2010 Ralph Coats Roe Award Recipient

Professor Richard H. Crawford
Professor, Mechanical Engineering Dept.
The University of Texas at Austin


Dr. Richard H. Crawford is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and is the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow No. 3. He is also Director of the Design Projects Program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his BSME from Louisiana State University in 1982, and his MSME in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1989, both from Purdue University. He joined the faculty of UT Austin in January 1990 and teaches mechanical engineering design and geometric modeling for design. He received the 1995 Fred Merryfield Design Award from the American Society for Engineering Education in recognition of his contributions in design education. Since joining the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Crawford has developed a research program to investigate a broad range of topics in computer-aided mechanical design and design theory and methodology. In particular Dr. Crawford’s work is focused in three areas: (1) research in computer representations to support conceptual design, design for manufacture and assembly, and design retrieval; (2) developing computational representations and tools to support exploration of very complex engineering design spaces; and (3) research in solid freeform fabrication, include geometric processing, control, design tools, manufacturing applications. Dr. Crawford also collaborates with other faculty to develop methods to harvest environmental energy to power stand-alone instrumentation for monitoring the health of bridges. Additionally, Dr. Crawford has shown his interest in industrial problems by working as a faculty intern for Ford Motor Company, IBM, and Sandia National Laboratory. Since 1992, Dr. Crawford has been involved in the Design Technology and Engineering for All Children (DTEACh) program, which provides teachers with curricula and pedagogical approaches for teaching applied mathematics and science within the context of solving design problems. Begun in 1992 as an inservice teacher training program, DTEACh has helped teachers across Texas to integrate hands -on units on engineering materials, statics and structures, mechanisms, energy, and automation and control into their classrooms. Since 1998, DTEACh has trained more than 500 educators who have in turn impacted an estimated 15,000 students in 60 Central Texas schools. Additionally, Dr. Crawford is one of three engineering faculty that have partnered with the highly acclaimed UTeach program to develop an engineering track, called UTeachEngineering, for training teachers high school engineering courses.