Three College of Engineering faculty named Distinguished Honors Faculty

May 17, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Three Penn State College of Engineering faculty are among the newest members of the Schreyer Honors College Distinguished Honors Faculty Program (DHFP).

Kenji Uchino, professor of electrical engineering; Ming Xiao, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Andrew Zydney, distinguished professor of chemical engineering, will serve as Distinguished Honors Faculty for the 2018-2020 program years.

Established during the 2010-11 academic year thanks to a gift from Penn State mechanical engineering alumnus Arthur Glenn, the DHFP is an inspired program that pairs Penn State’s top faculty with Schreyer Scholars for innovative and interactive programs that extend learning beyond classroom walls.

“The DHFP is a wonderful opportunity for Penn State faculty and Schreyer Honors Scholars to engage in small group discussions and activities. The faculty can choose to have a discussion about a timely topic over dinner or they might take the Scholars on a field trip to provide a new experience,” said Peggy Johnson, dean of the Schreyer Honors College and professor of civil engineering. “Regardless of the activity, this is a popular program for faculty and Scholars alike.”

In his “Ethics, Entrepreneurship, and Global Crisis Technologies for Engineers” program, Uchino will discuss ethics in engineering from different viewpoints, and also will offer programming on entrepreneurship for engineers. In addition, he will discuss global crisis technologies and security alliances for business and law students with an engineering background, as well as engineering students with a desire to become an international program or project officer.

Xiao’s program, titled “Introducing Scholars to Geotechnical Earthquake Research and Coastal Erosion in the Arctic,” offers Scholars planned laboratory visits, where they will experience model testing and will be introduced to geotechnical earthquake research. A few Scholars will be chosen to attend his workshops and field trips in Alaska, where they will be introduced to the global issues of climate change and multidisciplinary research so they can have a broader vision when pursuing graduate studies.

In his program, titled “Ethical and Financial Issues to the Life-Saving Technology of Hemodialysis,” Zydney will engage a group of Scholars in a series of discussions regarding the artificial kidney and current research efforts targeted at developing a fully implantable artificial kidney. The program also includes a visit to a local hemodialysis center in State College so that the Scholars could see the technology “in action” while also meeting with dialysis patients and nurses.

Nearly 20 faculty members across Penn State submitted program proposals, and a total of seven were selected by Johnson and Keefe Manning, associate dean for academic affairs in the Schreyer Honors College.

“We are privileged to have this program supported by Art Glenn that allows Schreyer Scholars to engage with our outstanding faculty beyond the classroom,” said Manning. “We look forward to what this class of faculty will share with the Scholars over the next two years.”

Johnson and Manning will be soliciting proposals for the next group of Distinguished Honors Faculty in fall 2018 for the class of 2019-2021. For more information on the program, visit  

“I am so excited for the new faculty who have been selected for the DHFP. They represent a wide range of interests and ideas for engaging with Scholars,” said Johnson. “I congratulate each of the new Distinguished Honors Faculty on this wonderful achievement.”

Last Updated May 17, 2018