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2020-2023 Presidential Teaching Professor

Lee Blaney, Associate Professor, Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering

Lee Blaney has established himself as a strong educator, and a supporter of undergraduate research and service-learning opportunities for students. Throughout his tenure in UMBC’s Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering, Blaney has made significant contributions to excellence in teaching, and regularly serves as a mentor for students conducting research in his lab, in his classes, and across campus.

Since arriving at UMBC in 2011, Blaney has dedicated himself to engaging students in a variety of settings, including the classroom, lab, and field, and presenting challenges that allow students to grow their critical thinking skills and expand their knowledge. His teaching philosophy is to provide a safe learning environment to students without fear of being incorrect, to promote collaboration inside and outside of the classroom, and to challenge students to think critically and outperform what they expect of themselves. He cultivates curiosity in his students and inspires faculty to invest in students.

In the classroom, Blaney leads students in highly interactive conversations, and uses electronic tools, in-class problems, and diagrams to augment his lectures. As an instructor, Blaney encourages his students to ask questions, which often help guide the discussion in his classroom. He aims to nurture his students’, while allowing them to become independent problem solvers. Students in Blaney’s classes consistently provide highly complimentary comments and reviews about his teaching style and coursework. His students describe his style as approachable, challenging, enthusiastic, and respectful.

Blaney’s expertise in innovative pedagogy has impacted students outside of the chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering department. He understands the interdisciplinarity of the environmental engineering field, and seeks out opportunities to connect with students and faculty across campus. Blaney has given guest lectures in courses across departments and colleges at UMBC.

He also serves as the faculty advisor of UMBC’s Engineers Without Borders chapter. Under Blaney’s leadership, the chapter helped bring clean water to a village in Kenya, and the group is now working on a project in Costa Rica.

Blaney received his B.S. and M.S. in environmental engineering from Lehigh University, and his Ph.D. in civil engineering  from the University of Texas at Austin.