Honors and Awards - 2019

December 2019

Professor Maria Gini (computer science) was named a 2019 Association for Computing Machinery Fellow, one of five to be chosen from the University's Department of Computer Science since 2006. 

Postdoctoral researcher and alumnus Woongsun Jeon (ME Ph.D. '19) won second place in the 2019 IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference's Best PhD Dissertation competition. 

Professor Mattia Fazzini (computer science) received a 2019 Facebook Testing and Verification research award for his research proposal to assess the quality of avidly used mobile apps. 

Alumna Aarti Sathyanarayana (CSci M.S. '15, CSci Ph.D. '17) received the American Epilepsy Society's 2019 Young Investigator Award. 

Professor Satish Kumar (chemical engineering and materials science) has been elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics. 

Alumus Anil Bajaj (Mechanics Ph.D. '81) received the 2019 Thomas K. Caughey Dynamics Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his expertise in nonlinear dynamics.

Professor Georgios Giannakis (electrical and computer engineering) was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the highest professional distinction conferred solely on academic inventors.

Professor Mohamed Mokbel (computer science) was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to building spatially and privacy-aware systems. 

Ph.D. candidate Yiqun Xie (computer science) received the Best Vision Paper Award at the Association for Computing Machinery's 27th SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems. 

Undergraduate student Meghan Cahill (chemistry) received the American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry for excelling in analytical chemistry and showing great potential as a future analytical chemist. 

Distinguished McKnight University Professor Chris Leighton (chemical engineering and materials science) has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Professor Jeffrey J. Derby (chemical engineering and materials science) was selected to be Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Crystal Growth starting in January 2020. 

Ph.D. candidate Luci Baker (aerospace engineering and mechanics) received the Edward Silberman award for her work in experimental investigation of inertial particles in turbulent shear flows. 

November 2019

Professor Anar Akhmedov (mathematics) was named a 2020 American Mathematical Society Fellow for his contributions to core problems in topology.

Professor and McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair Georgios Giannakis (electrical and computer engineering) received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' 2019 Communications Society Education award for his contributions to educational tools in signal processing and dedication to his teaching. 

Assistant professor Kangjie Lu (computer science) received the Outstanding Paper Award at the Association for Computing Machinery's 2019 Conference on Computer and Communications Security.

Ph.D. student Jae Shin Yoon (computer science) won the University's 2018-2019 Graduate Research and Discussion Seminars (GRaDS) research award for his talk on human behavioral imaging.

Ph.D. student Ibrahim Sabek (computer science) placed first in the ACM SIGSPATIAL Graduate Student Research Competition with his paper titled, “Towards Scalable Spatial Probabilistic Graphical Modeling.”

Assistant professor Qi Zhang, alumnus Andrew Allman (ChemE Ph.D. '18), and graduate student Wentao Tang (chemical engineering and materials science) earned Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. 

Associate professor Xiang Cheng (chemical engineering and materials science) was awarded the 2019 Arthur B. Metzner Early Career Award for his distinguished research in rheology. 

Ph.D. student Jiali Huang (industrial and systems engineering) was named a finalist for the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences 2019 Student Paper Prize in Revenue Management and Pricing for her paper on the Value of Price Discrimination in Large Random Networks.

Ph.D. student Rachel Tenney (civil, environmental, and geo-engineering) received a Minnesota Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Scholar Award for her research on nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment ponds. 

Professor Traian Dumitrica and his students Yuezho Wang, Hao Xu, Grigorii Drozdov, and Igor Ostanin (mechanical engineering) received the 2020 Peter A. Cundall Award for the Fifth International Itasca Symposium for their work on a Distinct Element Method (DEM) for fibrous composites.

October 2019

Associate professor Dominik Schillinger (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) received the 2019 Engineering Mechanics Institute Leonardo DaVinci Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for his contributions to computational mechanics. 

