MELBOURNE, FLA. —Three Florida Institute of Technology faculty members recently earned the university’s 2012 Faculty Excellence Awards for outstanding performance. They were Gordon Patterson, professor of humanities, the Andrew W. Revay Jr. Award for Excellence in Service; Razvan Rusovici, associate professor of aerospace engineering, the Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching; and Daniel Kirk, associate professor and associate department head, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Award for Excellence in Research.
Patterson is a three-time winner for excellence. He earned the first excellence award for service ever bestowed for 1988-1989 and three years later received the faculty excellence award for teaching. Patterson was also the first to receive the university’s first Most Valuable Panther (MVP) award in the 1990s for student recruitment and retention. He is currently adviser to several campus organizations, including the College Players, which he has advised for more than 20 years. He originated and ran the Humanities Lecture Series for 25 years. As founding chair of the president’s Quality of Life Committee, he was responsible for several campus improvements and enhancements. He has served as adviser to the student newspaper, the Crimson and the Campus Media Board and was a founding faculty member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi. At Florida Tech’s recent Honors Convocation, Faculty Senate President Marc Baarmand described Patterson as an iconic figure.
Rusovici, who has taught eight different courses sincehe was hired at Florida Tech, has consistently received excellent evaluations from his students. During his supervision of the Senior Design course sequence, several student design teams receivednational, regionaland local awards, including theAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation’s 2011 Best Paper Award of theInternational Student Conference. Rusovici currently serves as faculty adviser to the Sigma Gamma Tau National Aerospace Honor Society, where he is dedicated to involving aerospace students in industry and social outreach activities. He is also active in multidisciplinary curriculum and course development in the College of Engineering.
A former National Science Foundation Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kirk focuses his research on air-breathing and rocket propulsion, experimental and computational fluid dynamics, shock tubes, combustion and heat transfer. He has obtained more than $3.5 million in external funding, produced over 70 conference and journal publications, and served as a visiting scholar at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA Kennedy Space Center. He has managed research projects for NASA, the United States Air Force and the Office of Naval Research. In collaboration with NASA and MIT, Kirk’s research group is currently directing experiments onboard the International Space Station to study how liquid propellant slosh behavior may affect the dynamics of rocket motion.