Janie Brennan and William Yeoh were among seven Washington University in St. Louis faculty members who were recently selected as Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award recipients.

Janie Brennan, a senior lecturer of energy, environmental and chemical engineering, joined the Engineering faculty in 2015. Her current research focuses on the use of evidence-based teaching methods to provide rigorous and engaging learning experiences for her students, with an emphasis on hands-on activities, process safety and laboratory courses. She is an active member of both ASEE and AIChE professional societies.

In addition to teaching courses and advising students in EECE, Janie is director of undergraduate studies for the department. She also helps coordinate summer research programs for undergraduates, including the Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF) program, and serves as the faculty adviser to the WashU International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team. 

William Yeoh, associate professor of computer science and engineering, Professor Yeoh joined Washington University in St. Louis in 2017 from New Mexico State University, where he was an assistant professor of computer science. He received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2016 and was named one of AI’s 10 to Watch by IEEE Intelligent Systems. Previously, he was a research scientist at Singapore Management University and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Yeoh’s research focuses on artificial intelligence with an emphasis on developing optimization algorithms for agent-based systems. His primary expertise is in distributed constraint optimization, where his goal is to develop and deploy such algorithms in multi-agent systems including smart grid and smart home applications as well as cloud and edge computing applications. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, now in its 33rd year, recognizes area educators — from kindergarten teachers to college professors — and is one of the St. Louis region’s most distinguished teacher recognition programs. Honorees are chosen annually by the deans of their schools and by the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning for their achievements and leadership in teaching. See the full list of WashU recipients here.

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