About the Award
The Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award recognizes excellence in contributing directly and indirectly to student learning through teaching, research, and creative activities; advising; academic program development; and educational leadership.
Eray Aydil received this award at the Distinguished Teaching Awards ceremony on April 27, 2017.
Each year, the Alumni Association is proud to join the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in supporting the Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize the outstanding work of U of M educators. Recipients of the awards are inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.
About Eray Aydil
- Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
- College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
It should come as no surprise that Eray Aydil receives rave reviews from his graduate students. He follows the unusual (for a senior faculty member) habit of teaching them hands-on, in the laboratory. This builds confidence that stands them in good stead later.
Aydil’s students learn the importance of clear scientific communication by watching him grope for the right words to convey a message; they learn how to approach analysis by watching him struggle to find the ideal way to plot data and visualize emerging patterns; and they nurture their intuition and confidence to experiment on their own by seeing him make decisions on the spot, based on fresh data.
A former student recalls how Aydil always treated him with respect. “A person who respectfully and patiently transmits their knowledge to their students is, to me, the epitome of an educator,” the student says.
Aydil’s department has long offered separate doctorates in chemical engineering and materials science; however, there were sound reasons to merge the curricula at the graduate level. This was easier said than done, but Aydil paved the way when he redesigned and taught a required graduate course in thermodynamics so that students from either discipline could benefit. Says an admiring colleague, “Eray has driven change in our curriculum, and in my view he has started us down a path that will ultimately lead to a hybrid Ph.D. in chemical and materials engineering.”
“I view research not as a separate activity from teaching, but as a vehicle to mentor students. I choose the research projects I pursue based on whether they will excite and educate my students.”
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