Samueli School Honors Outstanding Faculty at Annual Awards Banquet

SamueliSchool Honors Outstanding Faculty at Annual Awards Banquet

Selected engineering professors received Fariborz Maseeh best teaching and research awards


Three outstanding faculty members were recognized for their numerous contributions in teaching and research at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering’s annual dinner and awards banquet held in the EngineeringGatewayPlaza on campus. The banquet took place following the seventh annual “California: Prosperity Through Technology” Industry Research Symposium, themed “Disruptive Technologies for the 21st Century:  Engineering the Life Sciences.”


Martha Mecartney, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering and materials science, received the Fariborz Maseeh Best Teaching Award, and Andrew Putnam, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering and materials science, and Lizhi Sun, Ph.D., vice chair of civil and environmental engineering and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and chemical engineering and materials science, were each honored with the Fariborz Maseeh Best Faculty Research Award.


Professor Mecartney - Fariborz Maseeh Best Teaching Award
Martha Mecartney, Ph.D., is a professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and is also affiliated with the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, the NewkirkCenter for Science and Society, and the Advanced Power and Energy Program.  She has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in materials science and engineering from StanfordUniversity, and a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering and materials science, as well as a bachelor’s degree in classics from CaseWestern ReserveUniversity.


Prior to UC Irvine, she was an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota, and a visiting scientist at the RockwellScienceCenter in Thousand Oaks, and the Max-Planck-Institut fur Metallforschung, in Stuttgart, Germany.


At UC Irvine, Mecartney has served as a graduate advisor for the materials science and engineering Ph.D. and M.S. programs, chair of the graduate admissions committee, and chair of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering faculty.  She has also been chair and chair-elect of the Academic Senate at UC Irvine, and a member of the UC Provost Academic Planning Group and the UC/CSU Joint Graduate Board Special Committee on Instructional/Research.


Mecartney’s current research areas include grain boundaries in ceramics and superplastic deformation, interfacial engineering for solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes, and atomic force microscopy metrology and nanoparticle characterization.


Her honors and awards include the Professor of the Year Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2006, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math, Science, and Engineering Mentoring in 2003.  Mecartney is a member of the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramic Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Associate Professor Putnam - Fariborz Maseeh Best Faculty Research Award
Andrew J. Putnam, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine. He obtained his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from UCLA in 1994, and M.S.E. (1996) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. Following postdoctoral training in cell biology, Putnam joined the faculty at UC Irvine in January 2003. He was a recipient of the Fariborz Maseeh Best Faculty Teacher Award in 2005, the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2007, and a New Faculty Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in 2008.


His primary research interest is the cell-matrix interface and its relevance to biomaterials and tissue engineering. Putnam’s laboratory seeks to develop rigorous design criteria for future generations of functional engineered tissues. These design criteria are based on a quantitative and predictive understanding of the signaling events induced by a cell’s interactions (both chemical and mechanical) with its surrounding extracellular matrix.


Associate Professor Sun - Fariborz Maseeh Best Faculty Research Award
Lizhi Sun, Ph.D., is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and chemical engineering and materials science, and also vice chair of the civil and environmental engineering department.  He has a Ph.D. in structural mechanics and an M.S. degree in civil engineering from UCLA, an M.S. degree in solid mechanics from PekingUniversity, and a B.S. degree in engineering mechanics from ZhejiangUniversity.  His research interests include micro/nano-mechanics modeling of heterogeneous materials, multiscale modeling of amorphous nanocomposites, and the development of elastography for cancer detection and diagnosis.

A UC Irvine faculty member since 2005, Sun previously taught at the University of Iowa, and the ChineseAcademy of Sciences, and was also a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA

Sun served as a research engineer in the Institute of Metal Research at the ChineseAcademy of Sciences.  He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Materials Research Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics.


He has served on several technical committees, has been a guest editor for the International Journal of Damage Mechanics for the special issue on Micromechanics and Damage Mechanics of Heterogeneous Materials, and an associate editor for the International Journal of Biomedical Imaging.