February 2, 2016

Contact: Amy Hewes

Cal Poly Engineering Announces Faculty and Staff Awards

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s College of Engineering announced recipients of industry and donor-sponsored faculty awards and outstanding staff awards. The presentations were made at the College of Engineering’s winter meeting in December.

Civil Engineering Professor Tryg Lundquist was awarded $1,000 with the Raytheon Excellence in Teaching & Applied Research Award; the Don & Paula Heye Award for Outstanding Club Advisor was presented to Civil Engineering Professor Garrett Hall; and the Don & Paula Heye Award for Outstanding Teaching was presented to Gary Perks, lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Department.

Martin Koch, technical support staff in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, and Lani Woods, analyst specialist in Electrical Engineering, received this year’s Outstanding Staff Awards.

Raytheon Excellence in Teaching & Applied Research
Widely recognized as one of the top experts in the field of algae biofuels, Lundquist frequently serves on Department of Energy panels in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He incorporates teaching into his applied research, employs graduate students in his work, and introduced a course that pairs undergraduates with a graduate student doing independent thesis research. The class teaches the students about safety, good laboratory practices and quality control. 

During his eight years at Cal Poly, Lundquist has been awarded many grants. To date, he has received about $3 million for research on the use of algae for simultaneous wastewater treatment and biofuel production, an area in which he has authored seminal publications. He has expanded his research into novel methods of anaerobic digestion. Lundquist also served as faculty advisor on a project to provide drinking water in emergency situations. The project resulted in the Cal Poly Waterbag, which has received patents and been the genesis of a start-up company.

Don & Paula Heye Award for Outstanding Club Advisor
Garrett Hall has served as advisor to the award-winning Cal Poly Concrete Canoe Team for more than seven years. For the past three years, he also co-advised the Cal Poly Society of Civil Engineers (SCE), which was recognized in May as the top chapter of 323 student groups in 16 countries. Hall encourages students to think critically about their own work and use technical and ethical judgement in the activities they plan and pursue. In preparation for the annual regional SCE conference, Hall held a safety meeting for more than 70 participants. Under his guidance, the students earned first place.
In addition, Hall is generous in providing time and advice to students about classes, graduate programs and career paths.
Don & Paula Heye Award for Outstanding Teaching
Gary Perks teaches a wide range of classes in electrical engineering and industrial and manufacturing engineering. In addition to the high evaluations he receives from students, he is recognized for pioneering online course delivery for the Electrical Engineering Department (EE) and for the College of Engineering, including the innovative use of testing centers for online exam delivery for students across the nation. Perks recently received a grant to develop online lectures for the EE courses he coordinates for non-majors. He is known for his clear and methodical teaching methods and for being approachable. Colleagues appreciate his generosity in sharing course materials and collaborating on curriculum.
Outstanding Staff Awards
Martin Koch
An expert in the area of casting and computer aided design manufacturing, Koch joined Cal Poly in 1984 and has served as both technician and lecturer for the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department. He is a leader for the department and the university in the casting curriculum, and he was instrumental in the development of the welding facility and continues to facilitate purchase or loan of the latest technology for the lab. Koch hosts an annual summer technology education conference for secondary and community college teachers and is known for working across disciplines with students from all colleges. Last year, Koch was a primary organizer of HTEC 2015, a principal training conference for educators of computer numerical control systems that automate component design. For his outstanding contributions, Koch was recently recognized by the California Industrial Arts Association. His dedication and spirit of cooperation was noted by students, faculty and staff.

Lani Woods
The analyst specialist in the Electrical Engineering Department since 2007, Woods manages the budget and personnel, and serves as the key administrator responsible for a wide range of activities, including faculty travel, teaching assistant assignments and alumni events. She is considered “indispensable” by faculty and the department leadership and the “go to” person for anyone who needs help with a department-related issue. Woods has been an advocate of the Academic Resources Conference, attending each year to expand her knowledge base and strengthen her own expertise, and encouraging colleagues’ attendance. In addition to supporting the work in her department, Woods served as a resource to the Computer Engineering and Computer Science Departments, offering her knowledge and expertise to help both areas thrive. Woods is recognized as having a tremendous work ethic and a generous spirit, offering her time and expertise to guide and assist individuals with a variety of issues and questions.

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