By Gina Carbone
Published March 2, 2020
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences faculty members Lora Cavuoto and Wenyao Xu are among this year’s winners of the President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring, the highest university award for undergraduate mentoring.
The Meyerson award recognizes faculty members who provide students with exceptional support and guidance to help them develop the skills needed for research, creativity, critical thinking and innovation.
It was established through a generous gift by the late UB President Emeritus Martin Meyerson and his wife, Margy Ellen, to honor exceptional teaching and mentoring at the university.
Award recipients will be recognized during UB’s annual Celebration of Faculty and Staff Excellence in the fall.
“Undergraduate students at UB benefitted greatly through their interactions with faculty-mentored research programs and creative activity across campus this year, including research in high energy physics, robotic-assisted surgery, and embedded sensing and computing,” says Ann M. Bisantz, dean of undergraduate education and professor of industrial and systems engineering.
“The Meyerson award allows the university to recognize those faculty who provide these significant experiences.”
Associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Lora Cavuoto directs the Ergonomics and Biomechanics Lab, as well as the SurgE Surgery Economics and Human Factors Lab.
Her research interests include the biomechanics of obesity, modeling worker fatigue development, and human factors concerns in laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgery. She has worked with more than 30 undergraduate students on these research projects.
A member of the UB faculty for eight years, she has taught a number of courses, among them Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory Methods, Human Factors in System Design and Work Physiology. She also leads the department’s NIOSH-sponsored Occupational Safety and Health Training Program.
Cavuoto holds a PhD in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech.
Associate professor of computer science and engineering, Wenyao Xu founded and directs the ESC (Embedded Sensing and Computing) Group, which investigates research topics related to hardware/architecture, operation systems, algorithms, human factors and their applications to medicine, and health care and security. He has published more than 160 technical papers, co-authored two books, and holds numerous international and U.S. patents.
A UB faculty member since 2013, Xu has long been a mentor to undergraduates, serving as a research adviser and mentor for numerous undergraduate research projects.
He holds a PhD from UCLA, and an MS and BS from Zhejiang University in China.
In addition to Cavuoto and Xu, Salvatore Rappoccio, associate professor in the Department of Physics, and member of UB’s High Energy Particle Physics and Cosmology group, as well as the CMS Collaboration, a group that brings together particle physicists from around the world to advance humanity’s knowledge of the basic laws of the universe, also received the award.