Skip to main content
Reid Van Lehn
April 17, 2024

Van Lehn honored for impactful education

Written By: Renee Meiller

On April 16, 2024, Dean Ian Robertson held an event to recognize engineering faculty and staff for outstanding contributions. Reid Van Lehn, Hunt-Hougen Associate Professor in chemical and biological engineering, received the Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Van Lehn deftly incorporates myriad methods in his teaching of challenging chemical engineering material to both undergraduate and graduate students. His courses draw on multiple technologies, simulations from his own research, real examples that illustrate societal challenges and impact, in-class learning assessments, inclusive student engagement techniques, and feedback methods that help him identify concepts to revisit. At the undergraduate level, he consistently seeks to identify relationships between course material and opportunities to conduct undergraduate research. As an alternative to expensive textbooks, Van Lehn provides his own lecture notes through the software program LaTeX; in class, he writes notes on an iPad so that his pace matches students’ note-taking speed. To promote participation and create a welcoming atmosphere, he also takes the time to learn all of his students’ names. Nearly perfect course evaluations and student testimonials are further evidence of Van Lehn’s impact.

Writes one student, “Professor Van Lehn not only is extremely knowledgeable in the topics covered in this course, but somehow he manages to make it entirely accessible to a student’s learning level though connecting to central topics in the CBE curriculum.”