April 28, 2021

Mechanical engineering assistant professor of practice receives Odney Teaching Award


Ali Amiri, assistant professor of practice in the mechanical engineering department, has been selected for NDSU’s prestigious Odney Excellence in Teaching Award.

He will be recognized by President Dean L. Bresciani and Provost Margaret Fitzgerald with a plaque during the annual NDSU Celebration of Faculty Excellence event, scheduled for Thursday, May 13, at 3 p.m.

The honor, which is sponsored by the NDSU Foundation, recognizes outstanding faculty teaching. Candidates are nominated by students, and recipients are chosen by the Faculty Awards and Recognition Committee.

“Teaching someone new information and skills that they will remember and can put to use to increase the quality of life for themselves or the society is the greatest gift that anyone can give to another person. Teaching is my passion – I love teaching,” Amiri said about his teaching philosophy.

Amiri teaches a spectrum of subject matter, including such courses as Fundamentals of Visual Communications for Engineers, Engineering Mechanics, Thermodynamics/Heat Transfer and Design Project I and II.

Amiri strives to bring enthusiasm and motivation into his classroom, and he puts an emphasis on how theory can be integrated into real-world situations.

“My philosophy of teaching is to create and lead a culture and attitude of learning, rather than teaching prepackaged lectures and equations,” Amiri said. “My ambition is to create continued interest in learning and professional development in all of my students.”

His students praise Amiri’s teaching talents and his ability to adapt, such as moving his course materials online during the pandemic.

"He excites an interest in any of the diverse subjects he teaches by presenting material in a clear and organized manner, creating assignments that are challenging yet fulfilling to complete and by creating a positive atmosphere of learning,” said Carter Eisinger, who was among 15 students who nominated Amiri.

“He is an amazing teacher who is always willing to work with his students. His lectures and way of teaching is interesting and I believe it helps students to develop interest in the class and participate,” said student Ali Janjua.

“Dr. Amiri has a true passion for his subject and he shows it in his teaching,” said student Lindsey Prestholdt. “He also constantly challenges his students through high, but fair, expectations. He excels in all areas, including presentations, diction, explanation of the topic, clear guidelines, addressing students concerns and understanding of the topic. I can easily say he has been the best professor I have had in my three years at NDSU.”

Amiri joined NDSU as a graduate research assistant and instructor in 2013. He advises 45 to 50 undergraduate students per semester and he is the faculty adviser for the local chapter of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. He received the College of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award in 2020.

He also was a guest editor of the Journal of Polymers’ special issue titled “Long-term Behavior of Bio-based Composites and Polymers.”

Amiri earned his bachelor’s degree at Shiraz University, Iran; master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Dakota; and his doctorate in mechanical engineering at NDSU.

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