Since 1997, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) has granted the Harold Love Outstanding Community Involvement Award to five students and five faculty members. Named for the late Representative Harold Love, the award is based on demonstrated public service, the awardees’ impact on individuals or groups served, and overall effectiveness and leadership.
This year’s recipient is Dr. Ismail Fidan, professor with TTU’s Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Department. The award was granted on the basis of Fidan’s International Service Learning Course, where 20 engineering and business students and four faculty members from TTU traveled to Turkey to develop ideas on launching Turkish products in the U.S. Dr. Fidan is also one of the pioneers in Nashville-based NSF Art2STEM project which is focused to increase the number of under-representative and under-served STEM students in the Career Academies of Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Hosted at Celal Beyar University, the TTU students worked with ideas in design, packaging, manufacturing, and marketing to introduce the Turkish snacks and food products to American shores. The project culminated in customer feedback, business plans and marketing analyses, all part of a decision process for an actual product launch.
With Fidan’s efforts, a high number of Metro Nashville students and teachers have learned the cutting edge design, simulation and manufacturing tools like Alice, Google SketchUp, and SolidWorks. Throughout the Art2STEM project, he has trained the project teachers, mentors and coaches.
At TTU, Dr. Fidan has been engaged in teaching advanced design and manufacturing courses in online and on-ground formats. His innovative techniques in teaching with technology have brought many externally funded projects and awards to Dr. Fidan and Tennessee Tech. His service learning engagements, remote laboratory practices, STEM-focused projects, and online delivery of hands-on courses are found very unique and amazing by his students and administrators.
Fidan holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York, and has been a faculty a member at TTU since 2000. Fidan is a current commissioner of Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, life member of Tennessee Academy of Science, and associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology.
Fidan will receive an award plaque and a $1000 honor check. He will attend a reception at THEC’s offices in Nashville on April 25.