education, special fields of work and public service.”

The council’s Engineering Week Banquet is the largest celebration of engineers’ weeks nationwide. It is the principle source of funding for the council’s scholarship, educational enrichment and mentoring programs conducted throughout the year, said Tarn.