University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Receives Prestigious Education Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers

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Stacey A. Ober
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Monday, July 29, 2013
Richard Noble, Ph.D., P.E., has been awarded the prestigious Engineering Education Excellence Award by the National Society of Professional Engineers and was recently recognized at its annual meeting in Minneapolis.

The Engineering Education Excellence Award recognizes engineering faculty who have demonstrated the ability to link engineering education with professional practice. Recipients must be licensed professional engineers and have a tenure-track faculty appointment in an ABET-accredited engineering program and be 45 years or younger in age at the time of nomination. The award is sponsored by the Sustaining Universities Program of the Professional Engineers in Higher Education (PEHE) interest group of NSPE.

Noble is the Alfred T. and Betty E. Look Professor of Chemical Engineering and the codirector of the Center for Membrane Applied Science and Technology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a professional engineer in Colorado and has been continuously licensed since 1980. Throughout his academic career, he has linked engineering education with professional practice and made a major impact doing so in his area of engineering research specialization, separations.

He teaches a course on environmental separations. In this course, students are put into groups of four or five and work on a project generated by local companies. They meet with an industrial representative at the initiation of the project, after three weeks, and at completion. Each group then goes to the company site to give an oral presentation on their results as well as provide a written report. In almost every case, the company will then implement the findings.

In 1990, Noble founded and continued as codirector for the Center for Membrane Applied Science and Technology, an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center within the National Science Foundation. It is the only block-funded center in the U.S. that is focused on this important engineering technology area. This center is the leading membrane research center in the U.S. and is an outstanding example of university-industry collaborative research.


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The National Society of Professional Engineers is the national society of licensed professional engineers from all disciplines that promotes the ethical and competent practice of engineering, advocates licensure, and enhances the image and well-being of its members. Founded in 1934, NSPE serves more than 35,000 members and the public through 53 state and territorial societies and more than 400 chapters. For more information, please visit