Richard Cooke, professor in ABE, was selected as the Fall 2020 Eminent Engineer by the Illinois Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, for his dedication and outstanding contributions in conservation engineering and drainage design. Professor Cooke has established an exemplary record in extension, research, and teaching at UIUC. He is a world-renowned, highly regarded expert in drainage engineering. His work focuses on increasing the efficiency of drainage-related best management practices and developing protocols for their design.
Professor Cooke was nominated by Jacob Wood, PhD student in ABE, who wrote: “During my time at UIUC, I have had the privilege of witnessing Dr. Cooke work tirelessly instructing courses, conducting research, performing extension outreach, and being an all-around role model for myself, fellow students, and other faculty. His engineering approach involves going well beyond conceptual design, by working with landowners, farmers, and stakeholders to develop drainage systems that are sound both in practice and on paper. He is also no stranger to "jumping in" and lending a hand with installing his designs and bringing them to life. His character and achievements make Dr. Richard Cooke the ideal candidate for the Tau Beta Pi eminent engineer and a positive example for fellow Tau Bates and aspiring engineers.”
Tau Beta Pi is the only engineering honor society representing the entire engineering profession. It was founded at Lehigh University in 1885 to recognize students of distinguished scholarship and exemplary character.