Professors Balaji Narasimhan and Monica Lamm of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) were recognized during the university’s 2017 Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony.
Narasimhan, Vlasta Klima Balloun Chair, was honored for being named Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering at Iowa State University, and Lamm was recognized as a recipient of the Iowa State University Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching.
Narasimhan’s title of Anson Marston Distinguished Professor honors outstanding achievement in advancing engineering science, technology or policy having national and international impact in academics, industry, public service, government or other venues. The awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at Iowa State. He joined the Iowa State CBE faculty as an assistant professor in 2001 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2003. From 2006 to 2007, he was the director of the Institute for Combinatorial Discovery at Iowa State University. In 2007, he was promoted to professor and also appointed the associate dean of research and economic development for the College of Engineering. He earned his B.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India, in 1992 and Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1996, both in chemical engineering. After a postdoctoral stint at MIT and a visiting position at Purdue, Balaji joined the chemical and biochemical engineering faculty at Rutgers University as an assistant professor in 1997. He also spent time at the University of Naples, Italy, and Cambridge University, UK, as a visiting scientist.
Among many other honors and awards are the ISU Foundation Early Excellence in Research Award in 2003; being named Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor of Engineering in 2010; being named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011; and the Iowa State University Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research in 2015.
One of his primary research thrusts is the Nanovaccine Initiative, a consortium of 68 researchers at 21 universities, research institutes, national laboratories, companies and health care coalitions that is coordinated by Iowa State University. The Initiative is developing nanovaccines and nanotherapeutics for respiratory infections, neural disorders, tropical diseases, cancer, and veterinary diseases. Novel “pathogen-mimicking” nanovaccines the group is developing are expected to revolutionize the ability to prevent viral and bacterial diseases.
Lamm, a CBE associate professor, has been with the department since 2003. She received her B.S. from Syracuse University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan.
The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching recognizes faculty members for outstanding teaching performance over an extended period of time.
No stranger to recognition as an educator and mentor, she received the ISU Foundation Award for Early Achievement in Teaching in 2006, the College of Engineering Superior Engineering Teacher Award in 2015 and the Exemplary Peer Mentor Supervisor Award in 2016. She works in various undergraduate affairs in the department, particularly in the areas of peer mentoring and other projects with CBE’s advising staff.
Lamm is also highly involved with Team-Based Learning through the university’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Team-Based Learning is a form of flipped-classroom small-group learning that can be used in small or large classes to provide students with a more intimate, small-class feel.