Honors and Awards - 2017

November 2017

Professors Maria Gini, Tian He, and George Karypis (computer science and engineering) have been named IEEE Fellows - Gini for her contributions to multi-agent programming in robotics, He for his development and optimization of networked sensing systems, and Karypis for his contributions to graph partitioning and data mining. The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.

Professor Peter Polacik (mathematics) was named Fellow of the American Mathematical Society for 2018 for contributions to partial differential equations and infinite-dimensional dynamical systems.

Professor David Odde (biomedical engineering) and Professor Keshab Parhi (electrical and computer engineering) have been named 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows for their distinguished efforts to advance science and its applications.


October 2017

Associate professor Kimberly Hill-Malvick (civil, environmental and geo- engineering) has been named a UMN Grand Challenges Research Scholar for the “Clean Water and Sustainable Ecosystems-Just and Equitable Communities Intersection Collaborative.”

Assistant professors Crystal Ng and Cara Santelli and research associate Amy Myrbo (earth sciences) and colleagues are recipients of a UMN Grand Challenges Research interdisciplinary team award. The award provides $720,000 for their research on “Wild rice in Minnesota and the Great Lakes region: A flagship for environmental preservation and indigenous resource sovereignty.”

Senior scientist Kurt Wick (physics and astronomy) was awarded the American Physical Society’s 2018 Jonathan F. Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction. Wick leads the advanced physics labs and received this award for "over two decades of educational innovation and teaching excellence in the advanced laboratory sequence at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities; for cultivating students’ interest and expertise in modern experimental methods and research through laboratory education and independent projects; and for consistently supporting the advanced laboratory community in the adoption of modern experimental methods in the curriculum."

Professor Keith Olive (physics and astronomy) was awarded the 2018 Hans A. Bethe Prize for "outstanding contributions across a broad spectrum of fields, including nuclear physics, particle physics, theoretical and observational astrophysics, and cosmology, especially Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the properties of dark matter."

Professors Peter Carr and Christy Haynes (chemistry) are featured in the Analytical Scientist 2017 Top 10 Power Lists, called The Magnificent Tens. Haynes was listed #9 on the Giants of Nano. Carr was listed #4 on Mentors.

Professor Tim Lodge (chemistry) received the 2017 Paul J. Flory Polymer Education Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Polymer Chemistry for his outstanding achievements in promoting undergraduate and graduate polymer education.

Professor George Karypis (computer science and engineering) has been selected for the 2017 IEEE ICDM Research Contributions Award. The award is IEEE’s highest recognition for research achievements in data mining.

Graduate student Yiqun Xie (computer science and engineering) received the best poster award (“People’s Choice”) at the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science’s 2017 Symposium (UCGIS 2017).

Graduate student Baris Unver (computer science and engineering) received the Best Demo Award at the 29th International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp 2017).

Assistant professor Zizhuo Wang (industrial and systems engineering) was the recipient of the 2017 Adobe Digital Marketing Research Award, which provides an unrestricted gift in the amount of $25,000 to support the research project, “Real-time learning and optimization with applications to personalized product/ad recommendation.”

Assistant Professor Rusen Yang (mechanical engineering) was a recent winner of the 2017 Nano Energy Award, which is given to an early career outstanding researcher whose work reflects the interdisciplinarity of this field, impactfully contributing to solve the major energy problems facing society.



September 2017

Professor Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) has been elected to the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC) Board.

Assistant professor Maziar Hemati (aerospace engineering and mechanics) advanced to senior membership within the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). This distinction is conferred upon outstanding members of the AIAA who have “demonstrated successful professional practice in the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics.”

Assistant professor Filippo Coletti (aerospace engineering and mechanics) was awarded two grants from the U.S. Department of Defense to study air turbulence.

Associate Professor Bharat Jalan (chemical engineering and materials science) was awarded the prestigious Paul H. Holloway Young Investigator Award from the Thin Film Division of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) for his significant contributions in the area of thin film synthesis and study of multifunctional materials.

Professor Michael Tsapatsis (chemical engineering and materials science) has been awarded the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair that acknowledges the critical contributions of important University faculty who have distinguished themselves and their departments in the missions of research, education, and public engagement.

