Segal Professor Recognized with 2012 Charles Deering McCormick Awards
May 09, 2012 · Northwestern University has recognized Segal faculty member, Bruce Ankenman, for teaching excellence with a 2012 Charles Deering McCormick Award.
The award recognizes individual faculty members who have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance in classroom teaching or who have developed significant innovations that have also influenced the methods and teaching effectiveness of other faculty. Recipients are selected by the University Teaching Awards Committee.
Each holder of a McCormick appointment is designated a fellow of the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence.
Ankenman, associate professor in industrial engineering and management sciences, is a founding faculty member and current co-director of the Segal Design Institute and the director of the Master of Engineering Management Program.
He came to Northwestern in 1996 after a career as an electrical engineer. His decision to leave industry was borne of a desire to “help engineers to be more efficient and more effective as decision makers.” He teaches statistical methods by engaging his students in realistic engineering experiences.
With National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, he co-developed the Quality Engineering Laboratory to provide students with hands-on experience in data collection, statistical analysis and developing effective techniques for experiment organization.
He also is deeply committed to building engineering and design curricula that will attract students and teach them to effectively solve real-world engineering problems. For example, students in his highly acclaimed freshman design course, Engineering Design and Communication, have partnered with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in designing devices to assist disabled individuals accomplish simple tasks such as opening a jar, cutting vegetables, or playing the piano.
He believes that this focus on providing real-life experience is one of the key reasons why so many freshmen are attracted to the engineering program at McCormick. His students attest to his ability to explain principles using real-world scenarios and his emphasis on the need for balance between “statistical significance and practical importance.” Ankenman received his PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.