Freeform Developer Honored As 150th Anniversary Professor

College of Engineering faculty member Chuck Krousgrill has been honored as a 150th Anniversary Professor by Purdue’s Office of the Provost.

Charles Krousgrill, a professor of mechanical engineering, is among 10 Purdue faculty recognized with the award for their work as high-impact master teachers.

Krousgrill, whose relationship with Purdue began as an undergraduate (BS ‘75) and continued when he joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty, has taught in the College of Engineering for 38 years. He is a pioneer in mechanics education, focusing on undergraduate education. Krousgrill is a founding fellow of Purdue’s University Teaching Academy and pioneer of the Freeform Classroom that since 2009 has allowed students in challenging engineering courses to access hundreds of instructional videos and animations while encouraging interaction with each other and faculty online.

“As an educator, I would like to feel that students in my class have learned how to learn. Our teaching cannot be just the presentation of facts or remembering equations and formulas. Students can always look up the facts and formulas on their own. Our students are best served if we can facilitate the learning of the fundamentals and how these principles fit together,” Krousgrill says.

Krousgrill’s numerous awards include being an eight-time recipient of the School of Mechanical Engineering’s Harry L. Solberg Best Teacher Award, which is selected by the School’s student body; a four- time recipient of the College of Engineering’s A.A. Potter Best Teacher Award; and a recipient of the University’s Murphy Undergraduate Teaching Award. Krousgrill was recognized by the Purdue Alumni Association in 2010 with the Special Boilermaker Award for his continual efforts to improve the undergraduate experience. In 2011, the American Society of Engineering Education gave him the Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator Award for educational accomplishments in his field.

Working with colleagues at the University of Virginia, University of Akron, and Smith College, Krousgrill has advanced mechanics education through the use of Web2.0 technologies, including blogs and wikis. He was honored with the 2010 Helping Students Learn Award in recognition of his creation of a virtual, personalized learning environment for the hundreds of students who take Purdue’s sophomore level dynamics course.

The 150th Anniversary Professors were selected by a committee of 13 senior faculty who are distinguished and named professors, winners of the Murphy Award, and members of the Teaching Academy. Faculty who receive the new designation will receive an annual discretionary allocation of $25,000.