Professor William Northrop (mechanical engineering) has been appointed as Director of the Thomas E. Murphy Engine Laboratory.

Professor Peter Bruggeman (mechanical engineering) has been appointed as Director of the High Temperature & Plasma Laboratory.

Professor John Bischof (mechanical engineering) has been named Interim Director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine.

Professor Jim Kakalios (physics and astronomy) received an Honorary Degree from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom for his "significant contribution to pioneering research and public dissemination in physics."

Graduate student Zachary Robinson (physics and astronomy) received the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program Award.



August 2017

Graduate researcher Evgenii Fetosov (chemistry) won the Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award for Graduate Students presented by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Computers in Chemistry Division at the ACS National Meeting in Washington, D.C. He was honored for his research on first principles Monte Carlo simulations of reactive phase and sorption equilibria.

Assistant professor Renee R. Frontiera (chemistry) received a Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Research Program award. Her research for the DOE focuses on understanding how molecular vibrations can be used to efficiently drive the conversion of solar energy into electrical or chemical energy.

Professor Thomas Hoye (chemistry) has received a 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, recognized for his excellence in organic chemistry.

A research article by Professor John Ellis (chemistry) and his colleagues has been designated as a Very Important Paper, which is a distinction given to less than five percent of the manuscripts published in Angewandte Chemie.

Graduate researchers Jacob Held and Prashant Kumar (chemical engineering and materials science) won first place awards at the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2017 Meeting in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Graduate student Shaden Smith (computer science and engineering) has received a 2017 ACM/IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial High Performance Computing Fellowship. The fellowship honors exceptional Ph.D. students throughout the world whose research focus areas are in high-performance computing (HPC), networking, storage, and large-scale data analysis.

Professor Victoria Interrante (computer science and engineering) is part of a team that was recently awarded approximately $3M from the National Science Foundation for their project, “Graduate Training Program in Sensory Science: Optimizing the Information Available for Mind and Brain.”

Professor Jane Davidson (mechanical engineering) and her co-author were awarded Best Paper Award for 2016 in Concentrating Solar Power by The International Journal. Their paper is entitled “The morphological stability and fuel production of commercial fibrous ceria particles for solar thermochemical redox cycling.”



July 2017

Graduate researcher Anna Huff (chemistry) earned the Rao Prize at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy for her research presentation, “Facile formation of acetic sulfuric anhydride in a supersonic jet: Characterization by microwave spectroscopy and computational chemistry.”

Professor Harvey Thorleifson (earth sciences) has won the President's Award of the Association of American State Geologists for 2017.

Assistant professor Stephen Guy (computer science and engineering) is part of a collaborative research team looking into what makes the perfect smile. Recently reported in Plos One, their study used a computer-animated 3D facial tool to investigate how smiles are perceived.

Associate professor Stefano Gonella (civil, environmental, and geo-engineering) is part of a multi-university team recently awarded a Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $2,000,000. The project is concerned with the development of new classes of acoustic metamaterials with unique properties that defy some of the conventional laws of elastic wave propagation.



June 2017

Professor Lian Shen (mechanical engineering) has been selected as the new director of the University of Minnesota's St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL).

Professor Art Erdman (mechanical engineering) was presented with the 2017 ASME Savio L.-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal for "translating meritorious bioengineering science to clinical practice through research, education, professional development, and with service to the bioengineering community."

Professor Prodromos Daoutidis (chemical engineering and materials science) recently won the Computing in Chemical Engineering Award as part of the 2017 AIChE Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division Awards. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of computing and systems technology to chemical engineering.

Assistant professor Bharat Jalan (chemical engineering and materials science) has been selected as a recipient of the American Association for Crystal Growth Young Scientist Award, which will be presented to him at the upcoming 21st American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy (ACCGE-21) to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 30-August 4, 2017

Professor David Blank (chemistry) has been appointed the new Head of the Department of Chemistry, effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Professor R. Lee Penn (chemistry) has been appointed the Merck II Professor of Chemistry for a five-year term starting, July 1, 2017.

Graduate student Sadie Otte (chemistry) has been awarded the Sharon I. Doherty Award in recognition of her outstanding volunteer service concerning women’s issues on campus or in the broader community.

