Faculty Spotlight

College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Praveen Malali
Department: Science and Mathematics

Dr. Malali is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at A&M – Central Texas, in the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program. He joined the program in Fall 2023.

Malali Article:

“Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Education
for a Sustainable Future”

Dr. Praveen Malali embarked on his academic journey with an MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. His years in graduate school were truly transformative, allowing him to immerse himself in both research and teaching activities. As a teaching assistant and later as an instructor for thermodynamics courses, he gained valuable insights into effective pedagogical approaches to teaching thermodynamics.

The dual role as a researcher and educator provided him with a unique perspective – one that mirrored the experience of undergraduate students grappling with new, complex material. Dr. Malali emphasized the critical role of instructors in creating a supportive learning environment and providing students with relatable examples and explanations that demystify complex topics. Moreover, he underscored the importance of empathy-based teaching, recognizing that students, like himself during his graduate studies, are navigating uncharted waters and need support to navigate them successfully.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Malali has been dedicated to bridging the gap between theoretical engineering concepts and real-world problem-solving. His expertise lies in the fields of ocean and solar energy, and he has conducted extensive research in areas such as ocean currents and energy auditing. Additionally, he has explored novel pedagogical approaches, including strategies rooted in meta-cognition – encouraging students to think critically about their own learning processes and strategies.

One particularly notable project led by Dr. Malali involved increasing awareness about renewable energy among middle school students. Through a series of workshops and engaging activities, he witnessed the excitement and curiosity these young learners exhibited when introduced to the world of renewable energy. For him, the essence of meaningful education lies in connecting it to personal experiences and demonstrating how engineering concepts can serve as potent tools for addressing real-world challenges.

Dr. Malali’s enthusiasm for the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program at Texas A&M University – Central Texas (TAMUCT) is palpable. He lauds the program’s flexibility and collegial support, which enables him to teach, conduct research and design course electives. This freedom also empowers him to foster an interdisciplinary approach, aiming to collaborate with experts from diverse fields to enrich the educational experience for his students.

Furthermore, Dr. Malali is a staunch advocate for supporting veterans and increasing their participation in STEM fields. Given the university’s proximity to Fort Cavazos, he envisions the institution as a crucial resource for military personnel transitioning to civilian life. To this end, he proposes tutoring programs and initiatives specifically designed to nurture their interest in STEM disciplines, ensuring that no potential goes untapped.

Dr. Praveen Malali’s commitment to advancing renewable energy research is unwavering. He recently completed a project focusing on reducing shoreline erosion through the strategic deployment of oyster reefs. This research underscores the significance of his work in addressing critical environmental challenges and promoting sustainability.

Beyond his research endeavors, Dr. Malali places a strong emphasis on community engagement. He envisions establishing collaborations with local community colleges to host workshops and expose students to emerging technologies, such as 3D printing, solar energy, and ocean energy. By bringing in students from various backgrounds and demographics, these workshops aim to ignite a passion for STEM fields and inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Dr. Liana TaylorDr. Praveen Malali is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at A&M – Central Texas, in the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program. He joined the program in Fall 2023. Teaching interests are in Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and energy-related topics. Research interests are in ocean energy, solar-thermal power generation, energy savings and engineering education.

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