A University at Buffalo engineering professor known internationally for his research was recognized Friday for nurturing local students.
George C. Lee was among 11 people honored by the White House with a 2007 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
The annual award, administered by the National Science Foundation, recognizes commitment to mentoring students and boosting the participation of minorities, women and disabled students in science, mathematics and engineering. Lee received a $10,000 grant to continue his mentoring work and a Presidential certificate.
A native of China, Lee has been a professor in UB's department of civil structural and environmental engineering since 1961. As an international leader in earthquake engineering, Lee was instrumental in bringing the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research to the university, which he now serves as special tasks director.
In 1981, he began the first of many programs for underrepresented groups to boost math, science and computer skills among Buffalo-area high school students.
UB President John B. Simpson said: "While providing world-recognized leadership as a faculty member, dean and researcher, Dr. Lee has always devoted time to serving as a mentor and role model not only for students at UB, but those in the Western New York community, with a particular emphasis on outreach to young women and members of minority groups."