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Dr. Arun Srinivasa
Dr. Arun Srinivasa will be recognized alongside his peers during a university-wide luncheon on Monday, April 24, in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M University campus. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Dr. Arun Srinivasa is a 2023 recipient of the University Professorship for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE) at Texas A&M University. The distinction is a reflection of his exemplary and innovative undergraduate teaching.

The three-year award includes support for teaching and professional development opportunities, and recipients pursue active involvement in providing professional development programs for teaching while the award is active.

Srinivasa said he is humbled by the recognition and considers it an honor to be found deserving of the award by his peers.

“It inspires me to redouble my efforts in helping students learn engineering and to share my passion for mechanical engineering,” Srinivasa said. “I am lucky to have been mentored by many people who have taken the time to help me think about my role as a teacher and friends who have helped me in so many countless ways. Whatever little I have done is due to them. Many are no more, but they live in my mind, heart and more importantly, my teaching.”

Srinivasa discovered his love of teaching as an undergraduate in India and has worked in the decades since to empower and educate his students. Drawn to the sense of wonder and curiosity often sparked within his students, he approaches his duties as a teacher by encouraging an active engagement of all senses — not just the visual — in the learning process.

“I find it intensely satisfying if I can come up with a new way to teach something, a new activity or surprising behavior that will pique students' curiosity and get them engaged in the course,” Srinivasa said. “I try to harness the advances in information and computing, novel materials and availability of sensors of all kinds to design rich multimodal learning experiences for my students — not always successfully; my class lets me know in no uncertain terms when I mess up… Over the years, I have become more reflective about my role and have learned that it is less about what I teach and more about empowering students to think, experience and find their own way of understanding and use that to create.”

During his UPUTE term, he plans to help encourage fellow faculty members to refocus on the core mission of teaching, reimagine the approach to teaching and advance the use of technologies capable of enhancing their goals in working with students.

Srinivasa serves as Holdredge/Paul Professor in the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Engineering Science. He was previously recognized with The Association of Former Students University Distinguished Teaching Award and College Distinguished Teaching Award, the ASME Worchester Reed Warner Medal, the Texas A&M ASME student chapter Best Teacher Award and the ASME Ben C. Sparks Medal.

Srinivasa will be recognized alongside his peers during a university-wide luncheon on Monday, April 24, in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus.