CEE Professor and collaborating scientist at UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Lee Han received the prestigious L.R. Hesler Award at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet. The L.R. Hesler Award was established by students, colleagues and friends of the longtime head of the botany department and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to reward exception teaching and service.
In the past decade alone, Dr. Han’s research has accounted for more than $10 million in funding. His particular expertise is in traffic safety, infrastructure and laws, with a key area related to the use of red-light cameras. His studies have investigated whether they improve safety and how municipalities can misuse them to generate revenue. His work has been cited nationally by media outlets from National Public Radio to the Oregonian newspaper.
Dr. Han, who almost always sports a bow tie in class, has a reputation among his students for being funny and upbeat, as well as for being able to inspire them. He is also a valued mentor to undergraduates and graduate students.
“He is not content to have students simply give back to him facts that they learned in his class,” his nominator wrote. “He challenges them to think outside the boundaries of the prescribed material in a creative way. He somehow manages to make his classes fun as well as informative and challenging, a rare ability that has led to his becoming one of the most-liked and respected teachers.”
“Dr. Han has built his career as a teacher-scholar by coupling exceptional teaching with a robust research program,” says Chris Cox CEE Department Head. ” He’s long been recognized as one of the department’s most outstanding teachers, not only by students but also by his peers. One of the strongest points of his teaching is his ability to motivate his students to engage the even the most esoteric subjects by helping them understand its value and usefulness to them in their career. Dr. Han’s colleagues in the department were all pleased to hear that he had received this well-deserved award.
In addition to Dr. Han’s award, several undergraduate and graduate students in the department were recognized.
Academic Achievement honors are awarded to undergraduates who exhibit extraordinary scholarship
- Brandy Manka
- Liam Weaver
Extraordinary Professional Promise honors are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate professional promise in teaching, research or other contributions.
- Ben Abban, PhD student in Water Resources
- Andrew Druckrey, PhD student in Geotechnical Engineering
- Thomas Epps PhD student in Water Resources
- Kristina King, Undergraduate
- David Layhew, Undergraduate
- Ziwen Ling, PhD student in Transportation
- Matthew McCarter, Undergraduate
- Chris Royer, Undergraduate
- Burcu Simsir, PhD student in Environmental Engineering
- Andrew Tilton, Undergraduate
- Cheng-En Yang, PhD student in Environmental Engineering
- Bailey Young, Undergraduate