Super prof

Engineering students honor a teacher who makes thermodynamics fun

Dr. Michael Hore, an assistant professor in the department of macromolecular science and engineering, has been honored by Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, as one of the best teachers in the School of Engineering. He accepted the annual Srinivasa P. Gutti Memorial Teaching Award Feb. 22 at the annual Engineers Week Reception at the InterContinental Hotel.

“He does a really good job of keeping class engaging,” said Jason Linn, a junior majoring in polymer science engineering and music. “He manages to mix together the really important content with a sense of humor. And he’s a really nice guy.”

The award, named for an outstanding graduate of the School of Engineering who died tragically young, honors an instructor who shows “an exemplary commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Society members nominate candidates who respond to written questions before students elect the winner.

Dr. Hore, 35, teaches an introductory physics course taken by many engineering majors.  He said he grew interested in engineering by playing with Lego blocks and watching the television character MacGyver solve problems with science as he grew up on St. Joseph Island, in a small community near Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. The family moved to Tennessee, where his father worked in the steel industry, and he attended public high school before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Memphis.

In 2012, Dr. Hore was awarded his doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and two years later came to Case Quad. He lives in Shaker Heights with his wife, Jessie Sun, who is also a materials scientist and who teaches at Laurel School.

He has received several awards and honors in his young career, most recently the Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society’s Polymer Materials Science and Engineering Division. But he said the Srinivasa P. Gutti Memorial Teaching Award is special-- because it comes from students.

“When a student takes the time to nominate a faculty member for something, it’s a very humbling and rewarding experience,” he said.