Oct. 5, 2022

NDSU College of Engineering faculty earn teaching awards


The NDSU College of Engineering has recognized two faculty members and a graduate student for their outstanding work in the classroom.

Mijia Yang, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, was named the 2022 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Yang’s teaching focus is on structural engineering, specifically including steel structural design, timber and form design, and dynamics of structures.

“I have had the opportunity to take the course Dr. Yang teaches on steel design, where foundational knowledge is applied to realistic design scenarios. This course was rigorous, but Dr. Yang displayed his deep knowledge of the subject matter by providing thorough, educating explanations of concepts and applications. He was happy to spend hours outside of class with students to review homework and to prepare them for quizzes and exams,” said Cameron Dahlin, a May 2022 civil engineering graduate.

The 2022 Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award was given to Abdul-Aziz Banawi, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering.

Banawi’s teaching focuses on construction management and engineering, specifically covering topics like construction estimating, construction specifications and contracts, construction management, construction graphics, construction materials and methods, construction building systems, scheduling, and sustainable design.

“In the classroom, Dr. Banawi brings lots of enthusiasm to his classes and is always willing to meet up with students for each individual’s needs. Each class is always engaging and keeps the students involved,” said Joseph Halter, a recent construction management graduate. “Outside the classroom he is always engaging with students discussing what him as a professor and what the CCEE Department can improve on to better the program as a whole. Dr. Banawi is always looking for ways to improve his impact on students here at NDSU.”

The College of Engineering also recognized the role graduate students play in advancing NDSU’s student-focused mission.

Zhaofan Li, who is working toward his doctorate in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, was named the 2022 Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year.

Nominators praised Li for his excellent problem-solving skills, engagement with students and dedication to teaching activities.

Yang, Banawi and Li are set to be honored at the College of Engineering’s Scholarship and Awards Reception scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13.

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