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November 29, 2004

Engineer Receives Carnegie Teaching Award

Douglas Cooper, professor and head of chemical engineering, has been selected as the 2004 Connecticut Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He received the award on Nov. 18.

The State Professors of the Year Award Program selects outstanding educators in all 50 states. Winners are chosen for their dedication to undergraduate teaching, which is determined by excellence in four areas: impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contributions to undergraduate education in the institution, community, and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.

“Doug is well known on campus and across the nation for his dedication to his students and to the art of teaching engineering,” said Fred Maryanski, interim provost, who nominated Cooper for the award.

Cooper joined the UConn faculty in 1988. He holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Colorado, and previously worked at Chevron. He teaches courses in numerical methods and process control, using software he created. That software, which enables students to see how theory translates into reality in an industrial setting, is now used to train engineers at 150 schools and dozens of manufacturing sites around the world.

He also teaches a class in “engineering entrepreneurship,” where students learn how to thrive in a corporate environment. Cooper teaches them everything from the need to offer firm handshakes and make eye contact, to developing the ability to explain a project succinctly at a moment’s notice.

“Doug Cooper works tirelessly with students to help them craft accurate, eye-catching resumes and cover letters that will distinguish them as they enter the job market,” says Amir Faghri, dean of the School of Engineering. “He works one-on-one with them to develop job leads and refine interview skills. He even practices handshakes and discusses dining etiquette with them, in an effort to ensure they present the best possible professional image.”

Cooper was also named a University Teaching Fellow in 2003.