Samuel Labi has always shown interest in teaching and he feels privileged to be actively involved in the training and education of future engineers as they prepare to assume critical roles as managers and stewards of civil and transportation facilities.
He has contributed to the teaching of engineering in a variety of ways including (i) developing a new course that introduces system perspectives to students of civil engineering, (ii) teaching four undergraduate and two graduate level courses in the School of Civil Engineering, (iii) co-chairing or membership of the dissertation, thesis, and non-thesis committees of graduate students (iv) formal or informal supervision and mentoring of undergraduate research in summer sessions and regular sessions.
In his teaching duties, Dr. Labi strives to fully exploit available instructional techniques, tools, and resources. He uses innovative teaching styles as well as well-tested traditional techniques, and he encourages hands-on student experiences. He monitors closely his students’ performance individually in order to elicit maximum performance from each student. In his teaching, Dr. Labi adopts a didactic technique that first introduces students to the basics and fundamentals of the subject matter, encourages critical thinking and creativity, and then helps them to cultivate the art of invoking appropriate concepts to solve a specific problem.
Throughout the course of each semester, Dr. Labi helps students to view the practice of engineering in a systematic and holistic fashion. He constantly stresses the need for healthy enthusiasm and demonstrates to them that passion is indeed a necessary ingredient in the menu for career success. As part of his teaching duties, Dr. Labi typically utilizes a combination of instructional techniques including regular reading assignments, analytical assignments designed to foster creativity, conceptual exercises as a supplement to every analytical question. In his classroom settings, Dr. Labi actively solicits contributions from the audience. Occasionally, he invites other speakers in other disciplines and the industry to provide to the student a wider perspective of the issues under discussion.
Dr. Labi’s formal contributions to teaching are evidenced in part by his authorship/co-authorship of two published engineering text that is used at a number of universities worldwide and at least one other forthcoming text: Transportation Decision Making – Principles of Project Evaluation and Programming, published by Wiley in 2007, co-author; Introduction to Civil Engineering Systems, Wiley, 2014, author; and Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Systems, CRC Press, release date April 2018, co-author.
Dr. Labi makes efforts to infuse creativity into his teaching style and strives keeps abreast with developments in engineering education in order to learn new tools and effective teaching strategies.
Dr. Labi also pursues mentoring activities that are geared towards making his students not only better learners but also better teachers. First, he enhancing learning effectiveness of his students by working with them closely to provide experiences that reinforce acquisition and retention of the material. Secondly, he provides opportunities for his graduate and undergraduate students to give a presentation in his classes, interact with the audience, and respond to questions.
With the recognition that his graduate students will be pursuing academic positions, Dr. Labi encourages his graduate students to participate in teaching workshops and seminars organized by Purdue University’s Center for Instructional Excellence and the Purdue Teaching Academy.