Congratulations to University of Utah chemical engineering associate professor Kody Powell, who was named Engineering Educator of the Year by the Utah Engineers Council.

The Utah Engineers Council supports local Utah engineering chapters and societies, and its purpose is to “advance the art and science of engineering and to provide a forum for communication between the varying engineering societies.” The award was handed out during a council dinner Feb. 25 in Layton, Utah.

“Being a university professor is an awesome job and I count myself lucky to have it,” Powell wrote on his LinkedIn page. “I have had so many positive role models and mentors throughout my career as a student and as a professional.”

“As a professor, you get the opportunity to be involved in so many exciting projects like developing technology, solving important societal problems, and building programs to help communities,” he added.

Powell is also the co-director of the University of Utah’s Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center (IIAC), one of more than 35 such U.S. Department of Energy IACs around the country that sends teams of faculty and student researchers to a manufacturer to make a day-long assessment of its plant operations. The center’s job is to analyze where production schedules or system upgrades can be tweaked to save the company money in energy costs, curb its draw of energy from the city’s power grid, and reduce pollution. Based on their work thus far, the center’s consultants can save businesses anywhere from $20,000 to $600,000 per year in energy costs as well as cut down on emissions.

Powell arrived at the U in January 2016 and is a native of Huntington, Utah. He received his bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Utah and earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013. He has worked for Fairchild Semiconductor in West Jordan as well as for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Texas.

Powell’s research focuses on smart energy and manufacturing systems and using real-time data to enhance their performance. As a student, he received grants from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the University of Texas at Austin Office of Sustainability. As a faculty member, he has received grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, Dominion Energy, Pacificorp and the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development.