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Engineering professor Sudhir Kaul receives state’s excellence in teaching award

By Geoff Cantrell
Sudhir Kaul

Sudhir Kaul

Sudhir Kaul, a professor in the School of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University, has received one of the University of North Carolina System’s top awards.

He is among the 17 recipients of the UNC Board of Governors Awards for Excellence in Teaching for 2022.

“Teaching – instilling curiosity, feeding a thirst for knowledge, and creating lifelong learners – is the foundation of our mission as a university,” said UNC System President Peter Hans in a letter to Kaul announcing the honor. “I am grateful for the passion, expertise, and scholarship you bring to the classroom every day, and I join the Board of Governors in congratulating you on your achievement.”

Kaul will receive the award at WCU’s spring commencement ceremony, along with a $12,500 stipend and a bronze medallion. The annual award was established by the Board of Governors in 1993 to underscore the importance of teaching and to reward good teaching across the university.

“My teaching philosophy emphasizes the open-ended nature of engineering problem-solving through a combination of task-based and project-based learning that is integrated with experiential learning,” Kaul said. “Task-based and project-based learning allow me to inculcate a high level of interaction to create an environment where learning can happen through multiple channels. This also allows me to significantly engage students while simulating real-life engineering projects and blending engineering science with engineering practice.

“I draw inspiration from students and make every attempt to inspire students to become thoughtful and conscientious engineers who can comprehend the holistic implications of technological solutions,” he said. “I believe that higher education is one of the strongest means of achieving social equity and I am proud to play a small role in this endeavor.”

Kaul has been with WCU since 2013. He received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006 and has held academic positions since 2008. He is the author of “Modeling and Analysis of Passive Vibration Isolation Systems.”

Kaul has industry experience in the development of vibration isolation systems, design and development of motorcycle powertrains, and design of hydraulic systems. His research interests include dynamic modeling for vibration isolation, motorcycle dynamics and fracture diagnostics. He has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Awards for Excellence in Teaching are presented to a tenured faculty member from each UNC System institution. Winners must have taught at their present institutions at least seven years. No one may receive the award more than once.

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