Fort Smith native receives national award for teaching excellence

Grant Crawford, a 1981 graduate of Southside High School, has been selected to receive the 2020 Ralph Coats Roe Award by the American Society for Engineering Education. The award, which includes a $10,000 honorarium, recognizes a mechanical engineering educator who is known for outstanding teaching and leadership in the classroom and who has made notable professional contributions.


“In his more than 35 years of service as a mechanical engineering faculty member and administrator, his numerous leadership roles in multiple professional societies and his active duty service as an officer in the U.S. Army, Grant has provided exemplary leadership and distinguished service to his colleges, the nation and to mankind,” Lynn Byers, chair of engineering at Quinnipiac, said.


“His career, teaching and service contributions have had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of engineering faculty, engineering students and young people,” Byers said.


The son of Bob and Becky Crawford of Fort Smith, Crawford graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.


An infantryman, helicopter and airplane pilot, and engineering professor at West Point, he retired from the Army in 2014 after nearly 30 years of active service and tours of duty that included Korea, Germany, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan.


He subsequently moved to Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., where he helped develop the new engineering school and now serves as a tenured professor of mechanical engineering.


Crawford has a master of science degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a doctor of philosophy degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Kansas. He is a licensed professional engineer.