Professor Philip Varghese, holder of the Stanley P. Finch Centennial Professorship in Engineering and member of UT Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers, has been selected to receive the prestigious 2016 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.
Established in 2008 and the Board of Regents’ highest teaching honor, the awards are offered annually in recognition of faculty members of the University of Texas System academic institutions who have demonstrated extraordinary classroom performance and innovation in undergraduate instruction.
Competition for the award includes rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers over a period of three years. A large range of criteria and activities are examined such as classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.
“Philip is one of the most gifted teachers in the department – he has demonstrated excellence in teaching and advising for over 30 years at UT Austin,” said Noel Clemens, chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. “His dedication to teaching and advising is the trademark of his career.”
Students who submitted letters supporting Varghese’s nomination for the teaching award wrote glowing reviews on his teaching abilities and approachability.
“Dr. Varghese never fails to make himself available to students seeking advice for their coursework, research, or future careers,” a former student wrote. “He frequently urges students to come see him during office hours, though I have personally knocked on his door outside of his set hours many times, and have been warmly welcomed in. He is always ready with a smile or joke when he meets a student in the hallways of the aerospace building.”
Also a world-class researcher, Varghese has an international reputation for expertise in laser-based combustion and flow diagnostics and nonequilibrium flows. He has published over 80 refereed publications, has a strong track record of external funding and graduate student research supervision, and is co-inventor on five U.S. patents in the area of Raman spectroscopy.
Varghese has been a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics since 1989. He has received numerous awards for his teaching excellence, including the ASE/EM Departmental Teaching Excellence Award and the prestigious Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Award for Excellence in Engineering Teaching award. He was also named Professor of the Year by the Senate of College Councils in 2012.