NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A photo of Fazle Hussain is available on the
Web at http://www.uh.edu/media/nr/2007/
05may/fhussain_farfelawardph.html. A high-resolution photo is
available by contacting Lisa Merkl.
DECORATED PROFESSOR ADDS
FARFEL AWARD TO HIS LONG LIST OF HONORS
Mechanical Engineering Professor Fazle Hussain Inspires Students,
Colleagues at UH and Beyond
HOUSTON, May 16, 2007 – Fazle Hussain will need a larger
trophy room as this year’s recipient of the University of
Houston’s highest faculty honor.
Already one of the most decorated scholars in his field, Hussain
now can add the 2007 Esther Farfel Award to his list of accomplishments.
The award brings with it a $10,000 cash prize and an acknowledgement
of overall career excellence.
Coming to the United States from Bangladesh as a Fulbright Scholar
in 1965 and joining UH in 1971, Hussain is the Hugh Roy & Lillie
Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
As a fluid dynamicist, he has won all four of the field’s
most coveted awards granted by the American Physical Society, American
Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Institute of Aeronautics
and Astronautics. He also has been elected to the National Academy
He focuses primarily on the search for ‘order within disorder’
in fluid turbulence. His interests include aircraft drag and reduction
for lower fuel consumption and pollution, as well as abetting wake
hazard to reduce aircraft separation during takeoff and landing
– a major problem at busy airports. Additional studies he
is involved with include cardiovascular dynamics, cell mechanics,
nanomechanics and energy.
“As the only individual to be awarded all four major prizes
in the field of fluid dynamics, Hussain is the world’s most
celebrated scholar in the area of fluid mechanics and turbulence
studies,” wrote a UH colleague in an endorsement letter.
Leading the Aerodynamics and Turbulence Laboratory at UH, Hussain
was one of the first to recognize that the organized motion underlying
the seemingly random motion of turbulence is the key to understanding
and controlling it for technological benefits.
A colleague from another university wrote in a letter of support
that Hussain is “one of the top five experimental turbulence
researchers in the world. He serves as a benchmark against which
people should measure themselves in our profession.”
For a related story on Hussain’s aircraft turbulence research
that explains how he’s working to reduce airport delays by
saving time between aircrafts during takeoffs and during landings
by speeding the breakdown of vortices to turbulence between planes,
Hussain has published more than 250 scientific papers and received
more than $10 million in competitive research funding from federal
and state organizations. In addition to his impact on research and
scholarship, Hussain’s dedication to teaching and commitment
to service also are important elements that earned him the Farfel
honor. The very tenets of the Farfel award, Hussain said, are what
he believes is most gratifying about teaching – “the
transmission of knowledge, the creation of new knowledge, and professional,
community and academic service both inside and outside a university.”
He enjoys motivating students to think outside the box, provoking
them to think in fresh ways about turbulence.
“The satisfaction is in the quality of the results and publications
students achieve,” Hussain said. “I’m thrilled
if they get a good job, learn to give good talks and get significant
awards. Inspiring them as future faculty also is rewarding. If they,
in turn, go on to teach and motivate other students, I feel I also
am teaching their students, indirectly.”
In a letter of support, one of his former students wrote Hussain
“truly believes that teaching is not so much a matter of passing
knowledge through narration or demonstration as it is of training
the student on how to learn by rigorous thinking and critical analysis.”
In fact, Hussain asserts that he finds it “most gratifying
when a student has come to a level that he or she can challenge
my ideas, as it’s the intellectual battle with students that
produces new ideas. I’m happy when I learn from students.”
Perhaps one of his former students best sums up Hussain’s
Farfel qualities by outlining his multifaceted approach to his job
as a faculty member.
“A professor must not only teach, but also learn and create
new knowledge; support, grow and guide the educational and scientific
institutions of which he is a part; be a public resource in the
service of the broader society; and must pursue excellence to the
utmost of his abilities.”
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Cullen College of Engineering
UH Cullen College of Engineering has produced five U.S. astronauts,
ten members of the National Academy of Engineering, and degree programs
that have ranked in the top ten nationally. With more than 2,600
students, the college offers accredited undergraduate and graduate
degrees in biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental, electrical
and computer, industrial, and mechanical engineering. It also offers
specialized programs in aerospace, materials, petroleum engineering
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