Four SEAS faculty receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards

Published June 13, 2016

Chen, Errington, Meng recognized for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; Schifferle recognized for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

Four SEAS faculty members were among the 18 UB faculty and staff honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

Jeffrey Errington, professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and SEAS associate dean for undergraduate education; Hui Meng, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Chang Wen Chen, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

The award recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching recipient is Paul Schifferle, adjunct instructor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The award recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level by adjunct faculty members. 

Described by colleagues as “among the most highly respected leaders in the international image and video processing community, Chang Wen Chen was recruited to UB in 2008 under the New York Empire Innovation program.

His sustained research output has resulted in many important and seminal contributions over the years across several areas, including digital image, video and multimedia analysis, coding and transmission. In recent years, his research has expanded into contemporary applications, such as social media and smartphone video.

He was the first person to apply mathematical and continuous mechanics models for analyzing complex cardiac motions based on 3-D and 4-D CT and MR images. This work has opened up a new research avenue in image-based cardiac motion analysis based on surface descriptions of the left ventricle.

A prolific scholar and fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineers, Chen has garnered a total of approximately $10 million to date in external research funding from both federal and industry sources.

Jeffrey Errington, who joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2001, is regarded as one of the premier practitioners of molecular simulation in his field. He has made significant contributions to molecular modeling methods and simulations that have resulted in important advances in the understanding of numerous physical phenomena, including wetting, protein absorption, the phase behavior of ionic liquids and properties of asphaltenes.

Errington is known in particular for developing and advancing the “Transition-Matrix Monte Carlo” (TMMC) method that is widely used by molecular modeling practitioners around the world.

A prolific researcher, he has published 86 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including many in the most prestigious journals of his field, such as the Journal of Chemical Physics, Physical Review Letters, Nature and Langmuir. Since 2010, his research has received more than $1.25 million in funding, including three substantial grants from the National Science Foundation.

Among his numerous honors are the 2013 Impact Award from the Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum (CoMSEF) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and a 2003 NSF CAREER Award.

Hui Meng is an internationally renowned expert and leader in two distinct fields: experimental fluid mechanics and cerebral aneurysm and hemodynamics. Originally recruited to UB to join the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1999, she also was named a research professor in the Department of Neurosurgery in 2004 and adjunct professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2010 so that she could pursue work that would have a more direct impact on improving human health. Since then, she has made what colleagues in the biomedical sciences call “significant and profound” contributions in cerebral aneurysm research, in addition to continuing groundbreaking work in her original scholarly field of experimental fluid mechanics and turbulence.

Meng’s work in the biomedical engineering field has provided the foundation for efforts to improve diagnostics, early detection, surgical management and treatment of brain aneurysms, and is credited by colleagues with opening new pathways to improving minimally invasive treatments, such as flow-modification therapies.

She also has leveraged her cross-disciplinary training in optics and mechanical engineering to pioneer the development of volumetric whole-field measurement of turbulent flow using holography, which has significantly advanced our ability to understand, model and control turbulent and other complex flows.

Meng’s research has received more than $17 million in funding from major national organizations, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

A UB alumnus — BS ’88, aerospace engineering, and MS’04, mechanical engineering, Paul Schifferle has served the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as an adjunct instructor since 2002. With nearly three decades of industry experience — including working for the past 19 years at Calspan Aerospace, where he currently is senior director of programs — Schifferle draws upon his professional experience to provide his students with what colleagues call a “unique ability to bridge real-world applications to well-understood and meaningful classroom experiences.”

Since 2010, he has been the primary instructor of two courses in MAE: the sophomore-level Introduction to Aerospace Engineering Practice (MAE278) and the senior-level, capstone course Aircraft Design (MAE434). It is estimated he has taught more than 1,000 students over the course of his career at UB thus far, and his student evaluation ratings are consistently higher than the average for SEAS faculty.