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She is recognized for linking education with and introducing students to professional practice

Sharon Jones, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the recipient of the 2007 Engineering Education Excellence Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

This national award recognizes engineering faculty who have demonstrated the ability to link engineering education with and introduce students to professional practice. “This is a real honor, because the award is for professors who are able to bring the engineering practice into the classroom, something I really believe in,” Jones says.

Sponsored by the Sustaining University Program of the Professional Engineers in Higher Education, a division of NSPE, the award recognizes mid-career individuals who are 45 years or younger in age at the deadline for submission of the award. Recipients must be licensed and have a tenure-track faculty appointment in an engineering program that is accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology.

Jones will be recognized on the NSPE web site and in PE Magazine and will receive a cash prize. A registered Professional Engineer in California, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, she has been a member of the Lafayette faculty since 2002. In addition to an introductory course in engineering and public policy, she teaches courses on geographical information systems and sustainable environmental management, as well as a capstone seminar for majors in Lafayette’s distinctive bachelor of arts program in engineering.

She also developed and teaches a multidisciplinary design course where students develop technical solutions to problems in rural communities in Honduras for Engineers Without Borders and is coadviser to Lafayette’s award-winning EWB chapter. The chapter received national media exposure as one of six college and university teams from across the nation to be awarded a $75,000 grant in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability in May 2006.

In January Jones was named a visiting research scholar in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy program at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The program provides a systematic introduction to the field of policy analysis and promotes understanding of the nature of scientific, technological and environmental problems and opportunities; the specialized methods used for analyzing scientific, technological and environmental issues; and the dynamics of science and technology in relation to national and international institutions and organizations.

A recipient of the College’s Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award for distinctive and extraordinary teaching, Jones was selected by the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program as a faculty member in residence in 2004. She has mentored many Lafayette students in collaborative and independent research projects and honors theses.

Jones holds a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy with an emphasis on environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.P.A. in public works policy from California State University, Long Beach, an M.E. in civil-geotechnical engineering from University of Florida, and a B.S. in civil engineering from Columbia University.

The mission of the Professional Engineers in Higher Education is to advance public welfare and safety through service to faculty, students, and practicing professionals by promoting the teaching of engineering principles, knowledge and skills pertinent to engineering practice consistent with the highest quality of practice and ethical standards, professional licensing and the professional, social, and economic interests of students, faculty, and the NSPE membership.

Categorized in: Academic News, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Faculty and Staff, Faculty Profiles, News and Features
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