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Andrea Hicks, Paul Block and Irena Knezevic
January 28, 2020

Three engineering professors earn distinguished teaching awards

Civil and Environmental Engineering professors Paul Block and Andrea Hicks and Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Irena Knezevic have been named three recipients of 2020 UW-Madison Distinguished Teaching Awards.

Block, an associate professor, won the Emil H. Stieger Teaching Award. The award was created in 1958 to honor the late Emil h. Stieger, a former president of the Deltox Grass Rug Company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and passionate supporter of Wisconsin’s state universities. The Steiger Award is traditionally given to junior faculty members.

Block’s research focuses on water management and sustainability. In May 2019, he won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to develop tools for seasonal cyanobacteria levels in lakes.

Hicks, an assistant professor, won the Teaching Award for Excellence in Community-Based Learning. The award highlights the work of outstanding faculty who incorporate meaningful, mutually beneficial community engagement into their courses. Hicks is active in the University Alliance program, which connects communities throughout the state with UW-Madison faculty for assistance on local projects.

Notably, Hicks and her students helped Juda School in Green County compare the environmental, economic and societal impacts of solar and wind energy systems at the school.

Knezevic, a Patricia and Michael Splinter Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, won a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards were established in 1973, and honor six faculty members each year for their excellence in teaching.

Knezevic received the Splinter Professorship in 2017. Her research focuses on understanding how charge, light and heat interact in nanoscale systems. Knezevic has researched topics including cascading laser systems, nanomaterials such as graphene and has been supported by the Department of Energy, NSF and Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

UW-Madison named 13 recipients for the 2020 Distinguished Teaching Awards.