The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has selected BYU Academic Vice President Brent Webb as a recipient of one of the highest honors given in mechanical engineering.
The Heat Transfer Memorial Award is bestowed on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of heat transfer through teaching, research, practice and design, or a combination of such activities.
“I was honored and humbled,” Webb said. “I’ve seen the list of people who have received this award and they are luminaries in my discipline. They are people who I looked up to as a young man and aspired to be like. The idea that I might be held in some esteem by people who have significant professional stature is very humbling to me.”
Webb is one of three honorees to receive the award this year and the 100th recipient since the award became an ASME society-level award in 1975.
Webb received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from BYU. After receiving his PhD from Purdue in 1986, he joined the faculty of the BYU Mechanical Engineering Department. While also being a dedicated teacher, Webb has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed technical papers.
In addition to his success as a researcher, Webb has received other prestigious awards such as the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (1986), the BYU College of Engineering’s Outstanding Faculty Award (1990), the BYU Young Scholar Award (1991-1993), the BYU Alumni Professorship (1997-2000) and the BYU Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award (1994).
Although the award could be granted for success in any one of the related areas of teaching, research, practice and design, the nominations for Webb point to his outstanding contributions in every area.
“Success on so many levels, and with such balance, speaks very highly of Professor Webb’s legacy in heat transfer,” wrote an anonymous nominator. “For this, Professor Webb has been honored repeatedly by his university and the ASME. Today, he richly deserves the Heat Transfer Memorial Award.”
At BYU, Webb has served as Executive Director in the Office of Research and Creative Activities from 1996 to 1999, then as Associate Academic Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies from 2005 to 2011. He currently serves as Academic Vice President.
Webb counts his interactions and research with students as his most significant products throughout his academic career, and attributes his success to the resources available at the university.
“I have never sacrificed at BYU—whatever I had in my heart that I wanted to do by way of scholarship, I could do at BYU.” Webb said. “I had great students, I had great support from administrators and I had great access to great equipment. This award is not despite BYU, it’s because of BYU.”