By Jack McClellan
Office of Media Relations
May 2, 2017
Texas State University professor Robert Habingreither has been honored with the International Education Award by the Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME).
The award was presented April 30, during the organization’s annual gala in Chicago.
Habingreither received the award in recognition of his 38 years of dedicated service to higher education, the profession of manufacturing engineering and engineering in general, as well as the education of countless young professional manufacturing engineers throughout his distinguished career.
Habingreither has taught at Texas State since 1978 and played a major role in bringing engineering education to campus. He helped establish the manufacturing engineering program--the university’s first engineering program--even writing and designing the first curriculum. Throughout his career, the emphasis has been on expanding engineering education.
"I’m a teacher," Habingreither said. "I have done my share of publications and written my share of grants, but I got into the university business because I wanted to teach. It makes me feel like I contributed something to the welfare of people."
Habingreither said he sees engineering education as vital for the growth of the university and Texas.
"Engineering is what supports the economy of this state," Habingreither said. "My goal has always been to create wealth for the state of Texas, and my way of doing that is to promote engineering and technical programs and create a workforce that is adequately prepared. "
Habingreither learned this passion for creation from his father.
"My dad was a machinist and he taught me a lot about making parts," he said. "As a machinist, you’re in a powerful place. You make the things you need."
Habingreither has served as associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Science and Engineering since 2006 and also served as interim dean in 2008 and 2015. He served as chair of the Department of Engineering Technology from 1984 until 2006. Habingreither's research interests are castings design, metallurgy, alloy analysis and various spectrographic techniques. He recently received a patent, along with his team, for a ceramic coating for the barrel of machine guns, to prevent the barrels from overheating. He also served as mayor of San Marcos from 2002-2004. But his focus has always been teaching students and creating an engineering workforce.
"I like the students," he said. "I think that’s an important piece of being a good instructor."