Dr. David Riggins, Curators’ Teaching Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has won the 2015 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education.
Each year, the Governor’s Award is presented to one faculty member at each institution of higher education in Missouri. This year’s recipients were honored by Gov. Jay Nixon during an April 7 luncheon in Jefferson City, Missouri.
The awards, which are not monetary, are based on effective teaching, innovative course design and delivery, effective advising, service to the university community, commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement.
Riggins is well known in hypersonics and scramjet engine design. He has been involved in hypersonic air-breathing flight-test programs that culminated with a successful 2004 Mach 10 flight of the X-43A vehicle, which achieved sustained atmospheric flight at over two miles per second. He has worked extensively on innovative approaches to propulsion and high-speed flight and is a leading authority on the application of the second law of thermodynamics to the analysis of aerospace vehicles. He has authored more than 70 papers, articles and book chapters and has served on numerous panels and working groups in both government and industry.
Riggins earned bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech in 1981, 1982 and 1988, respectively. He has worked in industry, for the Department of Defense, and at NASA Langley Research Center. He joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and became associate professor in 1996. In 2000, he was promoted to professor of aerospace engineering and in 2014, he was named Curators’ Teaching Professor.
Riggins has received many awards for excellence in both teaching and research. His teaching awards include eight campus Outstanding Teacher awards, numerous campus teaching commendations, awards from Sigma Gamma Tau and the Miner Alumni Association for excellence in teaching, and the 2011 Faculty Teaching Award. In addition, he has received numerous national awards and commendations from the Department of Defense, NASA and the Joint-Army-Navy-NASA-Air Force technical organization for outstanding sustained contributions in the area of high-speed air-breathing propulsion.