Professor Christy Haynes (chemistry) was included in the 2019 Analytical Scientist Power List, partially in recognition of her research group's nanomaterial design project for agricultural applications. 

The Minnesota chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation (ARCS) named professor Bob Tranquillo (biomedical engineering) as the first-ever ARCS Minnesota Scientist of the Year in honor of his 20-year run as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Ph.D. student Yiqun Xie and professor Shashi Shekhar (computer science and engineering) received the Best Paper Award at the 16th International Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases for their research on a widely-used clustering technique. 

Assistant professor Diana Negoescu (industrial and systems engineering) is a finalist in the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) 2019 Junior Faculty Interest Group Paper Competition.

Ph.D. candidate Diqing Su and Ph.D. student Renata Saha (electrical and computer engineering) won best poster awards at the Institute for Engineering in Medicine's annual retreat.

Professor Ramesh Harjani, alumnus Naser Mousavi and Ph.D. student Zhiheng Wang (electrical and computer engineering) received the 2018 European Solid-State Circuit Conference Best Paper Award for their research on analog and wireless circuits.

Professor Zhi Yang (biomedical engineering) received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her project on peripheral nerve recording, analysis, and modulation. 

September 2019

Regents professor Ned Mohan (electrical and computer engineering) received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' 2019 Industry Applications Science Outstanding Educator award.

Ph.D. student Casey Chitwood (biomedical engineering) won the award for Best Student Poster at the 2019 Institute for Engineering in Medicine Annual Conference. 

Professor Lucy Fortson (physics and astronomy) received the American Physical Society's 2019 Nicholson Medal for Outreach for her leadership of the Zooniverse project, an online platform for citizen science. 

Graduate student Amani Lee (chemistry) was recognized as the best graduate student presenter at an annual meeting for the University's Institute for Engineering in Medicine. 

Ph.D. student Lizzy Crist (biomedical engineering) was named on Society of Women Engineers' 2019 list of "Women Engineers You Should Know" for her commitment to a cancer-free, female-friendly future. 

Alumnus Mohit Sinha (EE Ph.D. '18) received the University of Minnesota Graduate School's 2019 Best Dissertation Award in the physical sciences and engineering category. 

Alumnus Zsolt Rumy (ChemE B.S. '66) received the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award for revolutionizing the carbon fiber industry. 

August 2019

Graduate student Vasanth Ravikumar (biomedical engineering) received a best grad student poster award at the 2019 Lillehei Heart Institute Cardio Palooza. 

Professor Jian-Ping Wang (electrical and computer engineering) received the 2019 Semiconductor Research Corporation Technical Excellence Award for his innovations in nanomagnetics and novel spintronic devices. 

Professor Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) received the American Chemical Society's 2020 Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry for her leadership in the quantum chemistry field. 

Regents Professor Donald Truhlar (chemistry) was elected to be an Honorary Fellow of the Chemical Research Society of India, and is one of only 16 American chemists to receive such an honor.

Alumnus Haakon Fossen ('92 Ph.D., geology and geophysics) received the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals for his wide-ranging contributions to the geology field in Norway and around the world. 

Professor Ian A. Tonks (chemistry) received the Department of Energy's Early Career Research Program award, a highly competitive honor given to 73 researchers across the nation. 

Professor John Sartori (electrical and computer engineering) received the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Innovation award, which supports those working on translational research and technology development. 

July 2019

SRC, the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, named Jian-Ping Wang (electrical and computer engineering) recipient of its 2019 Technical Excellence Award—"for innovations and discoveries in nanomagnetics and novel materials."

Professors Duane Nykamp, Jonathan Rogness, and Mike Weimerskirch (mathematics) were awarded a National Science Foundation grant from the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Program to build an educational technology platform for online learning experiments. 

Michael McAlpine (mechanical engineering) was promoted to professor and named the Kuhrmeyer Family Chair. 

Professor Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) was elected to be a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, an international scientific society, covering applications of quantum theory, including chemistry and chemical physics.

