Dr. Ralph Flori, associate professor of basic engineering at the University of Missouri, was named assistant dean of engineering for pre-college and undergraduate programs for the School of Engineering effective Jan. 1.
His responsibilities include providing statewide leadership for Project Lead the Way, a high school and middle school pre-engineering curriculum designed to attract higher numbers of young people to careers in technology and engineering.
Flori earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in petroleum engineering from UMR in 1979, 1981 and 1987, respectively.
Prior to joining the UMR faculty as an assistant professor in 1990, Flori worked in the petroleum industry for AMOCO and performed geological engineering-related work for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. In addition, he helped research and develop new materials, such as ceramic superconducting filaments and bioresorbable composites for Mo-Sci Corp.
Flori, a 13-time recipient of UMR’s Outstanding Teaching Award, has directed the Jackling Introduction to Engineering Program for the past nine years. The program, attended by nearly 400 high school students each summer, gives high school juniors and seniors first-hand knowledge of what engineers do.
Flori has received several awards for teaching, including the American Society for Engineering Education Midwest Section Outstanding Teaching Award, the UMR Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, Tau Beta Pi’s Outstanding Engineering Professor Award from its UMR chapter, UMR Faculty Excellence Award, and UM System Faculty Performance Shares Award. In addition, he was one of six selected as a 2004 Deans Teaching Scholar at UMR.
Flori’s academic interests include statics, dynamics and mechanics of materials. He has teamed with other faculty to develop multimedia-based educational software with the aim of transforming how these subjects are taught and learned.