Charles Monroe, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is known for bringing enthusiasm and energy to everything he does — including teaching. Monroe has helped modernize the department’s curriculum, including creating online question banks in Canvas for widespread faculty use.
In addition to his dynamic teaching style, Monroe also is relatable, students say. He regularly shares his experiences from working in the industry to give course subjects real-world applications. He always encourages students to pursue hands-on learning opportunities when possible, often using his contacts in the metal-casting industry to secure supplies for student projects and help them make connections with potential employers. Approximately 80% of graduating mechanical science and engineering students matriculate with professional experience due to Monroe’s dedication to helping them find internships and co-op positions.
“Dr. Monroe has been the most influential professor I have had during my time at UAB,” a student wrote. “He strives to have a personal relationship with each student and fosters the interest of his pupils.”
“When I walked back out of his office, I felt as if the way the world works had just been explained to me.”
Another student remembers approaching Monroe after having a difficult time understanding a concept from class; Monroe sat with him for about two hours explaining the idea until it finally clicked.
“When I walked back out of his office, I felt as if the way the world works had just been explained to me,” the student wrote. “I went on to recover from the first test and get an A in the course. I’ve seen him do the same with countless other students.” Because of this interaction, that student later changed their major to materials engineering.
During his tenure in the department, Monroe has developed four new courses, revamped one and taught 17, and purchased spectrometers, upgraded and purchased microscopes and purchased software licenses. In addition to his work at UAB, Monroe has been a Foundry Education Foundation Key Professor since 2012 and is a member of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, the Association for Iron & Steel Technology and the Foundry Educational Foundation, among others.
“Dr. Monroe has so much enthusiasm that is contagious to his students and gets them to be more and more fired up about what they are learning, as well as getting out in the real world and working to better both the companies and knowledge that respective field,” a student wrote. “I will never be able to forget the man that always has his coffee in hand, ready to encourage and teach his students.”