Professional News

VIDEO: Love of Learning Motivates UK Engineering Professor

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2018) — Gabriel Dadi, who teaches in the Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering, has a love for not only learning, but passing along that knowledge to the next generation of engineers.

It is a quality that has not gone unnoticed by his students.

Civil engineering graduate student Zamaan Al-shabbani, a student, teaching assistant and research assistant of Dadi, said, “He teaches his classes in a way that makes students interested in the materials and in attending class. He always encourages students to ask questions, and he elaborates answering the question to cover all aspects of the question in detail.” Al-shabbani added that Dadi is “fair and consistent with his students and his classes are informative and provide real world skills that can be used (at the) construction site.”

Civil engineering doctoral student Elyas Jazayeri describes Dadi as a “young and passionate professor” and a “pioneer in his research field” with “great confidence.” But that is not why Jazayeri nominated Dadi. “Creativity is one of the features that (Dadi) is great at; he always uses new and creative materials in his classes. Students are comfortable talking and discussing in his class. The way he (talks) to students is very unique, and you feel like you are discussing your problem with your friend.”

Watch the video above to discover why the student who nominated him to win the 2018 Great Teacher Award says Dadi has taught him about so much more than just engineering principles.

Award recipients were honored at the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Recognition Dinner last week at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington. They were recognized during the Vanderbilt University vs. Kentucky men’s basketball game later that evening as well.

The Great Teacher Award, started in 1961, is the longest-running University of Kentucky award recognizing teaching. In order to receive the award, educators must first be nominated by a student. The UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Committee, in cooperation with the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa, then makes the final selections. Recipients receive an engraved plaque and monetary reward.

The UK Alumni Association is a membership supported organization committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association or to become a member, visit or call 1-800-269-2586.

This is a photo of Gabriel Dadi teaching.
UK 2018 Great Teacher Gabriel Dadi.