Professor Filippo Coletti (aerospace engineering and mechanics) received a three-year National Science Foundation grant to develop a new paradigm in multiphase heat transfer modeling with researchers from the University of Michigan and Iowa State University. 

Professors Philippe Buhlmann and Marc Hillmyer (chemistry) were named 2019 American Chemical Society fellows. 

Assistant Professor Qi Zhang (chemical engineering and materials science) received the 2019 W. David Smith Jr. Graduate Publication Award from the Computing and Systems Technology division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Associate Professor Kevin Leder (industrial and systems engineering) was elected to be one of nine faculty members to represent the College of Science and Engineering in the Faculty and University Senates.

Associate Professor Bharat Jalan (chemical engineering and materials science) and Assistant Professor Dominik Schillinger (civil, environmental and geo-engineering)  are recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to outstanding researchers who are just beginning their careers. 

Associate Professor Andre Mkhoyan (chemical engineering and materials science) received a grant from the Research Infrastructure Investment Program to upgrade the University's electron microscopy facility. 

Research Associate Qi Shao (mechanical engineering) received 2018 Editor's Award from the Society of Thermal Medicine's International Journal of Hyperthermia for his paper on T cell responses to cancer antigens under certain therapeutic conditions. 

June 2019

PhD student M. Hassan Najafi (electrical and computer engineering) received the Best Poster award at the 2019 Design Automation Conference for his dissertation research on stochastic computing. 

Assistant Professor Xiaojia Wang (mechanical engineering) received a 2019 Minnesota Futures Award from the University's Office of the Vice President for Research for her exploration of using semiconductor technology to power Minnesota's electrical system.

Professors David Pui (mechanical engineering) and Ned Mohan (electrical and computer engineering) were named Regents Professors, the highest honor given to faculty by the University. 

Undergraduate student Matthew DeJong (chemical engineering and materials science) is one of two University of Minnesota students to be named a 2019 Astronaut Scholar. 

Graduate students Sheng-Yin "Dima" Huang, En-Chih Liu, Monica Ohnsorg, and Rachel Swedin (chemistry) received Paul and Gerda Gassman awards for their outstanding research presentations at the University's Graduate Student Research Symposium.

Professor Carme Calderer (math) was elected a Foreign Correspondent Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona. There are only 35 such members in the institution, founded in 1764, and only 6 of are from the United States.

Professor Uwe Kortshagen (mechanical engineering) was appointed a Ronald L. and Janet A. Christenson Chair in Renewable Energy.

Professor Rajesh Rajamani (mechanical engineering) was named the Benjamin Y.H. Liu-TSI Applied Technology Chair. 

May 2019

Associate Professor Sairaj Dhople (electrical and computer engineering) received the IEEE Power and Energy Society Outstanding Young Engineer Award for his contributions to the analysis and control of renewable generation and microgrids.

Graduate students Song Liu and Nikki Kyllonen (computer science and engineering) received 2019 John T. Riedl Memorial Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards for their commitment to and passion for teaching. 

Ph.D. student Michael Fulton (computer science and engineering) received a 2019 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for his exploration of using autonomous underwater robots to find trash in large bodies of water. 

Graduate student Rebeca Rodriguez (chemistry) received the Richard D. Amelar and Arthur S. Lodge Fellowship for Outstanding Collaborative Research in Materials for 2019-20, in honor of her overlapping research in chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science.

Professor Christy Haynes (chemistry) is one of 31 finalists for the 2019 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, which recognize the accomplishments and future potential of scientists and engineers aged 42 years and younger. 

Professor Alon McCormick and Distinguished McKnight University Professor J. Ilja Siepmann (chemical engineering and materials science) were named fellows of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the organization's highest grade of membership. 

Associate Professor Christine Berkesch (mathematics) and Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher (mechanical engineering) each received the 2019 George W. Taylor Career Development Award.

