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June 25, 2008


Prize Recognizes Outstanding Teaching, Contributions to Mechanical Engineering

NEW YORK, June 25, 2008- Dr. Latif M. Jiji, Herbert M. Kayser Professor of Mechanical Engineering in The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY), was chosen to receive the 2008 Ralph Coats Roe Award from the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Mechanical Engineering Division. 

This national award, which carries a $10,000 cash stipend and is given annually to an “outstanding teacher who has made a notable contribution to the profession,” will be presented to Professor Jiji today at ASEE’s annual conference and exposition being held in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Roe, for whom the award is named, was a founder and former chairman of Burns and Roe Inc., an engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance firm headquartered in Oradell, N.J.

“During more than half a century of college teaching, Professor Jiji has excelled as an effective educator and researcher,” said Dr. Joseph Barba, Dean of The Grove School.  “His colleagues join me in congratulating him on this recognition for his extraordinary career.”

At CCNY, where he has been a faculty member since 1964, Professor Jiji has received numerous teaching awards dating back to 1969.  In 2007, the Undergraduate Student Government named him Professor of the Year.  In student evaluations over his career, he has earned an enviable score of 4.85 on a scale one to five with five being ranked as “one of the best.”

Professor Jiji’s accomplishments as an educator have had a major impact on CCNY’s mechanical engineering program.  He drills students in a systematic problem solving methodology based on an approach he learned as a graduate student and used in the textbooks he has written.  Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, he worked with colleagues in his department to develop simple experiments his students could perform at home without need for special tools or instruments.

Over the past two years, Professor Jiji has been chairing a committee to develop an interdisciplinary Master’s degree program in sustainability involving The Grove School, The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture and CCNY’s Division of Science.  The program, Sustainability in the Urban Environment, was unanimously approved by the three faculties and the City College Senate and is currently being evaluated by the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs.

Other contributions include: helping to revamp his department’s undergraduate curriculum to emphasize new technologies; training and supervising adjunct professors; establishing and organizing an annual awards ceremony for undergraduate mechanical engineering majors, and serving since 1991 as advisor to CCNY’s award-winning American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) student chapter.  In 1997 he was the recipient of the national ASME Faculty Advisor Award.

As a researcher, he spent more than a decade collaborating with colleague Dr. Sheldon Weinbaum, Distinguished Research Professor, on developing a fundamental equation for heat transfer in living tissue.  The “Weinbaum-Jiji bioheat equation,” published in 1985, was recognized by ASME as the most-cited paper in heat transfer literature over a 15-year period. 

Professor Jiji continues to investigate micro-scale flow and heat transfer.  His research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Office of Water Resources, U.S. Army Research Office and NASA

In 2004, he was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to lecture and conduct research at Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal.  Among his other honors and awards are election as an ASME Fellow in 1997, Visiting Member at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 1971-1973, and the CCNY Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award in 1995.

Professor Jiji has authored three textbooks on heat transfer, two of which have had second editions.  The first edition of “Heat Transfer Essentials” (Begell House, Inc., 1998) was selected in 1999 as an Outstanding Academic Title by “Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.”

Born in Basra, Iraq, Professor Jiji emigrated to the United States in 1947.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he holds an M.S. from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Ph.D. from University of Michigan.  Prior to joining the CCNY faculty, he taught at New York University and University of Toledo.

About The Grove School of Engineering at CCNY

The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York, formerly the CCNY School of Engineering, is the only public engineering school within New York City.  It offers Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in seven fields: biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering and computer science.  The School is recognized nationally for the excellence of its instructional and research programs and ranks among the most diverse engineering schools in the country.  On November 28, 2005, the CUNY Board of Trustees named the School in honor of Dr. Andrew S. Grove, a member of the CCNY Class of 1960, and a co-founder and former chairman of Intel Corp., the world’s leading producer of microprocessors.  For additional information, visit www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/engineering.

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.