Mark Byrne Honored with Leischuck Award for Teaching Excellence

Mark Byrne with Isabel Tian

Dr. Mark Byrne, Daniel F. & Josephine Breeden Associate Professor in Auburn University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, has received the Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. The endowed award honors teaching excellence by AU faculty members who have demonstrated a commitment to student success through effective and innovative teaching and mentoring both inside and outside the classroom.

Dr. Byrne is a recognized leader in the field of biomaterials engineering, controlled therapeutic delivery, polymer engineering, and biomedical devices. His research group is pioneering methods using biomimetic principles and strategies to rationally engineer and develop more effective medical materials to enhance quality of life.

Dr. Byrne's teaching emphasizes creative research projects in his laboratory as well as in the classroom for both undergraduate and graduate students. His graduate and undergraduate students consistently demonstrate excellence in their creative research work, and many have won prestigious, competitive awards.

“I am very proud of my students succeeding in difficult and challenging work, and I am privileged to motivate them toward higher levels of achievement,“ said Byrne. "Wining the top teaching award at the University at this point in my career is wonderful, but I hope to use it to more effectively motivate the next generation of students toward success. There a number of dedicated and passionate faculty members at Auburn who spend enormous amounts of time and effort with students, both on the undergraduate and graduate levels. This is not only reflected in the number of students in the classroom, but it is also represented by those students involved in research endeavors and independent, creative projects.”

Dr. Chris Roberts, department chair of AU Chemical Engineering said, “Dr. Byrne is a truly exceptional teacher who clearly embodies all of the qualities desired in an educator at a leading institution such as Auburn University. Dr. Byrne has established himself as an inspirational teacher of extraordinary ability, an outstanding mentor to his students, and a creative researcher. He has made a very dramatic positive impact on our educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level and I could not be more proud that he has received the distinguished recognition of the Leischuck Award.”

Dr. Byrne’s previous teaching awards include the 2010 Inaugural Provost’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research & Creative Scholarship, the 2010 Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, 2010 Camp War Eagle Faculty Honoree, the 2007 Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, and the 2006 Walker Superior Teaching Award – the highest teaching distinction in the Ginn College of Engineering.

Dr. Byrne holds a BS in Chemical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

For more information on Byrne’s work:

For more information on the Leischuck award:

Last Updated: Oct 31, 2011