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Helenbrook awarded Clarkson Distinguished Teaching Award


POTSDAM - Brian T. Helenbrook, a professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering in Clarkson University’s Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award during the university’s 121st commencement ceremony.

The $1,500 prize is given “in recognition of the importance of superior teaching.” Candidates are nominated for the award by Clarkson alumni and the final selection is made by a faculty committee.

Helenbrook teaches courses in the areas of fluid mechanics and computational methods at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Since his arrival at Clarkson University in January 2011, he has taught the graduate classes “Computational Fluid Dynamics,” “Finite Element Methods,” and “Advanced Fluid Mechanics,” and the undergraduate classes “Introduction to Fluid Mechanics,” “Intermediate Fluid Mechanics,” “Gas Dynamics,” and “Finite Element Methods.”

Helenbrook has mentored nine Ph.D., eight M.S., and 24 undergraduate research projects since his arrival at Clarkson. His graduate advisees work at companies such as Alcoa, Exxon, Pratt & Whitney, BSST Systems, Constellation Energy, and RIT. Many of his undergraduate advisees have gone on to graduate school at places such as Clarkson, Cornell, Florida State, Virginia Tech, etc.

Helenbrook’s research expertise is in the areas of computational fluid mechanics and multi-phase flows. Some of his current projects are designing a novel wind turbine, manufacturing of solar cell wafers, thermal modeling of electronic circuits, and aerodynamic optimization of luge sleds for the U.S. Olympic luge team.

Helenbrook has published 34 peer-reviewed journal articles, 16 refereed conference papers, and contributed to 50 conference presentations since his arrival at Clarkson. His research has been funded by such agencies as the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the New York State Energy Development Authority, as well as private companies. He is a member of Clarkson’s Million Dollar Club.

Helenbrook has served on many University committees, most notably serving as graduate chair for the Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering from 2005-2008 and on the university tenure committee from 2009-2011. He also has served on search committees for both the Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering, as well as the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Helenbrook holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Notre Dame in mechanical engineering and a master’s and Ph.D. degree from Princeton University, also in mechanical engineering. After his Ph.D., he was a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University. He was a fellow in the NASA Faculty Fellowship program at NASA Langley in 2002 and at NASA Kennedy in 2005. He also spent a year as a visiting faculty at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium in 2009.

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