The College of Engineering Announces Three Distinguished Faculty Fellows

By Liz Sheeley

The College of Engineering is honoring three mid-career faculty members as Distinguished Faculty Fellows in recognition of their extraordinary performance and impact in research, reaching and service to the College and profession.

Associate Professor James Bird (center) receives the inaugural Theo de Winter Faculty Fellowship from Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen (left) and de Winter (right). Photograph by Ilene Perlman

Associate Professor James C. Bird (ME, MSE) will be the inaugural holder of the Theo de Winter Distinguished Faculty Fellow, which honors a mid-career faculty member who has had an extraordinary impact on students through both teaching and mentoring.

With more than 50 years of teaching experience, de Winter is the most senior member of the College’s faculty. The endowed fellowship was announced after he stepped away from teaching in the spring of 2018, and generous alumni have given donations to provide an annual stipend for the fellow, which can be used for research or teaching initiatives and goals.

“I’m delighted to have been selected for an award that equally values contributions to teaching and research,” says Bird. “What makes this award all the more personal is that it honors a colleague, who was so welcoming to me when I arrived on campus, and is supported by our inspirational alumni.”

Associate Professor Ahmad ‘Mo’ Khalil (BME) will be the next holder of the Dorf-Ebner Distinguished Faculty Fellow, which honors a mid-career College of Engineering faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional performance and impact in research, teaching and service to the College, and is on track to become an outstanding senior leader in his or her field. Issued once every five years, the award provides each recipient with funding over a five-year period for discretionary initiatives in research and/or education.

Associate Professor Ahmad ‘Mo’ Khalil (right) with Roger Dorf (center) and Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen (left).

The Dorf-Ebner Distinguished Faculty Fellow award is made possible by the generous philanthropy of Roger Dorf (MS, MFG’70), who serves on the College of Engineering’s Leadership Advisory Board. The award was named in memory of Professor Merrill Ebner, Dorf’s mentor and pioneer of the field of manufacturing engineering, who established the College of Engineering as a leader in the US in the late 1960s.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as the next holder of the Dorf-Ebner Distinguished Faculty Fellowship,” says Khalil. “Dr. Ebner’s pioneering efforts to develop manufacturing engineering into a true engineering discipline are an inspiration for me and my research group as we try to advance the emerging discipline of synthetic biology. Additionally, I aspire to follow his innovative and enduring focus on teaching and mentorship. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Dorf for his generous philanthropy to establish this visionary fellowship for the College of Engineering.”

Associate Professor Bobak Nazer (ECE, SE) will be the next holder of the College of Engineering Distinguished Faculty Fellow, an award that recognizes mid-career faculty members for significant contributions to their field. The fellowship will provide Nazer with research support funding for the next five years.

“I am thrilled and honored to be selected for this fellowship,” says Nazer. “We are lucky to have such a friendly and collaborative culture in BU ENG, and I am looking forward to using these funds to explore new research directions and teaching initiatives with colleagues and students.”