Liebenberg named senior lecturer
Leon Liebenberg, who has served as a senior research scientist in MechSE since January, will assume the role of senior lecturer beginning in Fall 2017.
After teaching ME 300 (Thermodynamics) this summer, he will instruct ME 310 (Introductory Fluid Mechanics) in the fall semester. He also will assist with teaching ME 270 (Design for Manufacturability) and TAM 210 (Introductory Statics).
For the past 25 years, Liebenberg has been engaged in engineering teaching, research, and community engagement. He was a professor of mechanical engineering at two South African universities (University of Pretoria; North West University), before becoming a higher education consultant in Switzerland where he worked with colleges of engineering and technology management.
Liebenberg is passionate about multidisciplinary research, particularly in the fields of energy engineering, biomedical engineering, and engineering education. His university research has focused on development of industrial energy-efficient technologies and cancer therapies using energy restriction methods. His published research works enjoy an h-index of 22.
Stating his first love is for teaching, Liebenberg said he has co-developed and taught a unique freshman course on “Innovation,” in which students work in “whole-brain” thinking teams when addressing technological problems. “These helped show that innovation for a sustainable world can be maximized by the convergence of natural sciences, engineering sciences, and the arts.”
He also founded the TechnoLab technology awareness facility for junior engineering students and for school children, where the learners work in small teams to solve problems using Lego Dacta and other didactic equipment. The TechnoLab model has been adopted by several South African schools since its inception in 1997. Liebenberg also founded the Space and Aviation Challenge for school learners in South Africa, which aimed at demystifying the aeronautical engineering profession. The Challenge was annually presented for several years in collaboration with Nasa’s Dryden Lab who offered the first prize for a learner to attend Space Camp USA.
Liebenberg holds doctoral and master’s degrees from Imperial College London and from the University of Johannesburg.