Dr. Richard (Rick) K. Miller, founding president of Olin College of Engineering, Needham, MA, has been named the 2017 Brock International Prize in Education Laureate for his significant contributions in the field of education, including his important role in the reinvention of 21st century undergraduate engineering education. Driven by Miller’s vision, Olin has become a model of project-based, design-centric education for engineering and non-engineering schools alike in the U.S. and abroad.
The Brock International Prize in Education, named for Oklahoma natives John and Donnie Brock, is awarded annually and recognizes individuals who have made a specific innovation or contribution resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education. The prize is about big ideas that make meaningful change in the way people think and act. Three Oklahoma universities partner in the Brock Prize: Oklahoma State University, The University of Oklahoma, and The University of Tulsa.
“Rick Miller is revolutionizing the education of engineers and setting an example that will revolutionize other disciplines as well,” said Brock Prize founder, John A. Brock. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Dr. Miller represent the Brock Prize as the 2017 Laureate.”
Each year, nine jurors convene to present their nominees and select the new Brock Prize Laureate. Innovators and thought-leaders in their own right, the jury includes champions of education, university officers, professors, business and government officials, and others committed to excellence in education.
Olin College Provost and Dean of Faculty, Dr. Vincent Manno, nominated Miller for this award and represented Miller’s nomination to his fellow jurors. “A distinguishing feature of Rick’s work and life is that it is focused on affecting attitudes, beliefs and behaviors,” said Manno. “He is the consummate student and teacher, learning from others and honing his own insights through teaching. He saw that – properly configured – a reformulated undergraduate engineering education experience could be a model for liberal education for the 21st Century and relevant to challenges in STEM education in the preK-12 system.”
With a background in applied mechanics and current interests in innovation in higher education, Miller is the author of more than 100 reviewed journal articles and other technical publications. A member of the NAE, he received the Marlowe Award for creative and distinguished administrative leadership from the American Society for Engineering Education in 2011 as well as the 2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education along with two of his Olin colleagues.
Miller served as Chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Science Foundation and has served on advisory boards and committees for Harvard University, Stanford University, the NAE, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in addition to others. Furthermore, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank in the establishment of new universities. Miller was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and received the 2002 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from the University of California at Davis, where he earned his B.S.
Miller will be formally honored at the annual Brock Prize Symposium in March of 2017, at which he will be the featured speaker. In addition to the monetary award of $40,000, Miller will receive a vellum certificate denoting the honor and a bust of legendary Native American educator Sequoyah. The Prize is endowed through the Brock Family Community Foundation.