Professor receives Fulbright
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 00:03
Miami University associate professor of paper and chemical engineering, Steven Keller, has been named a Fulbright visiting professor to Austria.
The Fulbright Program is a prominent international exchange program of students, scholars and researchers sponsored by the U.S. government, according to the Council for International Exchange Scholars website.
Keller is currently scheduled to teach two courses and conduct research at the Graz University of Technology from October to January 2014. He said his visit to the university for a conference one year ago inspired him to apply to the Fulbright Program.
Keller said he was drawn to the program for many reasons, yet one of the most appealing was the opportunity for Miami students in the chemical and paper engineering department to study at Graz during the next academic year’s J-term.
“I’m looking forward to inviting 15 to 20 of our students for three weeks in order for them to have a similar cultural experience and also to interact with [Graz] students,” Keller said.
According to Keller, 21 students in the department are interested in attending, but only 18 of them are most likely to participate.
Jon Kerr, executive director of the paper science and engineering foundation, said this is a wonderful acknowledgement of Keller, who began teaching at Miami in 2006.
“It’s a huge honor and it reflects extremely well on the program,” Kerr said. “It’s a hallmark of excellence.”
Kerr intends to publicize Keller’s accomplishment in the industry. According to Kerr, Miami has one of the leading paper and chemical engineering programs in the country, with 73 students currently enrolled in the curriculum.
Rachael Hall, a senior chemical engineering major, is currently taking her fifth course with Keller.
“Having Dr. Keller as a professor at Miami is an amazing opportunity, as he is one of the scholarly leaders in the industry,” Hall said. “Though certainly challenging, Dr. Keller’s classes offer students an insight into the paper science field.”
Hall said Keller’s dedication to his students is evident in his open-door policy where students frequently spend hours discussing career goals.
Not only will Keller teach two courses and invite Miami students to study abroad in Austria, he will also be conducting research in surface chemistry of fine and nano-scaled materials in the paper making process to improve strength properties between paper and inks. He will also research tomographic techniques to study paper structure.
Keller said two professors from the Graz University of Technology, Ulrich Hirn and Wolfgang Bauer, will help him with his research.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Keller said. “…It’s going to be an exciting ride from now until I return home after January.”