This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

SUNY honors UB faculty

Four named Distinguished Professors by Board of Trustees

Published: March 29, 2007

Reporter Editor

Four UB faculty members have been appointed SUNY Distinguished Professors by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

They are Colin G. Drury, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; George C. Lee, Samuel P. Capen Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in the engineering school; David M. Mark, professor in the Department of Geography in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Makau W. Mutua, Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar and Professor in the UB Law School.

The designation as distinguished professor—a rank above full professor and the highest in the SUNY system—denotes national or international prominence and an established reputation in the recipient's field of expertise.



An internationally known expert in human factors, human error and quality control, Colin Drury directs UB's Research Institute for Safety and Security in Transportation (RISST), which studies how human factors contribute to errors and inefficiencies in security systems, such as those used to inspect baggage and screen passengers in airports. RISST also investigates how and why inspectors fail to find defects during routine aircraft maintenance.

In recognition of his contributions to the fields of aviation safety and human factors, Drury received two prestigious national awards: the Federal Aviation Administration 2005 Excellence in Aviation Research Award and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's A.R. Lauer Safety Award.

A UB faculty member since 1972, Drury is a former chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and the founding executive director of the Center for Industrial Effectiveness, which works with regional industries to improve competitiveness.

He is a member of the Transportation Security Administration's Scientific Advisory Panel and serves on the National Research Council's Panel on Assessment of Technologies Deployed to Improve Aviation Security. As a member of these panels, he has reviewed security systems in airports around the world.

Drury is a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the International Ergonomics Association, the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Ergonomics Society.

He is a recipient of the Paul Fitts' Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Bartlett Medal of the Ergonomics Society.

Drury received a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Sheffield, England, and a doctorate in engineering production, with a specialization in ergonomics, from the University of Birmingham, England.



George Lee has made significant contributions to the field of engineering—at UB and on a national and international scale—in his 45 years at the university.

He has served as chair of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, as dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as associate director of the Calspan-UB Research Center and as director of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, now known as MCEER. He currently serves as special task director for MCEER.

He has been a proponent of international education, helping to negotiate UB's first exchange agreements in Beijing in 1980 and supporting more than 30 visiting international scholars.

He also has been active in promoting engineering education among members of underrepresented minority groups, helping to found the Buffalo-area Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM) program.

A prolific researcher, Lee has co-authored four books and published 250 papers on structural engineering and mechanics, steel structures and earthquake engineering.

His accomplishments have earned him numerous awards, among them the Superior Accomplishment Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Newmark Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Walter P. Cooke Award from the UB Alumni Association, the President's Medal for Distinguished University Service from UB, the UB SEAS Dean's Award for Achievement and the UB Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education.

A native of China, Lee received a bachelor's degree from National Taiwan University and holds master's and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from Lehigh University.



A UB faculty member since 1981, David Mark serves as director of the UB site of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. Mark also is project director of UB's NSF-funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) projects in geographic information science, which support more than 30 active doctoral-level trainees. Mark also is a member of UB's Center for Cognitive Science and the National Center for Ontological Research at UB.

Mark helped found the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and served as president of the organization in 1998. He also has chaired the UCGIS research, membership, and policy and legislation committees. He has served on numerous international editorial boards, conference program committees and advisory panels for funding agencies.

Mark's research interests include ontology of the geospatial domain, geographic cognition, cultural differences in geographic concepts, geographic information systems, human-computer interaction, and digital elevation models. He has been awarded more than 30 external research grants.

He has written or co-authored more than 220 publications and has made more than 200 academic presentations, almost three-quarters at professional meetings, and the others as invited talks at universities and government agencies.

Mark received bachelor's and doctoral degrees in geography from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada; he earned a master's degree, also in geography, from the University of British Columbia.



Makau Mutua directs the Human Rights Center in the UB Law School and is co-director of the Program on International and Comparative Legal Studies in the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, also in the Law School. He joined the UB faculty in 1996 after serving as associate director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. He also was director of the Africa Project at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

He has conducted numerous human rights, diplomatic and rule-of-law missions to countries in Africa, Latin America and Europe, and has spoken at public forums in many parts of the world, including Japan, Brazil, France and Ethiopia.

He is a member of the Executive Council and the Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), the most prestigious and largest organization of international lawyers in the world, based in Washington, D.C., and served as co-chair of the ASIL's 2000 annual meeting.

Mutua is the author of "Human Rights: A Political and Cultural Critique" (2002), and his most recent book, "Taming Leviathan: The Quest for Constitutional Reform in Kenya," will be published later this year. He has written numerous scholarly articles on topics that include international law, human rights and religion. He also has written human rights reports for the United Nations and leading nongovernmental organizations, as well as dozens of articles for such popular publications as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Mutua has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Iowa College of Law and the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.

He was educated at the University of Nairobi, Kenya; the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; and at Harvard Law School, where he obtained a doctorate of juridical science in 1987.