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Apr 11, 2011 — Dr. Ranganathan Kumar, a professor in Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, has been honored with UCF’s most prestigious faculty award. He and Dr. Kevin Belfield, a chemistry professor, received Pegasus Professor awards on April 6 during UCF’s annual Founders’ Day ceremony. 

The award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the UCF community through teaching, research and service.

Since 2000, only 23 UCF professors have received the award.

As Pegasus Professors, Drs. Kumar and Belfield each received a statue of the UCF Pegasus, a gold Pegasus Professor medallion and a check for $5,000.

Dr. Kumar has been a professor of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering (MMAE) since joining the university in 2003, and he also served as the department’s chair for several years.

He has excelled in his own work in nanofluids and microfluids heat transfer, and he has promoted opportunity by encouraging the work of his students and assisting faculty members with writing and research. His own contributions to the field have brought in $2.4 million in research funding, and his work has appeared in 140 articles, 60 scientific journals and 52 conference papers.

Under Dr. Kumar’s leadership, MMAE’s research funding has more than doubled, and five assistant professors have received prestigious CAREER awards, which are presented by the National Science Foundation to faculty members near the beginning of their careers. He has also served as principal investigator for two multi-year NSF grants that introduced students and teachers to the practice of research.

“Dr. Kumar constantly exhibits exceptional abilities and foresight to pull together active researchers to respond to research opportunities while simultaneously concentrating on the quality of undergraduate education and outreach,” said Dr. Suhada Jayasuriya, a distinguished professor and MMAE chair.

Dr. Belfield has taught at UCF since 1998. As chair of the Chemistry Department for the past six years, he has led efforts to expand the department’s faculty and the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded. Belfield also led the development of the Chemistry Ph.D. program, which has graduated more than 20 doctoral students since 2003.

– UCF News & Information