1991 › John Lienhard
13th Farfel Recipient
Department of Mechanical Engineering
M. D. Anderson Professor of Technology and Culture, Mechanical Engineering,
Cullen College of Engineering
John Lienhard, host of KUHFs The
Engines of Our Ingenuity, has the most recognized voice at
the University of Houston. Professor Lienhard, who received his
doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, is also
the M.D. Anderson Professor of Technology and Culture at the Cullen
College of Engineering. A highly sought-after speaker recognized
in numerous radio markets, he has authored four books, hundreds
of articles, over a thousand radio essays and has conducted research
for many national agencies.
Professor Lienhard doesnt perceive
the Farfel Award criteriateaching, research, and serviceas
distinct activities. We at the university have one function:
to deal with knowledge. We must create, disseminate, and preserve
knowledge. Creation of knowledge occurs every time you walk into
a classroom. Preserving knowledge means putting it where it will
be retained by the public. The dissemination of knowledge has to
be associated with everything you do. It is this clarity of
insight and focus on the context of science and learning that endears
his radio show to thousands of listeners daily.
Professor Lienhard, who conducts his engineering
research in thermal sciences, believes teaching happens when you
create a process within the students mind. One person cannot
teach another. Teaching in that sense is an illusion.
What you can do is create a situation in which people learn, by
creating questions, by creating an environment within which students
become question-oriented. The good teacher is the person who does
not get in the way of the students own creative process.