Dr. Pritpal Singh Wins IFEES Duncan Fraser Global Award for Excellence in Engineering Education
Dr. Pritpal Singh is joined by Dr. Stephanie Farrell, incoming president of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, which sponsors the Duncan Fraser Award.
Pritpal Singh, PhD, a Villanova professor of Electrical Engineering who has dedicated his career to humanitarian engineering efforts, has been honored with the 2022 Duncan Fraser Global Award for Excellence in Engineering Education.
Presented annually by the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES), the award honors individuals who have made innovative and meritorious contributions with a significant impact on the advancement of engineering education. Dr. Singh was recognized in late November at the World Engineering Education Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.
“I feel honored and at the same time humbled to be recognized by this award,” said Dr. Singh, “following in the footsteps of some really wonderful people.”
Dr. Singh was nominated by Maria Petrie, PhD, executive director of the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) and herself a past recipient of the Fraser Award. Among other accomplishments, Dr. Singh was recognized for leveraging electrical and computer engineering technology to help people in underserved communities worldwide. His work has included creating curricula and senior design projects to bring electrical engineering students into these humanitarian efforts. Additionally, Dr. Singh has led workshops through organizations like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to train industry professionals and fellow professors on humanitarian project development.
Dr. Singh’s humanitarian efforts will continue next semester in Ecuador, where he will be a Fulbright Scholar working in collaboration with the university Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL). During his three-month fellowship, Dr. Singh will teach a course on how to implement and commercialize sustainability-focused technologies while also researching the potential of renewable energy on the Galapagos Islands.
As part of the Duncan Fraser Award, Dr. Singh received a medal, a citation and a $1,000 prize. The honor is named after a professor emeritus of chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town who was devoted to the success of all students, especially those from poor educational backgrounds. Professor Fraser died in 2014, shortly before he would have assumed the role of IFEES president.
Receiving the award in the namesake’s hometown made the honor even more meaningful for Dr. Singh, he said, as Professor Fraser’s widow, son and daughter-in-law were all in attendance at the ceremony. “They were saying that he would have been very proud to know that someone who’s doing this type of work was receiving an award in his name,” Dr. Singh said. “I felt very happy about that.”