Farrokh Mistree Honored By ASME For Furthering Engineering Design Education

Farrokh Mistree, Ph.D., a resident of Purcell, Okla., and professor at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, will be honored by ASME.  He is being recognized for lifelong dedication and numerous contributions to the engineering design community, particularly for instilling a passion for design in generations of students as an inspirational advisor and mentor.  He will receive the Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Design Educator Award.

The award, established in 1998, recognizes a person who exemplifies the best in furthering engineering design education through vision, interactions with students and industry, scholarship and impact on the next generation of engineers, and a person whose action serves as a role model for other educators to emulate.  It will be presented to Dr. Mistree during the International Design Engineering Technical Conference to be held in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28 through 31.

Mistree has spent his career pursuing his passion: to have fun in defining the emerging discipline of complex systems, in defining new education paradigms anchored in competency-based education that encourages students to pursue careers in academia, and in providing an opportunity for highly motivated and talented people to learn how to define and achieve their dreams.  As an ardent educator, researcher, technical leader, advisor and mentor, Mistree has inspired countless students to study engineering design and, more importantly, to learn how to learn.

Since serving as a lecturer/senior lecturer (1976-81) at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), Mistree’s research accomplishments are embodied in the twin scholarships of design integration and design education.  His current research focus is on learning to manage uncertainty in multiscale design (from molecular to reduced order models) to facilitate the integrated design of materials, product and design process chains.  Currently, Mistree is focusing on creating and implementing, in partnership with industry, a curriculum for educating strategic engineers—those who have developed the competencies to create value through the realization of complex engineered systems.

Following his affiliation with the University of New South Wales, Mistree was an associate professor (1981-87) and professor (1987-1992) at the University of Houston before joining the faculty at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. At Georgia Tech (1992-2009), Mistree served as the founding director of the Systems Realization Laboratory (1992-97).  Founded by Drs. Allen, Bras, Rosen and Mistree, this was the first occurrence of faculty in the Woodruff School volunteering to share to gain and adopting principles of governance embodied in a Learning Organization as proffered by Dr. Peter M. Senge.  The members of this laboratory sought colleagues with a dream and a passion for making a difference by becoming the thought leaders of tomorrow.

After retiring from Georgia Tech as professor emeritus in August 2009, Mistree joined the University of Oklahoma (OU), Norman, where he is professor, director of the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and L.A. Comp chair.  Working with his OU family and others in the OU community, he focuses on developing a curriculum anchored in experiential learning.

Mistree has supervised 28 doctoral students and more than 50 master’s students, all of whom are well-placed around the world; 12 of his doctoral students are pursuing highly successful careers in academia.  In addition, he has mentored two students, one master’s and one doctoral, who now own several for-profit colleges in Orissa, India.

He has co-authored two textbooks; one monograph; and more than 350 technical papers covering the design of mechanical and structural systems, ships and aircraft, as well as more than 30 dealing exclusively with education.

An ASME Fellow, Mistree served as chair of the Design Engineering Division’s (DED) Honors and Awards Committee (1997-2003), co-general chair for the 1998 Design Engineering Technical Conferences, and conference papers chair for the 1994 ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference.  The DED honored him with Distinguished Service awards in 1998 and 2003, and the Design Automation Award in 1999.

Mistree received his bachelor’s of technology in naval architecture, with honors, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in 1967.  He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1970 and 1974, respectively.

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.

For more information, visit: www.asme.org

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