I was drawn to a career in engineering education because of the freedom to do fundamental and applied research and a strong desire to share my knowledge with students. I try to be innovative and push myself to constantly think out-side-of the box, pushing for "surprise" ideas, and linking my fundamental research to practical applications. Further, I am challenged to find my own ways of communicate with students and get them excited about what they study and learn.
When it comes to my (mostly graduate) students, I encourage them that graduate school is the best time to define themselves and shape their future. I encourage them to constantly think about how to come up with great ideas, design experiments, and publish…and once they publish their first papers, they are even more motivated. I encourage them to constantly investigate the fundamentals and think about how to apply them.
And at home I have my own two kids that I get to spend time with and teach. It is wonderful to see they grow and learn.