Dr. Terry Baughn, a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas, has been named Engineer of the Year by the North Texas section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
ASME has more than 130,000 members in 158 countries who develop engineering standards and training. They also share technology to assist the engineering community, benefiting the world.
ASME recognized Baughn earlier this year at the Texas Society of Professional Engineers honors banquet. Baughn retired as an engineering fellow in 2012 after 23 years with Raytheon Co. in the space and airborne systems area. He joined the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science in fall of 2013. In the Jonsson School, he focuses on mentoring teams of senior design students with their capstone projects.
"To be selected as the recipient of the Engineer of the Year Award is clearly a testament to his professional accomplishments over a career dedicated to the mechanical engineering profession," said Dr. Robert Hart, also a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering. "Having someone like Dr. Baughn in the classroom gives our students an opportunity to learn from someone who has spent his career applying the concepts he teaches."
Baughn received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Purdue University, and earned his doctorate at the University of Delaware. He worked at General Motors and the International Harvester truck group before joining the faculty of Southern Methodist University. In 1989, he joined the Texas Instruments Defense Systems Equipment Group, which was purchased by Raytheon in 1997.
Baughn said the transition from college to the workforce can sometimes be underestimated.
"I can help our academic-based students through the huge transition of being useful once you come to work," he said.
"Every day in industry you have to slay a dragon. Professional engineering is a competitive world, within the company and with external competition," he said. "When you get to work, you have to scramble. You think you are going to get a job and someone is going to feed you work; well that is true for a while, but that ends pretty quickly and you have to find and execute your own workload."
Baughn teaches a class on the advanced strength of materials and design of machine elements, mentors several teams of capstone senior design students, and serves as a career advisor to students near graduation.
"I did not want to teach a class and leave, I wanted to be engaged with the students and be part of the faculty," he said. "The mechanical engineering department has experienced incredible growth in the undergraduate and graduate enrollment, which makes for an exciting environment."
Baughn was attracted to UT Dallas in part because of its relationship with industry and its location. He also spends part of his time building relationships with local companies.
Baughn is a fellow of ASME and has served various roles in the organization's North Texas section, including secretary, treasurer, vice chair and chair. He is also a registered professional engineer in Texas.