Three at Florida Tech Earn Faculty Excellence Awards

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Three Florida Tech faculty earned the university’s 2007 Faculty Excellence Awards for outstanding performance. They are Georgios Anagnostopoulos, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, the Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching; Carmo D’Cruz, associate professor of engineering systems, the Andrew W. Revay Jr. Award for Excellence in Service; and Jean-Paul Pinelli, associate professor of civil engineering, the Award for Excellence in Research.
Anagnostopolous is credited with bringing in two National Science Foundation research grants that promote undergraduate research in machine learning. The first, for just under $100,000, is a collaboration among Florida Tech, Brevard Community College, University of Central Florida (UCF) and Seminole Community College. Over the past two years Anagnostopolous has mentored 15 undergraduates working under this grant.

Earlier this year, he was awarded a second grant, a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site grant, again for machine learning research. The funding was for more than $160,000. The program, which is also a collaboration with UCF, will recruit 10 engineering or science undergraduates from around the nation for each of next three summers and bring them to Central Florida to conduct research.

D’Cruz earned a Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellowship. This allowed him to establish a chapter of Students in Free Enterprise on campus and he continues to serve as the adviser. He earned the fellowship in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the field of engineering entrepreneurship. He is also a past chair of the American Society for Engineering Education Entrepreneurship division. He has been extremely active in mentoring junior high and high school students, encouraging them toward college science and engineering tracks.

Pinelli is the recipient of several grants for hurricane damage research. Most recently, in fall 2006, he earned a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to work on a wireless sensor network for monitoring hurricane wind impacts on coastal structures.

This is a continuation of the work he did in 2006 under a Florida Sea Grant Program award that funded a joint project with the University of Florida. Under that grant, his team evaluated the vulnerability of man-made coastal structures to hurricane wind damage.
In addition, he has led the engineering team that developed the Florida Public Hurricane Model for residential structures, and he recently received a new award to extend the model to commercial structures. 

The three were honored at Florida Tech’s Spring 2007 Honors Convocation on April 12.

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