Engineering Faculty Awards Announced

The School of Engineering proudly announces our 2014-15 Faculty Award recipients: Darren Atkinson, Award for Teaching Excellence; Zhiwen (Jonathan) Zhang, Researcher of the Year; Nicholas Tran, Adjunct Lecturer of the Year, and Stephen Chiappari, Markle Award for Teaching Excellence.

Darren Atkinson, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering is the recipient of this year’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Atkinson challenges students to understand concepts and “to apply those concepts and skills in a technical and practical setting.” In giving this award, the School of Engineering acknowledges Dr. Atkinson’s commitment to rigorous instruction, high expectations, fair but tough grading, and honest dedication to learning.

Zhiwen (Jonathan) Zhang, Associate Professor of Bioengineering, is the recipient of the Researcher of the Year Award. Since coming to Santa Clara in 2011, Dr. Zhang has established a strong research program. He has published five papers in peer-reviewed journals, one book chapter, and one conference proceeding. Dr. Zhang has also been successful in receiving several external research grants and gained recognition in the area of Reverse Protein Engineering. In giving this award, the School of Engineering acknowledges Dr. Zhang's accomplishment in his scholarship.

Nicholas Tran, Computer Engineering lecturer is our Adjunct Lecturer of the Year. An associate professor with SCU’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, seated within the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Tran has taught for the Computer Engineering Department since 2007, and is praised for his ability to convey the abstract and complex concepts of Design and Analysis of Algorithms, a foundational course for computer science and engineering. In 2014 he created and began teaching an advanced level course on this topic. According to students he is an excellent instructor who furthers understanding through his clarity and use of practical examples. In giving this award, the School of Engineering acknowledges Prof. Tran’s contribution to the Computer Engineering Department and his positive impact on our students.

Stephen Chiappari is this year’s recipient of the Gerald E. Markle Award recognizing excellence in the teaching of engineering and applied mathematics. Students of Dr. Gerry Markle, the founding chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics at Santa Clara University, have established this award to honor his memory by recognizing excellent teaching. As the long-time chair of Applied Mathematics, Dr. Chiappari has shown an exceptional devotion to the teaching and mentoring of both undergraduate and graduate students, continuing a department tradition of rigorous instruction and high expectations. In particular, he was recommended for creating a highly successful new course in risk analysis tailored specifically to the requirements of the civil engineering department. His accomplishments are all the more remarkable given the demands of his many administrative duties, carried out with characteristic patience, efficiency, and leadership. In giving this award, the School of Engineering acknowledges Dr. Chiappari’s consistent commitment to student learning.

Congratulations to all of our faculty award recipients!