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Faculty member honored for innovative chemical engineering teaching

By Drew Daws

Published: Oct 1, 2019 12:00:00 AM

Joseph Shaeiwitz wins the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2019 Joseph Shaeiwitz wins the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2019

An Auburn University chemical engineering professor recently received a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to innovative engineering education methods.

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) honored Joseph Shaeiwitz, visiting professor in chemical engineering, with the Donald Woods Lifetime Award for Lifetime Achievement in Chemical Engineering Pedagogy.

He received the award at the ASEE’s 126th annual Conference and Exposition, where he spoke on lessons learned during his more than 40 years of teaching.

“This award was previously two separate awards; the first winners of those awards I consider to be role models that helped shaped my career,” he said. “It is an honor to recognized among this esteemed group of individuals who have contributed so much to pedagogy.”

Shaeiwitz is currently in his 42nd year in academia. He spent 29 years at West Virginia University prior to joining the Auburn faculty.

“While at WVU, I co-authored a very popular Capstone design textbook with my colleague, Richard Turton,” he said. “I was one of the first early on to disseminate pedagogy centered on active-learning assessment.”

Mario Eden, department chair in chemical engineering, said Shaeiwitz’s method of pedagogy has strengthened the core values of chemical engineering in preparing students for their future endeavors.

“Our department is fortunate to have someone like Joseph, a preeminent scholar dedicated to developing and enhancing education methods,” Eden said. “His commitment to excellence and dissemination of pedagogy make him undoubtedly qualified to receive this recognition.”

In his seven years at the university, Shaeiwitz has been responsible for introducing a chemical engineering math class and is a two-time Outstanding Chemical Engineering Faculty recipient. He has also twice received the William F. Walker Teaching Award. 

“Being at Auburn has made me enjoy coming to work again,” he said. “Several younger faculty members have recently been hired, so I have the opportunity to help them develop their teaching skills and provide them with class materials. This experience so far has proved to be profoundly rewarding.”

Shaeiwitz received his bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. He then received both his master’s and doctorate in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591

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