This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Lewis’ teaching recognized by ASEE

Kemper Lewis (center) works with students in his product-dissection course as they “dissect” a computer monitor. The course was cited by the American Society of Engineering Education in its selection of Lewis to receive the Fred Merryfield Design Award. Photo: NANCY J. PARISI

Published: June 16, 2010

UB faculty member Kemper Lewis, a leading researcher in design automation, is being honored for his outstanding teaching methods and innovative pedagogical advances in engineering design with an award from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and executive director of the New York State Center for Engineering Design and Industrial Innovation (NYSCEDII), Lewis will receive the ASEE’s Fred Merryfield Design Award at the society’s annual meeting next week in Louisville. The award, established in 1981, recognizes an engineering educator for excellence in the teaching of engineering design, and acknowledges other significant contributions related to engineering-design teaching.

The award acknowledges Lewis’ “impact on academic, industrial and societal concerns in engineering design,” according to the ASEE. He is being cited specifically for developing an innovative grand challenge-centered senior design-methods course and a sophomore product-dissection course, as well as graduate courses in complex systems design and advanced design theory.

A UB faculty member since 1996, Lewis’ research focuses on decision modeling in design, including developments in distributed design, design visualization, reconfigurable systems and multi-objective optimization. 

He was a member of the National Academies Panel on Benchmarking the Research Competitiveness of the U.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award.

He has received numerous teaching awards over course of his career, among them the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award from SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), the Tau Beta Pi Professor of the Year (twice), the Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching Award and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Funding for his work in design research and education has come from the NSF, NASA Langley Research Center, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Office of Naval Research and the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). He also has helped develop education, outreach and research partnerships with a number of the leading engineering design corporations.

Lewis received a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA in mathematics, both from Duke University, and an MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.