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Doctoral candidates named Woolley Teaching Fellows



Shahriar Hooshmand and Yan Lu

Two doctoral students in The Ohio State University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering have earned some additional support for their instructional efforts. Mohammad Shahriar Hooshmand and Yan Lu have earned this year’s Woolley Teaching Fellowship.

The Woolley Fellowship was established to provide scholarships for students in materials science and engineering who have an interest in teaching. The selection process focuses on academic achievement, values of honesty and integrity, and leadership potential.

Hooshmand completed his undergraduate studies in civil engineering at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 2014.

The fellowship recognizes Hooshmand’s intellectual leadership and above-and-beyond engagement as an instructional assistant in Maryam Ghazisaeidi’s Fracture and Fatigue class in Fall 2016 where he invested considerable extra time far beyond the requirements to work professionally and highly effectively with the extensive and often demanding online section of the course.

“During my undergraduate studies, I found my interest in mechanics and the computational science field,” Hooshmand  said. “So, right after completing my bachelor's degree, I came to US to pursue my Ph.D. in applied mechanics and materials engineering at The Ohio State University, and I am currently in the third year of the doctoral program.”

Besides doing research, he loves teaching and interacting with “the great, smart and creative undergraduate students. It was a great opportunity for me to learn and assist at the same time as a teaching assistant in Dr. Ghazisaeidi's fracture and fatigue course.”

He describes himself as “humbled and honored to have been selected for the Woolley Teaching Fellowship. As a member of the computational research group, we are dealing with highly expensive calculations which need powerful systems. Besides the great motivations this award gave me to keep up with more of hard works, I plan to invest it in purchasing an advanced computer which is an essential equipment in my research area.”

His goal for after graduation is to continue computational mechanics field in either academia or a related research and development company.

Lu is a third-year PhD student in the Light Metals and Manufacturing Research Laboratory (LMMRL) directed by Alan A. Luo.

He was selected in recognition of his role as lead instructional assistant in Alan  Luo’s MSE 3141 course on Transformation and Processing of Materials in Fall 2016, especially his proactive role, support and sensitivity with the students in the aftermath of the attack on Nov. 28, where MSE3141 was the hardest-hit class within Ohio State.

“We all appreciated his leadership and industrious work to care for the affected students while maintaining fairness and consistency to the whole class and helping to bring it to a successful end,” said Wolfgang Windl, professor and graduate coordinator in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Prior to joining the group, he earned his bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China in June, 2014.

“During my undergraduate studies, I was involved in a project about aluminum alloy friction stir welding that sparked my interest in lightweight alloys and metal processing,” Lu said. “Thus, I came to US to further my study in a LMMRL group that is well-known in this field.” His current research focuses on process simulation of aluminum casting using an integrated computational materials engineering approach.

“Aside from research, I enjoyed my service as an instructional assistant to interact with our smart and creative students, and to pass on the knowledge that I have acquired to help them,” he said. “It gives a great sense of fulfillment to witness the students gaining knowledge and applying it to solve actual problems, as well as a wonderful experience for me to keep learning at the same time. I feel so honored and privileged for being awarded the Woolley Teaching Fellowship for my service in the course Transformation and Processing of Materials by Dr. Luo, and I am grateful to the committee for my selection.”

He said the honor is “a big motivation for me to keep on working hard in the future, and I cherish it a lot.”

After graduation, he plans to work in the field of lightweight alloys and metal processing in either academia or a related industrial company. “I would like to continue to accumulate new knowledge and experience to stay hungry and stay foolish,” he added.

A recent recipient, David Riegner, Ph.D., ’16, had been heavily influenced by Windl and Professor and Chair Peter Anderson, “who have imparted good teaching practices upon me and provided consistent advice regarding managing various aspects of teaching a course.”

The award gave him a chance to develop his own teaching style. “As a Woolley Teaching Fellow, I was given more responsibility in managing and steering the course and also the freedom to try new things,” said Riegner, now a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State. “It was a great experience to enhance my professional development and decide what type of teacher and engineer I aspire to be while sharing my experiences and aspirations with young engineers.”