Amir AghaKouchak Participates in 2012 Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium

Symposium features innovative faculty

Assistant Professor Amir AghaKouchak, department of civil and environmental engineering, was one of 72 innovative educators who participated in the National Academy of Engineering's fourth Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium. The attendees were nominated by fellow engineers or deans and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants. The symposium was held Oct. 14-17 at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine.

The FOEE program brings together some of the nation’s most engaged and innovative engineering educators to recognize, reward and promote effective, substantive and inspirational engineering education. The program supports an ongoing dialogue within the emerging generation of innovative faculty. These educators have developed and implemented innovative educational approaches in a variety of engineering disciplines.  They came to the symposium to share ideas and learn from research and best practices in education at other institutions. They left with a charter to instigate improvement at their home institutions.

AghaKouchak’s was recognized for his development and implementation of two hands-on educational software packages, HBV-EDU and HBV-Ensemble, designed to help students learn the fundamentals of hydrologic processes, model calibration and sensitivity analysis. These hands-on tools provide application-oriented learning environments for teaching hydrologic phenomena through the use of a simplified conceptual hydrologic model.

"I believe that using educational software designed for teaching purposes inspires students, and I strive to enhance engineering education through development of more hands-on educational tools such as HBV-EDU and HBV-ENSEMBLE," says AghaKouchak, who joined the Samueli School faculty in fall of 2011. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from K.N. Toosi University of Technology in Iran and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Stuttgart in Germany.

AghaKouchak leads the hydroclimate research group at UC Irvine. The group aims to connect the disciplines of hydrology, climatology, and remote sensing to address critical global water resource issues.

--by Erik Wirtanen, school of engineering communications