By UBNow Staff
Published June 28, 2022
Four faculty members in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have been named recipients of the 2022 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence.
The Chancellor’s Awards acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and the ongoing pursuit of excellence.
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities. Recipients are Haiqing Lin, professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Junsong Yuan, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching honors those who consistently demonstrate superb teaching at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level. Recipients are Sabrina Casucci, associate professor of teaching, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Atri Rudra, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
From first-year students to doctoral candidates, Sabrina Casucci has taught nearly 1,800 students in traditional classroom settings, fully remote and hybrid flexible formats. She has also advised more than 150 students on their informal coursework, including independent research and capstone projects.
During the past five years, she has taught 19 courses that focus on technical theories, methods, applications and managerial topics.
In 2018, Casucci also helped the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) develop its first course to support fully online, credit-bearing instruction and non-credit-bearing professional development. She continues to incorporate new technologies, innovative teaching pedagogies and open-ended, immersive assessments to provide students with exceptional learning experiences.
In addition, she has worked with 12 ISE faculty members to transform their traditional, inperson classroom courses into 14 high-quality online courses that blend exceptional asynchronous instruction and synchronous interactions.
As director of the Engineering Management Program, Casucci led the effort to transform the program into a flexible and fully online format. In just three months, her efforts resulted in 200 enrolled students.
Casucci has served as a faculty adviser for undergraduate, master’s and PhD students. She has been recognized with the student-selected Tau Beta Pi Professor of the Year award (2019) and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Best Teaching Faculty of the Year award (2019). In 2020, she was named an Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador.
Haiqing Lin is a renowned scholar in the field of membrane separation science and technology. He develops high-performance materials for various carbon-capture technologies. He also works in water purification, industrial gas separations and polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cells.
Lin has garnered 23 grants totaling $12 million, including support from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior. Lin has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, including 80 in just the past eight years. He is a co-inventor on 10 patents and patent applications.
Lin is active in professional societies, having organized international meetings of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Chemical Society and the Materials Research Society.
He has served as a guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Polymer Science titled “Polymeric Membranes for Sustainable Development”; an editor of Scientific Reports; board directors of the Separation Division of AIChE and North American Membrane Society (NAMS); and a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy.
Lin was given the Innovation Award of the Separations Division of the AIChE. This highly selective award goes to a single individual annually for outstanding contributions to scientific, technological or industrial areas involving separations technologies. Additionally, in 2016, Lin received a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.
Atri Rudra examines the theoretical underpinnings of computing, as well as its interaction with society. This includes the potential negative impacts of computing, especially artificial intelligence. During 15 years at UB, he has emerged as a pioneer in these fields, helping the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) reshape its undergraduate curriculum and making UB a leader in teaching responsible computing.
Among the strategies and curriculum he has developed to address responsible computing is “Teaching Responsible Computing Playbook,” a Mozilla-led project that serves as a guide on how schools can update curricula to place more emphasis on ethics and societal impacts when designing technology products. As a co-leader on the project, he coordinated an interdisciplinary team of 32 faculty members nationwide and planned the book’s 21 sections while also serving as an author and co-editor.
Colleagues and students praised Rudra’s commitment to helping students succeed in class while maintaining the challenging nature of the course. Moreover, his commitment to inclusion and mentorship has led to the formation of one of the most diverse groups of undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) in CSE. Many of these teaching assistants have won CSE’s best UTA awards.
Rudra’s excellence in teaching and mentorship has been recognized by his peers and students. He received the UB Teaching Innovation Award in 2021 and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Senior Faculty Teacher of the Year Award in both 2015 and 2020. He also serves as a faculty mentor for two UB student clubs: UB DivTech and Society and Computing.
Junsong Yuan, director of visual computing lab in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is praised by his peers as being “among the most prolific and strongest scholars in the fields of computer vision and image processing,” according to his nomination letter.
A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he has published four books, nine book chapters, 114 journal articles and 218 conference papers in many prestigious venues. He has advised and co-advised over 35 PhD students and postdocs. According to Google Scholar, Yuan’s publications have received over 19,000 citations, and have an H-index of 65.
Yuan’s recent research focuses on human-centered computing, such as human sensing for inclusive and safe workplaces, virtual human for education and training. He has been a principal investigator on over 25 research grants, with recent support from the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Snap, Adobe and others.
Yuan is collaborating with colleagues from UB’s Artificial Intelligence Institute, Department of Architecture and Department of Psychology to solve human sensing and artificial intelligence problems.
Yuan is an elected fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Association on Pattern Recognition and Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association.