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Miller Named 2017 Brock International Prize in Education Laureate

Olin College President Richard K. Miller has been named the 2017 Brock International Prize in Education Laureate for his many contributions to the reinvention of engineering education in the 21st century.

The Brock International Prize in Education, named for Oklahoma natives John and Donnie Brock, is awarded annually and recognizes individuals who have made a specific innovation or contribution resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education. The prize is about big ideas that make meaningful change in the way people think and act.

The Brock Prize committee noted that: “Driven by Miller’s vision, Olin has become a model of project-based, design-centric education for engineering and non-engineering schools alike in the U.S. and abroad.”

“I am deeply honored by this award,” said Miller. “The Brock Prize is particularly noteworthy because it focuses on innovations that have wide-ranging and long-term benefit to the field of education. I am honored that our work at Olin College is being recognized in this way.”

Each year, nine jurors, selected by the chair of the Executive Committee, deliberate to choose the recipient of the Brock Prize. The jury members are, in fact, the nominators of the candidates for the award. Jurors include educators and champions of education, university officers, professors, business and government officials, and others committed to excellence in education.

Olin College Provost and Dean of Faculty Vincent Manno nominated Miller for this award and represented Miller’s nomination to his fellow jurors. “I am very happy that Rick’s lifetime achievements in education were recognized for their extraordinary impact,” said Manno.

Richard K. Miller was appointed President and first employee of Olin College of Engineering in 1999. He previously served as Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa and was a member of the Engineering faculty at USC in Los Angeles and UCSB in Santa Barbara. With a background in applied mechanics and current interests in innovation in higher education, he is a member of both the US National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors.  

Together with two Olin colleagues, he received the 2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. Miller served as Chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Science Foundation and has served on advisory boards and committees for Harvard University, Stanford University, the NAE and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in addition to others. Furthermore, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank in the establishment of new universities. A frequent speaker on engineering education, Miller received the 2002 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from the University of California at Davis, where he earned his B.S.  He earned his M.S. from MIT and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, where he received the 2014 Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award.

Miller will be formally honored at the annual Brock Prize Symposium held at the University of Oklahoma in 2017 where he will be the featured speaker. As part of the award, Miller will receive a monetary award of $40,000 from the Brock Foundation and a bust of legendary Native American educator Sequoyah.