Prof. Jeff Fessler honored with Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award

Fessler’s students have praised the collegial and collaborative environment of his lab, his careful balancing of freedom and guidance, and his attention to each student.

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Jeffrey Fessler, professor of EECS, Biomedical Engineering, and Radiology, has been honored with a 2012 Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award for his sustained efforts as advisor, teacher, advocate, sponsor, and role model to doctoral students.

Prof. Fessler is an internationally renowned research leader in computational medical imaging. [read more about his recent involvement in new technology that allows CT scans to be done with a fraction of the conventional radiation dose] This field is highly interdisciplinary, leading him to collaborate with faculty as well as students in the Medical School (Radiation and Radiation Oncology) and LS&A (Mathematics), in addition to other engineering disciplines (especially Biomedical Engineering).

This diversity of approach has been extremely valuable to his students, who have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry. His current and former students have praised the collegial and collaborative environment of his lab, his careful balancing between freedom and guidance, his personal attention to each student, and his ability to motivate and inspire them to do great work. His students often commented on the attention he paid to their individual careers by supporting their unique interests, allowing them opportunities away from his lab, and continuing to support them in various and individually tailored ways after they’ve left Michigan.

Prof. Fessler has taught a wide variety of courses, from the freshmen-level course “Music Signal Processing” to graduate courses in Medical Imaging Systems and Image Processing. He consistently receives high marks from the students for his teaching. He has chaired or co-chaired 35 PhD dissertations, and currently advises 12 doctoral students. In addition, he has served as a mentor to several undergraduate students, providing them with a positive model as they ponder future graduate studies.

Prof. Fessler has received a number of awards in the areas of teaching and research, as well as serving the University and professional community in significant ways. He has received the U-M Faculty Recognition Award, the U-M Henry Russel Award (for scholarship and teaching), the College of Engineering (CoE) Education Excellence Award, a Teaching Excellence Award from the Biomedical Engineering department, and was voted Professor of the Year by the EECS student honor society Eta Kappa Nu.

He is currently Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Image Processing and has served in many areas within the medical imaging community, including as General Chair of the 2007 IEEE Intl. Symposium on Biomedical Imaging. Within the department, he has served as Associate Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and throughout his career at Michigan has been a leader in the areas of undergraduate and graduate curriculum and recruiting. He currently holds 3 patents, and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Prof. Fessler will be presented with the award at a public ceremony Thursday, April 19, at 2pm in the Rackham Amphitheatre. A public reception will follow the ceremony.