College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ME’s Balasubramanian named 2017 McNair Faculty Mentor of the Year

Mechanical engineering assistant professor Ganesh Balasubramanian (right) poses with Mouhamad Diallo, a junior double-majoring in mechanical engineering and materials engineering, inside Black Engineering Building on April 24, 2017. Photo by Nick Fetty.

A Mechanical Engineering faculty member was recently recognized for the strong mentoring relationship he has developed with one of his students.

Assistant professor Ganesh Balasubramanian has been named the 2017 McNair Faculty Mentor of the Year. Balasubramanian was nominated for the award by Mouhamad Diallo, a junior double-majoring in mechanical engineering and materials engineering.

“I was truly humbled since I was not aware that I had been nominated,” said Balasubramanian. “I thank the McNair Program members and Thelma Harding for this honor.”

Diallo, who recently received a Goldwater Scholarship, is part of ISU’s McNair Program which aims to “increase the attainment of PhD degrees by first-generation and underrepresented college students.” The Senegal-native first got exposed to research after participating in the 2015 MoSAIC REU (Multiscale Sensing Actuation and Imaging Research Experience for Undergraduates) program. Balasubramanian said he has enjoyed watching his pupil grow over the past two years.

“Mouhamad is becoming an independent and interdisciplinary researcher, and the growth in his maturity is the most notable aspect of his development,” Balasubramanian said.

Diallo said that Balasubramanian has helped to mentor him not just academically but also professionally.

“Academically, Dr. Ganesh is a teacher and an advisor at the same time. He is constantly suggesting interesting classes I should consider taking. Professionally, he always pushes me to be active, and encourages me to think about publishing papers, which is a valuable asset when planning to pursue a PhD,” Diallo said.