Three engineering faculty win University awards in 2024

Hsueh-Chia Chang, Jennifer Schaefer, and Jim Schmiedeler

Three Notre Dame engineering professors have been honored with University awards for excellence in research, teaching and leadership.

Hsueh-Chia Chang, Bayer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was the recipient of Notre Dame’s Research Achievement Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to scholarship and to advancing the University’s research and graduate education goals. 

Chang is a leader in the area of microfluidics and diagnostics, particularly in the rapidly growing field of liquid biopsy—the early detection of disease biomarkers in physiological fluids. His research on rapid and inexpensive diagnostic devices enables progress in precision diagnostics and treatment.

Jennifer Schaefer, Sheehan Family Collegiate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has received a Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes extraordinary achievement and sustained effectiveness in teaching undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional students.

Schaefer is dedicated to innovative and creative course development. She has developed popular sustainability-focused graduate and undergraduate courses and directed a graduate student program that enhances training in the development of sustainable technologies and supports improved mentoring programs.

James Schmiedeler, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and associate dean of faculty development and diversity, has won the Faculty Award, which recognizes impactful and lasting service to the University as a leader among faculty colleagues.

Schmiedeler is an advocate for advancing the mission and diversity of his department. He has mentored junior faculty on their teaching and on preparing for and pursuing prestigious grants and awards. An internationally recognized expert in robotics, he has advanced Notre Dame’s robotics profile externally through his leadership in major conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Chang, Schaefer, and Schmiedeler were among the 12 faculty awardees from across the disciplines to be recognized by the University in 2024.

— Karla Cruise, Notre Dame Engineering