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Landherr Recipient of the 2018 AIChE Award for Innovation in Chemical Engineering Education

August 7, 2018

ChE Associate Teaching Professor Lucas Landherr was awarded the AIChE Education Division’s Award for Innovation in Chemical Engineering Education.

The Award for Innovation in Chemical Engineering Education recognizes an individual who has “implemented a pedagogical innovation into a class or course that has made a significant and documented positive impact on teaching effectiveness and has enhanced student learning.” ( Prof. Landherr received this award for both the science comics that he has created and implemented in classrooms, as well as his work on the episodes of Crash Course.

Prof. Landherr has had the opportunity to work with student and professional artists to write a comic on teaching pedagogy for Chemical Engineering Education. This initiative is an opportunity to further work with the medium for broader instructional purposes. “I've worked with comics for my own side creative projects for a long time, and I knew the open possibilities in the format could allow for a way to integrate conceptual explanations with pictures that might help students break through their confusion and actually understand the concept itself. Written notes can be unclear and hard to return to, so capturing what the professor said (and maybe even what questions students asked) and actually depicting it for students to see in their notes could supplement the lectures and improve student interest, confidence and understanding” Landherr states.

In addition, Prof. Landherr’s work with Crash Course, in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios, has helped influence how engineering topics can be taught through another unique visual media. Crash Course is an educational YouTube channel that has produced 33 series on topics ranging from World History to Physics. Prof. Landherr has been working as the engineering consultant of the “Crash Course: Engineering” series that covers fields and topics throughout all of the main braches of engineering.

Prof. Landherr’s award will be officially conferred at the Education Division dinner at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh at the end of October. Congratulations on a well-deserved recognition!

This comic by Landherr is a fugacity comic that has been adopted for use throughout the U.S. and in some colleges in the U.K., Belgium, and Denmark.