STARKVILLE, Miss.--A senior Mississippi State engineering professor and researcher is among selections for 2014 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Awards.
At the university, Hossein Toghiani holds the rank of Thomas B. Nusz Endowed Professor in the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering. A University of Missouri-Columbia doctoral graduate, he joined the Starkville faculty in 1998.
The SEC is believed to be the first Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association conference to honor faculty achievements in research and scholarship, completely unrelated to athletics or student-athletes.
Chosen by a selection committee of provosts at the 14 member institutions, the recognition is part of non-athletically related activities undertaken to encourage academic leadership and collaboration within the membership.
In addition to each receiving a $5,000 honorarium, Toghiani and the 13 other winners become nominees for this year's SEC Professor of the Year Award.
"Dr. Toghiani is praised by his students as an outstanding teacher with a passion for helping students learn and achieve their greatest potential," said Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president. "He is also prolific in research and dedicated to service of his profession of chemical engineering. We are proud to have him represent MSU as the faculty achievement recipient."
Gilbert also expressed pleasure "that the SEC has chosen to recognize academics by selecting an outstanding faculty member at each institution.
"This sends a great message that we value excellence in teaching and research," he added.
In response, Toghiani said he is "deeply honored to be selected as Mississippi State's recipient of the SEC Faculty Achievement Award. However, this award really belongs to the students I have taught over the years at this fabulous institution."
Toghiani said he enjoys "having the opportunity to provide my students with a solid foundation in chemical engineering, so that, upon graduation, they are well-equipped with the necessary skills and tools they need to be successful in the industry or in graduate school."
To be eligible for the conference annual honor, faculty members must have achieved the rank of full professor, with demonstrated records of teaching, research and scholarship that are recognized nationally and/or internationally.
Currently, Toghiani is conducting research on organic/inorganic composites for automotive, aerospace and wind turbine applications. One of his research efforts resulted in a patent issued in 2001.
The author of more than 80 journal articles and five book chapters, he is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Society of Engineering Education.
In addition to overseeing campus chapters of the Society of Plastics Engineers and National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, he is a faculty adviser for the MSU EcoCar program.
Among Toghiani's earlier honors were a 2007 induction into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers of MSU's Bagley College of Engineering and 2004 selection as outstanding graduate professor by the campus Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association. He also was chosen by Swalm School seniors as engineering professor of the year in 1995, 1997-1999, and 2000.
Toghiani, whose bachelor's and master's degrees also were earned at Missouri-Columbia, was a faculty member at the University of Alabama-Huntsville before coming to MSU.
With headquarters in Birmingham, Ala., the SEC is made up of Mississippi State and Missouri, as well as the universities of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina, as well as Auburn, Louisiana State, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt universities.
For more about the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, visit www.che.msstate.edu.
Information about MSU is available at www.msstate.edu.