Dutton, Tankersley Honored as Teacher, Staff Member of the Year

2011-07-12

AE Department Head J. Craig Dutton and Program Coordinator of Graduate Programs Staci Tankersley have been recognized as Teacher and Staff of the Year, respectively. 

Ryan Smoot, 2010-11 President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics student chapter, said AIAA members chose Dutton by a wide margin.

J. Craig Dutton
J. Craig Dutton

“Professor Dutton did an excellent job in explaining difficult material in his AE 312 Compressible Flow Course. He was attentive to student questions and efficiently used class time to go over course material. Outside of the classroom he held regular office hours that were very well attended and he had a genuine care for actually teaching students the course material,” Smoot said. “All in all he cared about his students and it showed.”

Dutton has been AE Department Head since September 2007. He had been a faculty member in the Mechanical Sciences and Engineering (MechSE) Department at Illinois from 1985 to 2004, when he became Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dutton was named the W. Grafton and Lillian B. Wilkins Professor in MechSE from 1998 to 2003, and was named a Donald Biggar Willett Professor in the College of Engineering from 2003 to 2004. He was awarded the College’s Abel Bliss Professorship upon returning to Illinois in 2007.

Staci Tankersley
Staci Tankersley

AE presents the Staff of the Year Award based on overall excellence in service to the students and faculty of the department. Tankersley excelled in administering the graduate program from admissions to thesis deposit, and in serving as the department’s personnel liaison.

Tankersley has been working in the College of Engineering since April 1991, when she started as an assistant to the AE Department Head. From August 1994 to February 2003 she coordinated research programs for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, then was an assistant to the College of Engineering Dean. She has been in her current position since August 2004.