Craig Downing Recognized for Teaching & Learning Excellence

Monday, August 24, 2020
Craig Downing standing in the hall of Moench Hall.

Academic leader, department head and professor Craig Downing has been recognized for his ability to stimulate intellectual curiosity, a commitment to student learning, and being a role model and positive influence in students’ career development.

Craig Downing, associate dean of lifelong learning and head of the Department of Engineering Management, has been recognized for excellence in industrial engineering teaching and learning by the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Society International (IEOM).

The award was presented during the professional organization’s virtual conference Aug. 10-14. The global society fosters critical thinking and its effective utilization in the field of industrial engineering and operations management.

IEOM annually honors a member in higher education for exceptional teaching and learning within industrial engineering and operations management. Selection criteria include the ability to stimulate intellectual curiosity in students, a commitment to student learning, being a role model and positive influence in students’ career development, and using past teaching experience to improve current educational practice.

As the leader of Rose-Hulman’s engineering management department, Downing has helped expand and refine the institute’s academic offerings to increase the business acumen within a greater portion of students – through on- and off-campus programs. He also is expanding the department’s online offerings to reach an even larger population of students and professionals.

Downing has had a significant role in Rose-Hulman’s leadership position in the Kern Entrepreneurial Education Network, a national initiative supporting the development of entrepreneurially-minded programs within undergraduate engineering, and the establishment of Escalate, a living and learning community preparing Rose-Hulman students with the business awareness to become tomorrow’s technical leaders. He also has been a faculty mentor for Rose-Hulman’s National Science Foundation-supported Making Academic Change Happen workshops, which have developed change agents at educational institutions across America.

Downing has been named a distinguished fellow of the American Society of Engineering Management and received the organization’s meritorious service award in 2015. He also serves as advisory board chair of Liaison International’s Engineering Centralized Application Service.

His areas of expertise include industrial-academic relationships, quality management system development and productions/operations management. Downing continually explores new research opportunities related to quality and operations management and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He has industry experience as a process engineer and private consultant for organizations such as Lockheed Martin/NASA, Parker Hannifin, Crain Enterprises, and Peerless Pump.

Downing, who has received excellence in service and honorary alumnus awards from Rose-Hulman, earned bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering technology from Southern Illinois University (1992) and applied mathematics and statistics from Southeast Missouri State University (2005). He has a master’s degree in manufacturing systems (1994) and a doctorate degree in workforce education and development (1999), both from SIU.