NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) announced that Associate Professor Shun Takai, Ph. D. was named its 2021 Faculty of the Year for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. The goal of the award is to recognize a faculty member that has excelled in teaching effectiveness, educational research, lab innovations, and much more. Faculty are nominated for the award by their peers.
Professor Takai’s teaching scholarship and research during the past year include two publications in the field of engineering education. He also began a three‐year, NSF‐funded grant for $179,000 titled, “Collaborative Research: Enhancing Design Teamwork Experiences and Learning in Engineering Education.”
“Dr. Takai is recognized for his many, and varied, contributions to undergraduate education. He is an outstanding teacher who consistently makes significant enhancements to the student experience as is evidenced in his high evaluation scores,” said Dean Donald Peterson, Ph.D.
“It is my privilege to join past recipients who have made significant impacts to the society, college, and their departments through education and research,” said Professor Takai. “This award was not possible without support from the department colleagues. I really appreciate all the support I receive from my colleagues. It is rewarding to be acknowledged for the work I am passionate about.”
His teaching efforts have included mentoring and advising students in a Fanuc robot assembly simulation project and 3D‐printed gripper prototypes in their capstone senior design projects.
He has also assisted the department in gathering program assessment data. He was instrumental in creating and updating the four-year course flow charts that help to ensure that students understanding the optimal sequence of course and their pre-requisite relationships, which in turn helps to ensure that they graduate on time.
Professor Takai joined the Department of Engineering Technology in 2012. He attended Stanford University where he earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, Design Division; an M.A. in economics, an M.S. in statistics, an M.S. in manufacturing systems engineering. He also has a B.E. in engineering science from Kyoto University, Japan.
“I feel especially honored to be working under the current college leadership who recognizes the challenges we currently face and supports us as much as possible so we can pursue our responsibility to the best of our abilities,” he said. “I enjoy working with students who have great potential to be future leaders in their fields. I hope I can contribute to their future success by helping them broaden their knowledge and equip them with skills to be successful after graduation.”