Biomedical Engineering Professor Roger Gonzalez Wins 2008 Piper Award
Sat, May 3 2008
LeTourneau University biomedical engineering professor Dr. Roger V. Gonzalez has been selected as a
Piper Professor for 2008 for superior teaching by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation of Texas. As
a recipient of the award, Gonzalez will receive an honorarium of $5,000 as well as a certificate
and a gold pin.
Gonzalez is the first LETU professor to be named a Piper Professor. He was recognized at LETU
commencement exercises Saturday.
Each year, the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation recognizes 15 professors for outstanding
teaching from accredited two-and four-year public and private colleges and universities in Texas.
Nominations are requested from all accredited higher education institutions in the state, and an
impartial selection committee reviews each nomination to choose those professors to be honored. The
committee tries to seek out the well-rounded, outgoing teacher, devoted to the profession who has
made special impact on his students and the community.
"LeTourneau students benefit from small classes taught by exceptional faculty like Dr.
Gonzalez," said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford. "We are honored that the Piper Foundation has
recognized the unique strengths of a LeTourneau education."
Gonzalez is a professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering and the director of the
biomedical engineering program at LeTourneau University. He earned his doctorate in mechanical
engineering and his Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering from The University of Texas
at Austin and his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of
Gonzalez was awarded the prestigious National Institutes of Health National Research Service
Award (NRSA) for his postdoctoral work in neuromuscular control and musculoskeletal biomechanics on
children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis while working as a research scientist at Northwestern
University Medical School and at the premier Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Gonzalez has received four National Science Foundation grants and two NIH grants, along with
various support from foundations for his international humanitarian endeavors. He founded and
currently serves as executive director of LeTourneau Engineering Global Solutions (LEGS), a student
project which develops low-cost, above-knee prosthetic devices for under-developed areas of the
world. Gonzalez has worked with students in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and Latin America on
various international engineering research and humanitarian projects.
His scholarly efforts with students have focused on musculoskeletal modeling, dynamic
modeling of human movement and neuromuscular control with applications to upper extremity
neuroprosthesis and on the effects of knee ACL-deficiency on osteoarthritis. More than 100
publications detail his research endeavors, many of which are coauthored with undergraduate
Gonzalez also has mentored over a 100 undergraduate engineering students, many of whom are
now studying at top U.S. universities, such as Johns Hopkins, MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech and UT
Austin. He also has been awarded LeTourneau University’s top research and scholarship award and is
serving as an engineering program evaluator for ABET (Accrediting Board for Engineering and
Technology), which is the sole U.S. entity for accrediting engineering programs throughout the
United States. A Texas-licensed, professional engineer, Gonzalez has been married for more than 20
years and has two children.
Other accolades Gonzalez has received include the American Society of Engineers (ASEE)
Outstanding Teaching Award in 2007.
"We are proud to count Dr. Gonzalez among our excellent faculty here at LeTourneau," said
Robert W. Hudson, vice president for Academic Affairs. "This is a great honor for him and for the