In the weeks leading up to the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each honoree in more detail here on our blog. Today, meet Marc Zupan, associate professor and graduate program director of UMBC’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and this year’s Outstanding Faculty Award winner.
In just over 14 years at UMBC, Marc Zupan, associate professor and graduate program director in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has become known as a connection-maker. He connects students with internships, job opportunities, and graduate programs. He’s made international connections with Portugal’s Universidade do Porto through the Global Engineering Program. And he’s made connections across disciplines, bridging the gap between STEM and the humanities by incorporating elements of both into his own teaching. Asynith Palmer ’06, English, a writer who worked with Zupan to secure funding and design the curriculum for the Global Engineering Program, says it’s his genuine interest in his students’ lives and experiences that makes him the kind of teacher and mentor that he is. “Marc…trains his creativity on helping his students,” she writes. “In fact, he feels energized by meeting with them, learning their interests, suggesting — or creating — possibilities for internships and research, and watching them thrive.” As a researcher, Dr. Zupan focuses on characterizing the behavior of and modeling materials across length scales. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in solid mechanics of materials and completed his undergraduate work at the University of Dayton. He came to UMBC after a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge MicroMechanics Centre in the U.K., he is a visiting professor at the Universidade do Porto, Portugal and was an active abroad Fulbright Scholar from 2012 to 2013 at the Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.