Conway Chosen for Campus Graduate and Professional Teaching Award
The consummate teacher, AE Prof. Bruce A. Conway has once again been recognized for his talents, this time with the 2011 Campus Graduate and Professional Teaching Award from the Office of the Provost.
Conway, a 30-year veteran of the AE Department, was one of only two faculty members from across the Urbana campus selected for this award, presented April 26 during the Celebration for Teaching Excellence. He and Roy Axford, professor of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, are this year’s awardees, and both are the first Illinois faculty members to have received the campus’s highest honors for both undergraduate and graduate teaching.
Criteria including sustained excellence, positive impact and innovative approaches to graduate or professional teaching were considered in choosing the winners. There’s plenty of evidence why Conway fits these criteria:
• Conway’s Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) scores have placed him on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent 57 times in his career, 26 times for graduate courses.
• He’s been honored with every College of Engineering teaching award available, as well as the 2007 Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He was a finalist for that award as early as 1990.
• Conway blends fundamental mathematics with recent numerical methods, some he and his graduate students have developed.
• He’s coauthored a textbook, Orbital Mechanics, used in his own courses and at several major universities, and he recently edited Spacecraft Trajectory Optimization, to be used in future courses.
• Conway has incorporated the MATLAB software into his courses, allowing students to do sophisticated numerical simulations of astrodynamics problems similar to those done in industry.
AE Department Head Craig Dutton offered these congratulations: “As teachers, our greatest satisfaction, and most humbling realization, is knowing that the lessons we share have the potential to grow exponentially. They can spread not only in distance, around the world, but in time, across generations. Professor Conway teaches about a person’s desire to reach far beyond our own planet. Like his subject matter, his lessons span great distances and will last for generations.”