College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Three in AerE receive TEX-REX summer honors

Youngro Lee with faculty mentor Dae-Young Lee
Mohamad Shabara with Associate Teaching Professor Jennifer Johannsen
Mohamad Shabara with faculty nominator Associate Teaching Professor Jennifer Johannsen

Three graduate students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering have been named to Teaching Excellence (TEX) and Research Excellence (REX) Awards for their work in the summer of 2023. The awards are presented to students who demonstrate excellence in their scientific research or their performance in teaching, based on nominations from their major professors.

Mohamed Shabara (TEX Award, nominated by Associate Teaching Professor Jennifer Johannsen); Sarasija Sudharsan (REX Award, nominated by Associate Professor Anupam Sharma); and Youngro Lee (REX Award, nominated by Assistant Professor Dae-Young Lee) have been honored.

Sarasija Sudharsan
Sarasija Sudharsan. Her faculty nominator was Associate Professor Anupam Sharma

In his nomination letter Shabara was praised by Johannsen, who said he “immediately impressed by his gentle approach to helping students during in-class problem-solving exercises. Rather than telling them the answer or telling them how to get the answer, he asked questions that guided the students towards figuring out the problem-solving steps on their own, but he was always careful not to let them struggle past the point of frustration. The ‘a-ha!’ moments were very rewarding to witness.” Shabara assisted with instruction of E M 324, Mechanics of Materials, in the spring semester of 2023.

Sharma reported that in preparing for her Ph.D., Sudharsan “made significant scientific and engineering contributions, resulting in two high-impact journal publications, three conference publications and provided work that served as the foundation of two successful federal grant proposals, in addition to demonstrating creativity and aptitude by discovering novel solutions to existing problems.” He also pointed out that Sudharsan possesses an M.S. in aerospace engineering from a top institution in India and also has experience working in industry with General Electric Aviation, where she patented a design used in aircraft engine turbine frames.

Youngro Lee with faculty mentor Dae-Young Lee
Youngro Lee with faculty nominator Assistant Professor Dae-Young Lee

In his nomination of Lee, professor Lee said he “is a great asset to my research, laboratory, and department. After spending over four years with him, I was impressed by his diligence and time management. He went on to point out that “as a Ph.D. candidate, publishing three journal papers is an impressive achievement in our field. In addition, he is preparing two more journal papers before his graduation in the spring of 2024.”