Oguzhan Bayrak Receives UT Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award for 2012
The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System recognized Ozzie Bayrak, Professor in structural engineering, mechanics, and materials, for outstanding teaching. The awards are given to faculty members from across the UT System who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level.
Board of Regents Award nominees must demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching and sustained ability to deliver excellence to the undergraduate learning experience. Faculty candidates underwent rigorous examination of their teaching performance over three years by campus and external examiners. Evaluations by students, peer faculty and outside reviewers considered a wide range of criteria which included classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.
"Like the profession itself, the education of 'structural engineers in the making' exists between two competing factors: disciplined ways of thinking and a freedom to create," says Bayrak. "In the eyes of students, there is a fine line between a well-organized series of lectures and an overly regimented course. Student aversion to an overly-regimented learning environment is rooted in the intellectual freedom needed to strike a balance between structural form and function. I try to balance the learning environment in my classes through highly-organized lectures and more open-ended design assignments and projects. This seemingly simple concept is very complex, and quite frankly, very important."