Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

2020 TCE Faculty & Staff Awards Announced

Academic and administrative colleagues of the Tickle College of Engineering show appreciation for each other every day as a matter of course. Each spring, the college makes the highest of these acknowledgements official with the annual Faculty and Staff Awards.

The accolades are traditionally observed with a banquet gathering, but due to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that event has been rescheduled to the fall. Until then, we’re happy to present here the winners from CEE and a few words in honor of their accomplishments.

The Nathan W. Dougherty Award

This highest honor bestowed by the college recognizes engineers whose accomplishments have brought acclaim to the university. This year’s Dougherty plaque goes to Wayne T. Davis, former interim chancellor, dean emeritus of the college, and CEE professor emeritus. Read the full announcement about Davis’s Dougherty Award honor.

Outstanding Faculty Award

Recognize and reward superior service to and engagement with important constituents across three distinct categories.

Outstanding Outreach and Engagement Category

Jenny Retherford
Senior Lecturer
Retherford is truly impressive in facilitating engagement between civil and environmental engineering design students and the local community. She was instrumental in bringing the first service-learning course to the college. Particularly notable is her work with the Natchez Trace Bridge Barrier Coalition to advise students in developing multiple designs to make the bridge more secure and to discourage impulsive suicides. Her work is the type of high impact engagement the college seeks to encourage.

Charles E. Ferris Faculty Award

Recognizes and rewards faculty with a distinguished record of research and teaching as well as a record of contributions to the advancement of technology in the local community through local public engagement in the professional discipline.

Chris Cherry
Professor, Associate Department Head
Cherry has an impressive record with the community and university on improving transportation infrastructure. This includes transportation alternatives designed to reduce environmental impact and ways to more effectively integrate these into a range of options. His work has increased the visibility of the university both locally and nationally as a leader in sustainable and safe transportation.

Teaching Fellow

Recognize and reward superior teaching in the college.

Tim Truster
Associate Professor
Truster is a conscientious and highly competent teacher with an admirable passion for improvement of existing courses and development of new courses related to his research interests in structural engineering. He brought online offerings in finite elements to serve the needs of Department of Transportation students—an excellent example of how the college addresses its mission as the land-grant flagship.

Research Achievement Award

Recognize tenured faculty members who have been tenure-line for more than 10 years and have received national and/or international recognition in their field.

Dayakar Penumadu
Fred N. Peebles Professor and JIAM Chair of Excellence
Penumadu’s research is focused in advanced materials and geotechnical engineering with his most recent efforts directed toward carbon fiber composite materials characterization and their multi-scale mechanics, in particular for lightweight composites. Penumadu is a key researcher involved in the recently established Volkswagen Innovation Hub. His research is well funded from agencies including DoE, NSF, and the Office of Naval Research, and his development of flexible polymer-based scintillators have applications in homeland security for radiation detection in cargo and in industrial and medical imaging.