Industrial Engineering Professor Receives Distinguished Educator Award
Richard Cassady, industrial engineering professor and director of the Freshman Engineering Program in the College of Engineering, was selected to receive the IISE Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award. The award was presented at the annual Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Conference, held in May at Anaheim, California.
This award recognizes educators who contribute significantly to the profession through teaching, research and publication, extension, innovation or administration. Cassady definitely evidences this as he has received numerous teaching awards. In 2006, he received the most coveted teaching award at the University of Arkansas, the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award. In 2005, he received the John L. Imhoff Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Engineering. He is also an elected member of the University of Arkansas Teaching Academy.
Beyond his reputation as an award-winning teacher, Cassady is known for his research in repairable systems modeling, where he applies probability, optimization, simulation, and statistics in evaluating, improving or optimizing the performance of repairable equipment. This work includes the analysis and development of equipment maintenance policies including preventive maintenance, selective maintenance, and cannibalization.
Ed Pohl, industrial engineering department head, who works closely with Cassady in Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS) activities, had this to say about Cassady, "Richard is recognized as one of the premier tutorial speakers at the RAMS. Richard was awarded the Alan O. Plait award for tutorial excellence for his tutorial on Repairable Systems Modeling. He is passionate about helping educate the working professionals in the areas of reliability and maintainability. While Program Chair for the conference, Richard developed a certificate program recognizing completion of the RAMS tutorial program over a three year period. Richard was selected to teach one of the core 4-hour tutorials, 'Introduction to Probability Models in Reliability and Maintainability.' His introductory tutorial draws one of the largest crowds during the symposium and is consistently rated among the best of the 20 tutorials provided. Richard's knowledge, charisma, clarity of expression and ability to put all in the audience at ease, makes teaching difficult material to such a broad audience so successful."
As the founding director of the Freshman Engineering Program, Cassady has established a benchmark at the University of Arkansas and across the nation of best practices in the development and implementation of a successful first-year experience. This is evidenced by the increase in retention and graduation rates resulting from the creation of the program in 2007; second-year retention, 4-year graduation, and 6-year graduation rates within engineering have all increased approximately 10 percent.
Cassady's educational efforts in the community primarily involve FIRST robotics. He is co-director of FIRST LEGO League Arkansas, a founding mentor of a FIRST LEGO League team at Bernice Young Elementary School in Springdale, and founding mentor of a FIRST Tech Challenge team at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale. His work as co-director of FIRST LEGO League Arkansas includes directing the FIRST LEGO League Razorback Invitational tournament. The invitational, held each May on the University of Arkansas campus, is hosted by the Freshman Engineering Program and brings 72 championship-level teams from around the world to the University of Arkansas campus.
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