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Cited by students as being "challenging" and "inspiring," Taj O. Mohieldin, professor of engineering technology, recently received the A. Rufus Tonelson Faculty Award at Old Dominion University's annual Faculty Awards and Retirement Dinner.

The award, which consists of a check for $2,000 and a reserved parking space for one year, honors outstanding teaching, research or scholarly activities, and service. Sponsored by the Alumni Association, the award is named for one of Old Dominion's first students, Alan Rufus Tonelson '33, a loyal alumnus, professor emeritus and a retired administrator of the university.

A resident of Virginia Beach, Mohieldin joined the Old Dominion faculty in 1989 after earning a master's degree and doctorate in engineering from the university.

"Dr. Mohieldin is a gifted teacher who has applied his talents to educate engineering students," said College of Engineering and Technology Dean William Swart. "He is known by the students to be the toughest instructor in his department, yet he receives the greatest admiration from these students. His most important quality is his genuine concern that students learn the subject material… Dr. Mohieldin achieves this goal of high-quality teaching while maintaining very high standards in his classes."

Indeed, Mohieldin states that his teaching philosophy is to instill in students the desire for and the ability to accomplish lifelong learning. He is committed to improving undergraduate education and teaching methods, while maintaining high quality and tough classroom standards.

Mohieldin's Most Inspiring Faculty Awards in 2000 and 1991 and his 2001 Excellence in Teaching Award attest to his popularity in the classroom, as do evaluations from students.

"Professor Mohieldin's class is challenging, but filled with more realistic applications than any other course I have taken," said one student in a course evaluation. "All professors should teach with the same determination and desire as Dr. Mohieldin."

Another student wrote, "Dr. Mohieldin is an effective instructor. He should be the model for all MET courses. Although he pushes very hard, the results obtained from the materials learned are well worth the difficulty and time spent on his courses."

Yet another noted, "Taj is an excellent professor with an undying love for the subject. He makes the class interesting and fun."

A champion of the use of new technologies in teaching, Mohieldin co-developed a graduate engineering computer software course for fluid-thermal problems that was taught entirely on computers. He is currently working to develop two interactive CDs for thermo-dynamics and thermal applications courses that could be used for TELETECHNET and Navy College programs.

Mohieldin has published more than 50 papers in national and international journals and presented nearly 40 papers at national and international conferences.

He has been a principal or co-principal investigator for more than 10 research projects in the areas of supersonic/subsonic combustion, heat transfer, computational fluid dynamics, hypersonic wind-tunnels, solar heat pumps and high-speed flows. His current research is supported by the Hyper-x Program at NASA Langley Research Center.

A member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society of Engineering Education and American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Mohieldin has served as chair of the College of Engineering and Technology's Undergraduate and Tenure and Promotion committees.

"I can't imagine where I'd be in my education had it not been for Dr. Taj Mohieldin," said former student Nathan Luetke, "but I can guarantee that I wouldn't be as fascinated with or as determined to master engineering as I am now. There is no other instructor more deserving of this award."

This article was posted on: May 7, 2002

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