Civil Engineering Professor Receives Board of Governors Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System has honored Darrell Fontane, longtime civil engineering professor, with its Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Fontane’s name is frequently on a short list of faculty members who students most want to emulate, according to the nomination by Luis Garcia, chairman of the civil engineering department.

"The Board of Governors is honored to give this award to Professor Fontane for his efforts to motivate and challenge students," said Douglas L. Jones, board chairman. "Excellence in teaching stimulates the curiosity of students, developing the kind of critical thinker that the workforce needs today."

"With extraordinary dedication and skill across teaching’s many dimensions and venues, Dr. Fontane is a scholar in the area of engineering education," said Dean Sandra Woods. "But his interaction with students is perhaps his biggest strength as a teacher. He sets high standards for student achievement and then does everything he possibly can to help students achieve those standards."

One student noted, "I always felt he cared for his students and was more than willing to help them out in and out of the classroom. Dr. Fontane was extremely knowledgeable about the subjects that he taught and was able to teach them effectively while keeping students engaged in the material. He always treated students with the utmost respect."

Fontane joined Colorado State University as an assistant professor in 1983. He currently serves as director of the International School for Water Resources and concentrates his research on water resources decision support systems, computer-aided water management and integrated water quantity and quality management. As director of the International School for Water Resources, he is responsible for organizing and administering special, non-degree training for international engineers in various aspects of water resources engineering. He has personally conducted water resources training in eight countries.

Fontane has served as a visiting associate professor at the Center for Water Resources and Quality Management in Korea, a visiting professor at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and a visiting research engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station. He has worked as a consultant around the world for such organizations as the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Water Resources Systems Management and the Train-the-Trainers Project, India; and the Graduate Education in Water Resources Management in Tunisia. Prior to coming to Colorado State University, he served as supervisory research hydraulic engineer, acting chief of the Reservoir Water Quality Branch of the Hydraulics Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Miss.