Professor Catherine French (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) was named 2017 Woman of the Year by the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS).

Professor Christy Haynes (chemistry) is a national finalist for the 2017 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. She is one of the top 10 candidates in the chemistry category.

Professor Daniel Spirn (mathematics) has been appointed as Director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.


May 2017

Professor Saif Benjaafar (industrial and systems engineering) was named Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy, a university-wide initiative sponsored by the Center for Transportation Studies and the ISyE department.

Professor Anand Gopinath (electrical and computer engineering) has been awarded the 2017 Microwave Application Award of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) for his contributions to the analysis of microstrip lines and their discontinuities.

Professor Keshab Parhi (electrical and computer engineering) has been awarded the Mac Van Valkenburg Award from the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society for pioneering contributions to VLSI digital signal processing architectures, design methodologies, and their applications to wired and wireless communications.

Professor Allison Hubel (mechanical engineering) has received the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biobanking in recognition for her leadership in the cryopreservation field.

Professor William Durfee (mechanical engineering) and professor Art Erdman (mechanical engineering) have received the Entrepreneurship Faculty of the Year Award from the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

Professsor Sean Garrick (mechanical engineering) is the new Faculty Development Fellow for the Institute of Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) at the University of Minnesota.

Professor Frank Bates (chemical engineering and materials science) and professor Maury Bramson (mathematics) were elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Associate professor Jia-Liang Le (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 EMI Leonardo da Vinci Award, which recognizes outstanding young investigators for promising ground-breaking developments in the field of Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Sciences as relevant to Civil Engineering.

April 2017

Associate professor Lian Shen (mechanical engineering) and his collaborators at the Naval Postgraduate School and University of Central Florida have been awarded $3M by the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO) to study atmospheric turbulence and its effect on optical propagation.

Professor Prodromos Daoutidis (chemical engineering and materials science) has been appointed as a College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor.

Professor Chris Leighton (chemical engineering and materials science) has been appointed as inaugural Editor of the newest addition to the American Physical Society family of journals, Physical Review Materials.
Professor Aditya Bhan (chemical engineering and materials science) has been named the winner of the 2017 Acid Base Catalysis Young Scientist Award.

Professor R. Lee Penn (chemistry) received the Community Excellence Award for equity and diversity work, which recognizes employees, students, departments, and groups who go above and beyond in their commitment to and work with the University of Minnesota’s Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life.

Professor Kenneth Heller (physics) will receive the 2017 Millikan Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The medal recognizes "those who have made notable and intellectually creative contributions to the teaching of physics."

Professor Susan Jones (history of science and technology) has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2017. Chosen on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, 173 fellowships were awarded to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants.

Teaching assistant Taha Namazi (civil, environmental, and geo-engineering) has been awarded the John Bowers Excellence in Teaching Assistance Award for 2017.

Professor Vipin Kumar (computer science and engineering) from your university was recently named a 2017 Fellow for the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Associate professor Erin Carlson (chemistry) has received the 2017 Rising Star Award given by the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society.

March 2017

Professor Marc Hillmyer (chemistry) received the Entrepreneurial Award at the University of Minnesota Inventors Recognition event. He was recognized for developing biodegradable plastics made from renewable sources, and derived from sources like sugar, to make high-performance foam, rubber or hard materials.

Three chemistry faculty members will receive major awards from the American Chemical Society for 2017. They are professor Lawrence Que Jr. (chemistry) who will receive the 2017 American Chemical Society Award in Inorganic Chemistry; professor William Tolman (chemistry) who will receive the 2017 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry; and professor Thomas Hoye (chemistry) who will receive the 2017 American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award.

Professor Vlad Pribiag (physics and astronomy) has been selected as a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics. Pribiag is one of only 23 physicists to receive the fellowship this year.

Associate professor Traian Dumitricã (mechanical engineering) was named a fellow in the energy area at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) (Institute of Advanced Studies).

Professor Peter McMurry (mechanical engineering) will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of Helsinki for his behind-the-scenes support of Finnish aerosol research.

Professor Bethanie Stadler (electrical and computer engineering) is recipient of the 2017 Taylor Award for Distinguished Service, which recognizes her services to the magnetics and materials research communities, and her service to the department, the University, and the surrounding community.

