Each year, the dean of the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering honors exemplary faculty members for their dedication to excellence in research and teaching.

“There are many reasons the Clark School is one of the top engineering schools in the country, including student competition teams breaking records and world-class research in a broad range of fields. In the end the key to our success is the strength of our faculty, students, and staff at the Clark School,” said Robert Briber, interim dean of the Clark School. “Despite the many recent challenges, it’s been another of year achievement for our faculty—it’s great to be able to acknowledge their success through the Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Awards.”

This year’s honorees were acknowledged at the virtual Clark School Faculty Awards Celebration on Friday, September 25. 

The 2020 Faculty Dean’s Awardees are:

Junior Faculty Outstanding Research Award

Instituted to recognize research by younger faculty members who show promise of significant and lasting impact in the engineering discipline.

Dongxia Liu
Associate Professor
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Liu’s research focuses on functional materials synthesis and catalytic science for use as catalysts and membranes, where she is addressing challenging issues in renewable energy and chemical production, sustainable water supply, and environmental remedy. Liu has published 59 archival papers that have appeared in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals and has filed five patents. She has raised over $2 million in funding from a diverse group of sources and is a recipient of the prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, in addition to numerous other research and professional awards. Liu is recognized within her field for her innovative, interdisciplinary research that she has translated into commercial technologies, as well as her commitment to mentoring undergraduate and high school students.


Senior Faculty Outstanding Research Award

Instituted to recognize exceptional and influential research accomplishments in the field of engineering.

Eric Wachsman
Professor and William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research
Departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Director, Maryland Energy Innovation Institute

Wachsman is the founding director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, a state-funded institute signed into law in 2017. Wachsman’s lab is at the forefront of renewable energy research involving high-temperature ceramics. His advances in fundamental ionic transport and electrocatalysis have revolutionized solid oxide fuel cells, ion transport membranes, and solid-state sensors—technologies that are on the verge of commercialization and changing the landscape of energy. In recognition of these contributions and his service to the field, both in the U.S. and abroad, he was recently elected vice president of the Electrochemical Society by his peers, and next year will ascend to president of this prestigious scientific society.


Outstanding Performance Award in Teaching for PTK Faculty

Instituted to recognize the excellent contributions of professional track faculty in core areas of academic activity, including teaching and service.

James Green
Director of Entrepreneurship Education
Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute

Green has contributed to both the graduate and undergraduate educational mission of the Clark School by establishing the Master of Professional Studies in Technology Entrepreneurship, a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program with the Honors College. In addition, Green has been a pioneer in the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), where many of his courses are delivered through Coursera and are taken for credit at UMD by over 8,000 students each year. His programs have also been recognized by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship with the prestigious “Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program,” among other awards.


Outstanding Research Performance Award for PTK Faculty

Instituted to recognize the excellent contributions of professional track faculty in core areas of research.

Yunho Hwang
Research Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Hwang is a world-renowned expert in energy efficiency and innovative energy systems in air conditioning and refrigeration. His research has been supported by $12 million in grants and has resulted in over 300 papers that have been cited more than 4,000 times. As a result of his accomplishments, he has been honored as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and with several best paper awards, and has given numerous keynote and invited talks. In addition, Hwang has also contributed significantly to the academic mission of the Clark School by developing and teaching many courses over the years, as well as serving as an advisor to several competition teams, which twice won The MaxTech and Beyond Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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September 28, 2020

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