Valparaiso University professors Jeff Will, Doug Tougaw, and Carmine Polito were honored at the American Society of Engineering Education Illinois/Indiana Section, held at Trine University this spring.

“The achievements of Jeff, Doug, and Carmine demonstrate the outstanding caliber faculty we have in the College of Engineering at Valparaiso University,” said Eric Johnson, Dean of the College of Engineering. “This recognition attests to their dedication in providing an extraordinary education to our students.”

Will received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award, which is the most prestigious award given by the ASEE Illinois/Indiana Section and focuses on outstanding classroom performance. This is the fourth time in the past decade that a Valpo engineering professor has been named as Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Previous award recipients include Tougaw in 2005, Polito in 2009, and Scott Duncan in 2011.

Will and Tougaw received the Best Paper Award for their co-authored study on “Problem-based Learning to Promote Student Creativity,” which focuses on using active learning exercises to increase student creativity and innovation. The research will encourage engineering professors to integrate problem-based learning into their curriculum and to inspire creativity in their students.

Tougaw was named the 2013 ASEE IL/IN Outstanding Campus Representative. This award recognizes faculty who promote outstanding teaching and research activities on campus, encourage other faculty members to submit articles to ASEE publications and papers for presentation at section and national meetings, and invite colleagues to engage in ASEE meetings.

Polito was elected the ASEE IL/IN Section Chair for the next two years, a position he previously held from 2009 to 2011. As chair, Polito is responsible for running the section business, the vast majority of which deals with the section conference. He will also serve as the interface between the Illinois-Indiana section and the ASEE National office.