Dr. Yilmaz Receives National Education Award

SOCORRO, N.M. February 23, 2016 – Dr. Nadir Yilmaz has won another national award in engineering.

An associate professor of mechanical engineering at New Mexico Tech, Yilmaz was selected to receive the 2016 Excellence in Engineering Education Award from SAE International. He will be officially presented the award at the SAE World Congress in April in Detroit.


Dr. Nadir Yilmaz


"To win this award, you really have to be a great educator besides being a great teacher," Yilmaz said. "My efforts are both in and out of the classroom to help students to ultimately become the best engineers – and mechanical engineers – that they can be."

Dr. Warren Ostergren, Vice President of Academic Affairs, praised Yilmaz' efforts to mentor students and model how to be an excellent engineer.

"This award indicates the emphasis we place on engineering education at Tech and the quality of work that Dr. Yilmaz performs with students," Ostergren said. "I constantly hear from students how respecting and encouraging he is. Regardless of background or experience, he helps make students believe in themselves."

Yilmaz has conceived, developed, and assembled a research laboratory for engines and fuels, as well as two educational laboratories that were supported by the State of New Mexico and the Department of Education (STEM Grant). He has advised numerous minority students under the AMP (Alliance for Minority Participation) program for undergraduate research and has successfully taught, supervised, and trained many young engineers, which include many women and underrepresented minorities.

"I feel like this award brings greater publicity to New Mexico Tech," he said. "This shows that at a small school in New Mexico, we are able to provide quality education from exceptional faculty."

Yilmaz is very active in the SAE International. He is the editor-in-chief of the organization's International Journal of Fuels and Lubricants. He serves as the vice chair of the SAE International Education Board and will move up to chair for the 2017-18 term. On campus, he is the research advisor for two design clinic teams – the SAE Mini-Baja team and the SAE Aero Design Team.

He has been involved with numerous externally funded projects including those with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, Sandia National Laboratories, and NASA. He has brought many research grants and has established collaborations with overseas universities, companies, and small businesses in New Mexico and across the United States.

He has received numerous teaching, engineering, and research awards at the institutional, state, national, and international levels including New Mexico Young Engineer of the Year Award (2013), the New Mexico Tech University Distinguished Teaching Award (2013), the ASEE Section Outstanding Teaching Award (2013), the SAE International Faculty Advisor Award (2013), a U.S. Department of Energy Visiting Faculty Program Fellowship (2012–13), a Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Visiting Scientist Fellowship (2014-15) and the NSPE National Young Engineer Award (2014). He is also the first educator from a New Mexico Institution to receive the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award (2011).

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.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech