Tennessee Tech University civil and environmental engineering professor Ben Mohr did not expect to receive the Peter G. Hoadley Award for Outstanding Engineering Educator from the Tennessee section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
In fact, the adviser of TTU’s ASCE student chapter had completely forgotten he was nominated for it.
“For me, it just means that what I’ve been doing for the last five years or so with the chapter is being recognized,” Mohr said.
The award was announced at the annual section meeting, which Mohr attended with a group of students.
“Possessing a genuine interest in teaching students and excellent communication skills, Ben has gradually developed his own teaching style and made positive contributions to our undergraduate and graduate programs,” interim academic provost Sharon Huo, said in her letter recommending Mohr for the award. At the time, she was the civil and environmental engineering department chair.
The award comes on the heels of the chapter’s successful organization of the ASCE regional student conference during the spring 2011 semester. Approximately 840 students from 26 schools worldwide came to TTU for last semester’s conference to compete in dozens of engineering competitions, including the popular concrete canoe and steel bridge challenges. The TTU chapter is already preparing for the 2012 competition.
“I like working with the students on a non-academic basis. There are still a lot of teaching moments, but the relationship is more personal,” he said. “They can gain leadership experience, which is something many of them haven’t been exposed to.”