Shelie Miller named Bulkley Professor of Sustainable Systems
SNRE Assistant Professor Shelie Miller was appointed as the Jonathan W. Bulkley Collegiate Professor of Sustainable Systems, effective for a five-year renewable term beginning May 1, 2016.
“Professor Miller is an accomplished researcher who has built a nationally recognized body of work, a gifted teacher and mentor devoted to continually improving her methods, and a dedicated colleague who devotes significant time to improving the academy,” said SNRE Professor and Interim Dean Dan Brown in his recommendation of Miller for the appointment.
Miller joined the University of Michigan in 2010 and quickly made her mark as both a scholar and educator. Her research, which is at the forefront of her field, uses life cycle assessment and scenario modeling to proactively identify environmental problems that may result from emerging technologies.
Recently appointed by the U.S. Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture to the federal government’s Biomass Research & Development Technical Advisory Committee, Miller has held fellowships from the National Academy of Sciences and National Science Foundation (NSF). She also has earned an NSF CAREER Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the government’s most prestigious honor for early career researchers.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have some great mentors and cheerleaders throughout my career,” said Miller of her success. “I’ve also been lucky in many respects by working on the right topics at the right time. I actually feel like I’m just now figuring out who I am as a researcher and teacher, which makes me really excited about this next phase of my career.”
A dedicated educator, Miller emphasizes innovative teaching methods to create an active learning environment in her classes. Students consistently comment on her effectiveness in engaging them in the classroom, clear explanation of complex methods, demonstration of real world applications, and commitment to their learning beyond the classroom.
Miller is also a successful advisor and mentor who publishes frequently with her students and helps them achieve highly competitive fellowships, including the EPA STAR Fellowship and the NSF Graduate Fellowship. She serves on SNRE’s Executive Committee and directs the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability. She also contributes to the College of Engineering, the Program in the Environment, the Center for Sustainable Systems, and the Engineering Sustainable Systems dual-degree program.
Established in 2011, the Jonathan W. Bulkley Collegiate Professor of Sustainable Systems is endowed by a gift from the Wege Foundation, acknowledging the decades-long relationship between Peter M. Wege, the foundation's founder, and Bulkley, who retired in June 2011 after 43 years of service as an SNRE professor.
The professorship, which includes a stipend, honors Bulkley’s substantial scholarly and other contributions while at the university. An internationally recognized expert on water systems, Bulkley is well known for his research on the development and application of both quantitative and qualitative means to help improve the planning, evaluation, and management of natural resources to achieve sustainability.
"I am incredibly honored by the recognition and particularly humbled to be the first to be named to the Jonathan W. Bulkley Collegiate Professorship,” Miller said. “I have the utmost admiration for everything that Jonathan has done both personally and professionally, and appreciate all of the advice and encouragement that he's given me. I'm also grateful to the Wege Foundation for their continued support of the Sustainable Systems program over the years."