Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2009

Faculty Award winner

Kevin Mackie

 College of Engineering and Computer Science

 Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering

I believe in challenging students with concepts and historical, theoretical, and contemporary problems while sharing my passion for the subject matter. Ensuring students are forced to think for themselves is essential. I accomplish this in my classes through team and individual problem-solving sessions, and compliance of theoretical, analytical, and computer approaches to problems. While theoretical knowledge is essential, often understanding is greatly furthered by example problems, diagrams, photos, field trips, hands-on experiments, and actual real-life structures. Examples include design competitions using toothpicks (or other household products), and group projects that overlap with classes in other engineering disciplines to encourage synergy, interaction, and cooperation.


My philosophy for teaching undergraduate students is to combine a sound understanding of basic mathematical and physical principles with a selection of all of the above concepts to maintain an interest in learning, and promote the desire to work or pursue higher degrees in structural engineering. Assessment of teaching objectives and philosophy is carried out continuously in the form of weekly quizzes, oral student presentations, anonymous web-based suggestions from students, and placement of students in engineering firms and graduate programs. Considerable emphasis is placed on the feedback provided by students in the form of student evaluations of instructor and the continuous improvement forms filled out that describe student expe