Creating an engaging environment for collaborative learning
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science

Winner of the 2018 Bank of America Award in Teaching Excellence, Schmitz has taught 10 different courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. He said his role in every course is to "train decision makers not problem solvers.” An example of this self-described, paradigm-shifting pedagogy can be found in his Junior Design course in which he explains to students: “Design requires creativity, and there is not just one correct answer."

This pedagogical outlook has created an engaging environment for students to participate in collaborative learning, and as a team, to solve challenging, open-ended problems.

His level of dedication to teaching and learning is best summed up by current graduate student, Christoph Kossack, who stated, "Seldom do we have the pleasure to be taught by a professor who invests so much time and effort to ensure that his students truly understand the material that he is teaching them. It is this kind of investment in his students that makes them feel motivated and encourages them to strive for more."