SAE Honors Tech Professor With Educational Award

SOCORRO, N.M. March 22, 2011 – Mechanical engineering assistant professor Dr. Nadir Yilmaz was selected by the Society of Automotive Engineers to receive its top educational award. Yilmaz, who joined New Mexico Tech in 2006, is the 2011 recipient of the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award.

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Dr. Nadir Yilmaz -- 2011 winner of the SAE Ralph Teetor Educational Award

“It was a great surprise and joy to receive this award,” Yilmaz said. “I felt recognized for all of my hard work and dedication to working in the field of automotive engineering. Additionally, it reaffirmed my desire to continue working with SAE International as a means of public service in the field.”

Yilmaz is active in the Society of Automotive Engineers, serving as a committee member of the SAE Fluid Power Technical Standards Board and the editor-in-chief for the SAE International Journal of Fuels and Lubricants. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in New Mexico.

Yilmaz received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University (1999), Bradley University (2001) and New Mexico State University (2005), respectively. Prior to joining Tech, he taught mechanical engineering at New Mexico State University.

His research is in the areas of combustion, computational fluid dynamics, modeling of chemically reactive flow, renewable energy and internal combustion engines with emphasis on emissions and alternative fuels.

Yilmaz said he enjoys being a professor because he is helping form the next generation of engineers and scientists. “The key is to love your job and what you do,” he said. “I love to teach, do research, help students and the public. The successes that my students achieve make me very proud and encourage me to invest in the next generation. We must set the ground work for our future and this is my contribution to that goal.”

Yilmaz said he is pleased that New Mexico Tech is gaining recognition for excellence in automotive engineering, which is one of the newest disciplines taught at Tech, through the Mechanical Engineering Department.

“This award shows that our university is highly skilled in the area of automotive engineering, a research area not often associated with New Mexico Tech,” he said. “Despite our small size, we have been able to attract highly skilled educators and researchers to our institution, affirming our reputation as a specialized scientific university.”

Dr. Warren Ostergren, chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, nominated Yilmaz for the award and praised his contributions to student development. He said Yilmaz helped develop the fluid thermal sciences laboratory at Tech and fostered the introduction of computational fluid dynamics analysis as well.

“Dr. Yilmaz has also been teaching courses in our minor in aerospace engineering and that’s an important area that we’re trying to build up,” he said. “A lot of students are interested in aerospace and he’s been consistently teaching classes in that area.”

Yilmaz also helped launch the student chapter of SAE at Tech and serves as the faculty advisor. The club has an ongoing vehicle project that functions as an introduction to automotive design and helps prepare students for the mini-baja competition, which is part of the Junior and Senior Design Clinics.

A letter from SAE to Yilmaz said, “The credentials and standards of excellence of this year’s candidates were extremely high and brought about some very keen competition. Your outstanding contributions have distinguished you as one of the top engineering educators.”

As a Teetor Award recipient, SAE International will sponsor Yilmaz as a participant in the 2011 SAE World Congress April 12 to 15 in Detroit. Yilmaz and the other winners will be treated to an industry tour and a reception in their honor. Yilmaz will be honored at a special awards ceremony and presented with a plaque. For more information on the SAE World Congress, visit the SAE website at www.sae.org/congress.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech