Honors & Awards: Two Top Teachers

Fall 2003

Charles V. Menevea

Charles V. Meneveau has spent more than a dozen years patiently guiding Whiting School undergraduates through the mathematically demanding field of fluid mechanics. This year, his students showed their appreciation by selecting the professor of Mechanical Engineering for a JHU Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.

“This was my first one, so it was extra sweet,” Meneveau said. He conducts research into turbulent flow and serves as director of the Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics (to learn about his Turbulence Research Group, visit pegasus.me.jhu.edu/ ~meneveau/). Yet his classroom duties remain a priority.

One of his students wrote that “His lectures were very clear, and he was very open to people who were having difficulty in the class.” Another added, “What makes him worthy of this award is not only his teaching but his approachability and helpfulness.”

In his office, Meneveau maintains an open-door policy for students seeking his assistance. Word about his teaching skills has been spreading. Usually his fluid mechanics course attracts about 10 students. Last year, enrollment more than doubled. “I really enjoy teaching,” he said. “I love explaining important concepts. When I see students respond to that, that’s the big reward.”

Wilson J. Rugh

Wilson J. Rugh, a faculty member for more than 30 years and a pioneer in the use of multimedia exercises and quizzes to supplement his classroom instruction, also was recognized this year with a Johns Hopkins Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.

Rugh is the E.J. Schaefer Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His Signals and Systems course provides important basic instruction for future electrical and biomedical engineers. Students who nominated him for the teaching award said he takes a keen interest in undergraduates. “He gets to know the names of the students after just a few weeks,” one student wrote.

Rugh’s innovative teaching methods include interactive exercises and quizzes posted on his Demonstrations in Signals, Systems and Control web site (www.jhu.edu/~signals). But he passes the credit along to the bright undergraduates who do the programming. Thousands of students and educators from around the world make use of the free tools on the site, which earned the 2001 Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware.

In 1997, when Rugh received the William H. Huggins Excellence in Teaching Award, he observed, “I’ve been teaching a long time, and I take my teaching very seriously.”