School of Engineering faculty member Vicki Brown has been honored with the distinguished university professor designation. The recognition honors individual faculty members of distinction and represents the university’s commitment to recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service throughout faculty members’ careers. The honor was announced at the 2022 faculty awards program.
To be eligible for the designation, a faculty member must hold a tenured appointment at the rank of professor and be clearly identified by students and colleagues as an outstanding teacher. They must also have national or international recognition for scholarly research activities, and have made significant contributions as a leader at the university or in the faculty member’s profession or academic discipline. The designation has a three-year term.
Brown has been an active member of the university faculty for 41 years, including 18 as chair of the Civil Engineering Department, successfully guiding it through three accreditation visits under her leadership.
Brown has also played an active role in university faculty governance and has served several times on the Faculty Council Executive Committee. She was instrumental in the development of the laboratory curriculum, and in infrastructure for the undergraduate civil engineering program.
Brown’s belief that “in-the-classroom learning” is most effective when combined with “real-world learning,” she seeks out opportunities to provide students with networking experiences – taking them to professional society meetings and continually challenging them in a supportive environment.
She also established and administers student competitions at national and international levels for the American Concrete Institute. One of Brown’s most visible and important contributions is the development and execution of the Engineering Girls Camp. Given the under-representation of females in the engineering field, her efforts to bring young women interested in engineering together with female engineers and female engineering students has impacted numerous young women and helped them gain the confidence to pursue a traditionally male-dominated field.
In addition, Brown has made a significant impact in her area of expertise – the use of fiber reinforced polymers as a substitute for steel in reinforced concrete. She serves as chair of an international committee tasked with developing design codes for FRP-reinforced structural concrete.
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