Professor Anand Gopinath (electrical and computer engineering) has been awarded the 2017 Microwave Application Award of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) for his contributions to the analysis of microstrip lines and their discontinuities.

Professor Eray Aydil (chemical engineering and materials science) is the recipient of a 2016-17 Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education Award.

George Markou, a fourth-year chemical engineering graduate student in Professor Casim Sarkar’s research group, has been selected to receive a predoctoral fellowship from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture as part of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

Professor Michelle Driessen (chemistry) has received a 2016-17 Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Professors Theresa Reineke (chemistry), Loren Terveen (computer science and engineering), and Tianhong Cui (mechanical engineering) have received the University of Minnesota’s 2017 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship.

Assistant professor Rafael Fernandes (physics and astronomy) received the 2017 George W. Taylor Career Development Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to teaching by a candidate for tenure.

February 2017

Three mechanical engineering students, Kory Jenkins, Vu Nguyen, and Kanav Khosla received finalist recognition for the 2016 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award, recognizing their innovative ideas and research that encourages and promotes sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.

Researcher Rajdeep Chatterjee (physics and astronomy) was given an award for outstanding young scientists who have made significant contributions to the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment.

Professor Emeritus Thomas Kuehn (mechanical engineering) is the recipient of the ASHRAE E.K. Campbell Award.

Assistant Professor Renee Frontiera (chemistry) has received a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant to support her research on label-free super-resolution microscopy.

Assistant professor Ian Tonks (chemistry) has been awarded a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry for 2017. Tonks was among 126 winners of this highly competitive award intended to enhance the careers of exceptional young faculty.

Professor Philippe Buhlmann (chemistry) has been named a 3M/Alumni Professor, which recognizes and rewards chemistry's most distinguished faculty.

Professor John Sartori (electrical and computer engineering) received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in recognition of his early career potential and his intentions to do research in power management.

Professor Rhonda Franklin (electrical and computer engineering) has been awarded the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, which recognizes her contributions to undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota through commitment to academic and/or career advising.

Assistant Professors Sairaj Dhople (electrical and computer engineering), Cari Dutcher (mechanical engineering), Renee Frontiera (chemistry), Lana Yarosh (computer science and engineering), and Vivian Ferry (chemical engineering and materials science) have been selected to receive a University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. This award is designed to advance the careers of new assistant professors at a crucial point in their professional lives. The two-year appointment, 2017-2019, includes a research grant of $50,000.


January 2017

Professor Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) received this year's Isaiah Shavitt Lectureship Award. She delivered a week-long mini-course for graduate students on correlation theory with hands-on experience in state-of-the-art computational methods.

Professor Arthur Erdman (mechanical engineering) received the 2017 ASME Savio L-Y Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal, for "translating meritorious bioengineering science to clinical practice through research, education, professional development, and with service to the bioengineering community." He will present at the 3rd Summer  Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference, June 21-24, Tucson Arizona.

Three chemistry faculty members have been honored with major 2017 American Chemical Society awards. They include include Professor Thomas Hoye, Regents Professor Lawrence Que Jr., and Professor and Department Chair William Tolman. Que and Tolman received two of the American Chemical Society’s top inorganic chemistry awards, and Hoye was honored with a prestigious award for his work in organic chemistry.

Undergraduate researcher Anthony Tabet (biomedical engineering) was awarded a Churchill Scholarship from the Winston Churchill Foundation for the United States to study at the University of Cambridge and work toward an M.Phil in Chemistry.

Assistant professor Benjamin Hackel (chemical engineering) was chosen to receive the Guillermo E. Borja Career Development Award in recognition of his outstanding academic and research accomplishments.

Assistant professor Cari Dutcher (mechanical engineering) received the 2017-19 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship for her work in understanding atmospheric aerosol particles.

Professor Arthur Erdman (mechanical engineering) was selected to receive the 2017 ASME Savio L-Y Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal for his work in bioengineering and its relation to clinical practice.

Associate professor Michael McAlpine (mechanical engineering) received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his commitment to innovative research, scientific leadership, and public outreach.