Professor Cimbala has taught courses in both undergraduate and graduate level fluid mechanics, and undergraduate level thermodynamics, heat transfer, and air pollution control. He has been in charge of the Undergraduate Fluid Flow Laboratory since its inception in 1986. In May of 1992, Professor Cimbala received the College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award (one of four awarded in the College of Engineering). In April of 1996, Professor Cimbala received the College of Engineering Premier Teaching Award (one awarded in the College of Engineering). In April of 1997, he received the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching (one of four awarded in the University). In October of 1997, Professor Cimbala was presented with the Teacher of the Year Award from the Mechanical Engineering honor society Pi Tau Sigma (one awarded in the Department).
From 1996 to 1998, Professor Cimbala was a member of the IBM Master Teacher Team, a joint project between the College of Engineering and the College of Business to promote better teaching practices. He has been involved in several projects to enhance teaching via the Internet. The Internet has enabled instructors to utilize web pages, on-line quizzes, and learning modules for their courses.
One of Professor Cimbala's most recent projects involves the development of Learning Modules on the web. These modules provide information, not only about particular course material, but also about more general topics relevant to engineering. One of Dr. Cimbala's most popular sites is his Fluent Learning Module site, where users of ANSYS-FLUENT, a commercial computational fluid mechanics (CFD) program, and OpenFOAM, an open-source CFD program, can learn to use CFD by practicing on several practical examples.