Smith to receive President’s Award for Engagement With Students

March 21, 2013


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Edward Smith, professor of aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering, has received the 2013 President’s Award for Engagement With Students.

The award is given to a faculty member who goes beyond his or her responsibilities to engage and encourage students in learning. The honorees have made themselves available to interact with students outside class, link students to opportunities, and help them build their confidence as learners and potential contributors to society.

A 1988 Penn State aerospace engineering alumnus, Smith has worked with students in the Engineering Advising Center for about 10 years. As director of Penn State’s Vertical Lift Research Center for Excellence, Smith developed Hands-on Helicopters, a first-year course that engages students with real hardware. He also developed a new helicopter section of a senior aircraft design course; four undergraduate student design teams co-supervised by him in this course have won national design competitions of the American Helicopter Society.

As long-time adviser to the local AHS student chapter, he has organized more than 45 on-campus seminars and 35 field trips to places such as Boeing Helicopters, Patuxent River Naval Air Station and the Geisinger Life Flight operation. He routinely engages students in his research programs and facilitates their presenting results at national venues such as the student conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Helicopter Society Annual Forum.

“Dr. Smith is the epitome of an ideal faculty member,” one nominator said. “His unselfish dedication and his practice of leading by example make him a respected and valued colleague across the University.”

Last Updated March 21, 2013