Distinguished Alumni Awards

Robert Earl Miller

Robert Earl Miller
To Robert Earl Miller, for his distinguished contributions to the teaching of mechanics and for the inspiration and guidance he gave undergraduate and graduate students for more than four decades.

Professor Emeritus of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • BS, 1954, Applied Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MS, 1955, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD, 1959, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

During his 35-year career at Illinois, Robert Earl Miller positively influenced hundreds of undergraduate and graduate engineering students. His devotion to the profession was recognized with the Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence in 1975 and the American Society for Engineering Education (Mechanics Division) Distinguished Educator Award in 1991. His students demonstrated their appreciation by making him an Honorary Knight of St. Patrick in 1988 and by nominating him for the Engineering College Advising Award, which he received in 1991. Miller so inspired his former students that several contributed to the creation of the Robert E. Miller Fund to reward excellence in the teaching of mechanics throughout the College of Engineering. Likewise, the Robert E. Miller Scholarships and Fellowships Funds were established by generous alumni who were seeking to honor and recognize Miller for the tremendous impact he made on his students.

Miller’s research, which focused on the numerical analysis of problems in solid mechanics, was widely known for producing results that engineers could put into immediate practice. Consequently, he attracted a large number of research students. All told, he produced 30 PhD and three MS graduates—a level of graduate advising that exceeded norms within the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

In addition to his service through teaching and research, Miller served on various campus committees. As an emeritus professor, he continued to serve by teaching summer courses. Miller has demonstrated a passion for philanthropy through his support of various funds on the Illinois campus over the past 40-plus years.

Current as of 2010.