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Professor Spencer P. Magleby has received the Abraham O. Smoot Citizenship Award

Brigham Young University (BYU) announced that Professor Spencer P. Magleby has received the Abraham O. Smoot Citizenship Award during its annual university conference general session, Monday, August 28, 2023. This prestigious award is presented annually to one university faculty member who has demonstrated sustained service and personal sacrifice to the BYU community.

Magleby, a professor in the BYU Department of Mechanical Engineering, has served the university as an associate dean in the College of Engineering, associate dean of Undergraduate Education, and Honors Program director. His award citation noted that while serving in these capacities he “…developed world-renowned programs in engineering design and promoted Honors participation across [the BYU] campus. His research has involved hundreds of students, resulting in two books, more than 200 articles, and dozens of patents.”

Dr. Magleby spent 6 years in the military aircraft industry developing tools for advanced aircraft design and manufacture. At BYU he has pursued research and published extensively in areas of product design, technology development, design tools and processes that bridge engineering and business, and engineering education with a focus on international experiences and leadership. He has been especially active in developing new technologies and applications related to compliant mechanisms resulting in over 20 patents. Recent work has explored the use of origami to inspire innovative product design. His work has been sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Air Force, the State of Utah, Ford Motor Company and a variety of other industries, consortiums, and entrepreneurs.

Professor Magleby has taught design at the graduate and undergraduate level and is interested in educational partnerships with industry. He is a co-founder of the BYU Capstone Program. As director of the Honors Program, he developed and taught new curriculum on Interdisciplinary Thinking. In his leadership roles in the College of Engineering he guided development of study abroad programs for engineers. He has advised over 60 graduate students and helped oversee more than 260 undergraduate and graduate design projects through his involvement with the Capstone program and efforts in his laboratory.

Magleby received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from BYU. After receiving his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988, he joined the faculty of the BYU Department of Mechanical Engineering.

In addition to his success as a researcher and teacher, Magleby has been nationally recognized for his contributions in engineering design education. He is the recipient of other prestigious awards such as the American Society for Engineering’s Fred Merryfield National Design Award (2003), and the BYU Technology Transfer Award (2019).