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Prof. Ray And Sherry Xu With Prof. Choi And Dean Morioka

Two engineers honored at the 2023 UH Mānoa Awards ceremony

Two members of the College of Engineering community were honored at the 2023 UH Mānoa Awards ceremony held on May 1, 2023 at Kennedy Theatre. At this annual event, UH Mānoa recognizes its finest faculty, staff and students with teaching, research and service awards in a dozen categories. Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate Xiaojie (Sherry) Xu received the Student Excellence in Research Award, and Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Tyler Ray received the Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching.

Student Excellence in Research Award

The Student Excellence in Research Award is given by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research in recognition of outstanding scholarly research endeavors by students while they pursue a degree at the doctoral, master’s or bachelor’s level.

Xiaojie (Sherry) Xu

Xiaojie (Sherry) XuXiaojie (Sherry) Xu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering. Xu joined her PhD program and the Laboratory of Biocolloids and Biointerfaces in 2018. Her research focuses on a highly interdisciplinary area where engineering, physics, chemistry and ophthalmology meet. The objective of her dissertation research is to develop novel experimental methods for studying the biophysical mechanisms responsible for the stability of tear film. Disturbance of the tear film leads to dry eye disease, a ubiquitous condition that affects 10–30% of the world’s population. To date, Xu has published 12 peer-reviewed journal papers. She is the leading author for six of these publications, including papers in Biophysical Journal and Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. In addition, she has contributed one book chapter and has given 10 oral and poster presentations at international conferences. The College of Engineering recognized Xu’s research with its Outstanding PhD Student Award in 2022.


Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching

The Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching recognizes University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty members who have made significant contributions to teaching and student learning.

Tyler Ray

Tyler RayTyler Ray is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering. He reflects on the immense challenges faced by students in his field—including clean water, energy production and healthcare—and the necessity to devise transformative solutions through the integration of diverse and interdisciplinary concepts and perspectives. His training in Design Thinking has informed the teaching practice of “failing fast,” encouraging creative problem-solving through “safe” failure followed by rapidly iterating on ideas and ultimately achieving success. His colleagues view him as a true innovator in developing engaging courses to empower and equip students for future career success. A student commented, “We were pushed to make an idea reality, building our collective ability in a team rather than solo,” and “while it was a lot of work, Professor Ray made all work and learning feel ever more important.” A colleague expressed, “Dr. Ray is in no uncertain terms, one of the most talented, passionate and dedicated educators we have had in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.”

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