BLACKSBURG, Va., April 20, 2009 – Jaime De La Ree Lopez of Blacksburg, associate professor and assistant department head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2009 William E. Wine Award.
Established to honor the former rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors and president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the William E. Wine Award is presented annually to three Virginia Tech faculty members with a history of university teaching excellence. Nominations by students, alumni, and faculty in each college are reviewed by selection committees. Each college’s' candidates are reviewed by a university-wide committee, which then chooses the winners. Winners are awarded $2,000 and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence.
“Jamie can make tough technical concepts understandable to people with varying backgrounds,” noted James S. Thorp, the Hugh P. and Ethel C. Kelly Professor and head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “[He is] absolutely dedicated to teaching and he treats everyone as an equal — students and faculty — and students reciprocate that respect.”
As assistant department head, De La Ree Lopez oversees the education of 800 undergraduate students and the teaching of 70 faculty members. The winner of the Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Engineering Subjects in 2004, De La Ree Lopez recently reconfigured the equipment and projects in the Faraday Power Engineering Laboratory to help students better understand all the major areas electrical engineering. He also developed and updated power engineering courses and curriculum to show how new technology is applied to help control and protect the nation’s power grid.
Over the past four years, De La Ree Lopez has provided support to non electrical engineering students participating in the refresher course for the engineering licensing exam. He regularly provides information sessions on electrical and computer engineering courses and research opportunities to prospective college students and college freshman.
In addition, De La Ree Lopez decided last year to hold help sessions for final exams in a video broadcast studio and record the session to give students the opportunity to view the session as many times as they wish in order to correct possible misunderstandings from either the session itself or the related notes.
In a letter of support, Stephen B. Larson, vice president for sales and marketing for NDSL in Raleigh, N.C., and 1990 graduate of the electrical and computer engineering program, wrote “Jaime is an engaging individual and has an energy about him that is contagious. He loves his field of study and his students. This helped me, as I know it helped many others, to validate my choice to study electrical engineering and ultimately my choice of a career path. I left his classes excited about what I had just learned and eager to put this knowledge into practice.”
De La Ree Lopez received his bachelor’s degree from Monterrey Tech, in Mexico, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.