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Honors and Awards

McCormick Names Winners of Cole-Higgins Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Advising

Neelesh Patankar, Todd Murphey presented with annual award

Neelesh PatankarTwo faculty members from the McCormick School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering have received the school’s annual award for outstanding teaching and advising.

Neelesh Patankar, professor of mechanical engineering, won the 2013 Cole-Higgins Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Todd Murphey, associate professor of mechanical engineering, won the Cole-Higgins Award for Excellence in Advising.

Each year, students nominate professors for the honor, and a committee chooses the winners. This year’s awards were announced at a faculty meeting on September 24.

Patankar, whose research focuses on algorithms that simulate the complex movements of bodies immersed in fluids, was cited for his passion for his subject matter and his engaging way of communicating it to students.

Todd MurpheyHe can take abstract concepts and provide students the understanding and context to make them relevant,” wrote one student nominator. “I can't speak highly enough about his involvement in the learning of undergraduates, his skills as a lecturer, and his infectious enthusiasm that spread to the members of his class.”

Murphey, who works on robotics and modeling and control of complex mechanical and biological systems, was chosen as an outstanding adviser because of his keen interest in his students’ success at McCormick and beyond.

"Professor Murphey is always interested in his students,” one nominator wrote. “During every advising meeting, he asks about their future plans and their job search … He makes the student understand how many more required courses they need to take, and then goes on to plan next quarter's schedule with them.”