LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas senior class has honored a mechanical engineering professor who is driven to keep students on track to graduate and the Jayhawk Motorsports team running.
Associate Professor Robert Sorem received the 2016 H.O.P.E. Award. The award — to Honor and Outstanding Progressive Educator — is given annually by the senior class through the Board of Class Officers. It was presented Nov. 19 during halftime of the KU-Texas football game.
Sorem joined the School of Engineering in 1994 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. From 2002 to 2012 he served as the school’s associate dean for undergraduate studies. Before joining KU, he worked for Schlumberger Oilfield Services, where he developed downhole oilfield tools and co-developed 17 patents.
At KU, Sorem researches computational mechanics and engineering education, focusing on retention strategies and graduation rates.
His other research interest is vehicle dynamics, and for 22 years he has advised the Jayhawk Motorsports Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) racing team. In 2012, the team won the Formula Hybrid-electric Division and the Formula SAE Lincoln events. Three years earlier Sorem received the highest award given to any Formula SAE advisor, the Carroll Smith Mentor’s Cup.
The senior class established the H.O.P.E. Award in 1959. Today it remains the only honor the class gives to a faculty member. The senior class selects a faculty member who enlightens and motivates students to succeed and who best exemplifies dedication to students and the educational process.