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Billington awarded fellowship to expand course

The National Academy of Engineering has selected David Billington as its Walter Robb Engineering Education Senior Fellow for 2005.

The two-year fellowship will allow Billington, who is Princeton's Gordon Wu Professor of Civil Engineering, to "improve and expand instructional material that would allow faculty at other institutions to adapt his highly acclaimed introductory engineering course 'Engineering in the Modern World.'" The course explores how engineering and its products -- from automobiles to airports to computers -- have influenced society and how political and cultural forces have affected engineering. It satisfies University requirements in both history and science or technology and has been very successful in attracting non-science majors.

Under the Robb fellowship, Billington will organize workshops for selected colleagues at other universities who share his goal of making engineering accessible to all students. After an initial workshop in the summer of 2005, the participants are expected to apply Billington's materials and ideas in their own classrooms and report on their experiences during a follow-up session in 2006. Their findings will be assembled into a report that will be presented at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Engineering's Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education.

Billington also recently received the John McGovern Lecture Award in the field of science from the Cosmos Club Foundation in Washington, D.C. The foundation selects two McGovern Award recipients each year, rotating through the fields of arts and humanities, literature and science. Billington, the first engineer to receive the science award, accepted the honor at an Oct. 6 ceremony during which he delivered a lecture on "The Engineer as Artist."

Billington is the author of more than 160 journal publications and eight books, including "The Innovators: The Engineering Pioneers Who Made America Modern." A 1950 graduate of Princeton, he worked as a structural designer and consulting engineer with expertise in thin-shell concrete structures before joining the Princeton faculty in 1960.

Contact: Tom Bartus(609) 258-3601

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