2005 Wine Award
William T. Baumann
William T. Baumann of Blacksburg, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, received Virginia Tech's 2005 W.E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Three Wine Awards for Excellence in Teaching are made possible by a gift from the Alumni Association that honors William E. Wine, a former rector of the board of visitors and Alumni Association president. Students, alumni, and faculty nominate possible recipients of the award. In each of the academic colleges, a Wine Award Committee composed of previous winners selects one or two candidates from those nominated. The names are sent to the Wine Award Committee for the entire university, which selects and recommends the three recipients.
Baumann teaches courses in signals and systems, control-system theory, and electronics, using creative methods to increase student interest in the courses. In his senior-level control-systems course, he introduced a semester-long project to design and build an active-noise-control headset that incorporates much of what students have learned in previous courses. He serves as chair of the ECE Curriculum Committee and has played major roles in curriculum revisions, increasing interdisciplinary elective opportunities, and enhancing writing, speaking, and visualization in the curriculum. He added representation of the undergraduate advising staff to the committee. As well, he began a process of interviewing all women potentially entering ECE to identify any unintentional roadblocks to their entrance into the major and to increase the number of women in the department.
Baumann has supervised the IEEE Hardware Design Project for six years, revamped the Control Systems Laboratory and supervised it for 14 years, developed a course in Analog IC Design and revamped courses in other subjects. He is a member of the ECE Faculty Mentoring Committee for Teaching and co-principal investigator on a current NSF grant to revise the ECE curriculum. An admired and inspiring teacher, Baumann has received the Outstanding Professor Award and the White Hat Award from the HKN honor society and was nominated twice by students for the Sporn Teaching Award.