MechSE Associate Professor Kimani C. Toussaint recently won the 2017 Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence from Engineering Council—making this the second consecutive year a MechSE faculty has won this award. He will be formally recognized at the College of Engineering Faculty Awards Ceremony on April 24.
Nominated by students and selected by the student-led Engineering Council, Toussaint was honored for his student-centered approach to instruction and learning, for his creative methods of teaching difficult material, and for his passion as an engineering educator.
Toussaint joined MechSE as an assistant professor in 2007. He earned his master’s (1999) and PhD (2004) degrees in electrical engineering from Boston University.
Toussaint directs the laboratory for the Photonics Research of Bio/nano Environments (PROBE), an interdisciplinary research group that pursues problems in both nanophotonics and biophotonics. His lab pushes the limits of far-field optics by fully exploiting the properties of light, such as its 3D polarization degree-of-freedom, its linear momentum (for optical trapping), and its angular momentum (both orbital and spin) to carry out optical characterization of single nanoparticles with high sensitivity. The biophotonics research pursued by PROBE relates to quantitative second-harmonic generation imaging of collagen-based tissues such as cartilage and the cornea, where quantitative markers are being developed for assessing tissue regeneration (wound healing), and the onset of various connective tissue diseases.
The Everitt Award was established in 1968 by undergraduate engineering students to honor Dean Emeritus William L. Everitt at the time of his retirement. The award, which annually recognizes one engineering faculty member for outstanding undergraduate teaching, is one of the most coveted awards available to faculty, and serves to emphasize the importance attached to good teaching in the college. The award is made possible through an endowment contributed by the personal and corporate friends of Dean Everitt.