PULLMAN, Wash. — David Bahr, associate professor in mechanical and materials engineering at Washington State University, received the prestigious 2003 Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers from ASM International, the professional society for materials scientists and engineers.

The international award recognizes excellence in the teaching of materials science, materials engineering, design and processing.

Bahr was cited for “exemplary work in teaching and motivating students through practical laboratory projects, for superb classroom teaching, for increasing the visibility of materials science education across the geographic and disciplinary spectrum and for always putting students first.”

He co-directs the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, a summer program that brings undergraduate students from throughout the United States to WSU to work on research projects in materials science and engineering. Since it began five years ago, the program, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, has brought in about 55 students from 25 universities nationwide. The program encourages support of students in demographic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in engineering and science. As a result, half the participants have been women.

With Grant Norton, also an associate professor of MME, Bahr has also developed an unusual senior-level class in material science and engineering for students outside the engineering field. The course is unique in that it is meant to broaden students’ understanding of the importance of materials in their lives rather than to recruit potential engineering students. Bahr and Norton recently received a two-year NSF grant to develop a text and CD-ROM for the course.

“While Dr. Bahr is an upcoming researcher in his field, he continues to share his knowledge and excitement about materials engineering with his students,” said Belakavadi Ramaprian, director of the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. “He has done an outstanding job of passing along his contagious enthusiasm for materials engineering to students – engineers and non-engineers alike.’’

Bahr was one of 59 scientists and engineers nationwide who was honored in 2000 with the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for scientists and engineers. The award is the highest honor given by the federal government to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their careers. Bahr was invited to the White House to receive the award.

His research has increased understanding of the long-term reliability of electronic components through the development of a new technique to determine the strength of thin film adhesion. With WSU since 1997, Bahr’s specialties are mechanical properties of thin films, micromechanics of fracture, adhesion, corrosion and environmentally assisted cracking. Bahr earned a doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.