Ph.D. candidate Morgan Monz (earth sciences) is the recipient of the 2019 John Bowers Excellence in Teaching Assistance Award.

Distinguished McKnight University Professor Richard D. James (aerospace engineering and mechanics) is one of only 10 scientists and engineers nationwide selected to receive a 2019 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Professor Renee Frontiera (chemistry) was selected as a 2019 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar for her leadership in research and education in the chemical sciences. 

Professor Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) received a McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair, one of the University's most prestigious faculty awards. 

Undergraduate student Sally Nguyen (earth sciences) received the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) Gust Bitsianes Award. 

Associate Professor Paul Dauenhauer (chemical engineering and materials science) is a recipient of the Council of Graduate Studies Outstanding Mentor Award. 

Undergraduate students Daniel Cortez, Hayden Garmon, Jessica Kostecki, Eishani Kumar and Breanna Pederson (biomedical engineering) won first place at the Pediatric Research, Education and Scholarship Symposium for their training laryngoscope device. 

Professor David Odde (biomedical engineering) was elected a fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering for his leadership in the field of medical and biological engineering.

April 2019

Professor Lorraine Francis (chemical engineering and materials science) was appointed a CSE Distinguished Professor for exceptional contributions to teaching and genuine commitment to college activities. 

Professors Lisa Miller (industrial and systems engineering) and Catherine French (civil, environmental and geo-engineering), and Associate Professor Daniel Keefe (computer science and engineering), are recipients of 2018-2019 Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.  

Assistant Professor Peter Kang (earth sciences) received the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award for his project on biofilm dynamics on rough surfaces. 

Graduate student Justin Cheng (materials science and engineering) was one of only five nationwide applicants to receive a 2019-2020 Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Fellowship. 

Associate Professor Xiang Cheng (chemical engineering) received the 2019 Arthur B. Metzner Early Career Award for his innovative work in rheology. 

Professor Maria Gini (computer science and engineering) received the 2019 President's Award for Outstanding Service. She has been a pioneer in recruiting women into the field of robotics and artificial intelligence, and mentoring them at the University of Minnesota.

Professor Catherine French (civil, environmental and geo-engineering) is a recipient of the 2019 Charles E. Bowers Faculty Teaching Award.

Faculty members Douglas Ernie (electrical and computer engineering), Arindam Banerjee (computer science), Claudia Scarlata (physics and astronomy), and Edgar Arriaga (chemistry) are recipients of George W. Taylor Distinguished Teaching Awards. 

Undergraduate senior Kathleen Wang (chemistry) received the 2019 Donald R. Zander Alumni Award for Outstanding Student Leadership.

Ph.D. students Jasper Weinburd and Alice Nadeau (mathematics) were awarded National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships. 

Professor Jian-Ping Wang (electrical and computer engineering) won a 2019 Innovator Award for his entrepreneurial research on magnetic materials. 

Ph.D. student Song Liu (computer science and engineering) was selected for the 2019 IBM Fellowship program for his research on 3D body motion capture and multi-modal sensor-based smart systems. 

Ph.D. candidate Jackie Taylor (civil, environmental, and geo-engineering) received the Heinz G. Stefan Fellowship to support her water resources research at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. 

Graduate students Kajari Bera and Samual Stoneburner (chemistry) received 2018-2019 Overend Awards, which honor outstanding physical chemistry graduate student researchers. 

Associate Professor Paul Dauenhauer (chemical engineering and materials science) received the Stratis V. Sotirchos Lectureship Award, an honor that highlights important contributions to research and development in chemical engineering.  

Ph.D. student Mackenzie Callaway (biomedical engineering) won the University of Minnesota President's Student Leadership and Service Award for her work on the Student Health Advisory Committee. 

Researcher Anette von der Handt (earth sciences) won the February 2019 JEOL Image Contest for her photo of crystallites on the surface of a micrometeorite. 

Graduate student Leila Ghanbari (mechanical engineering) won second place in the Best Paper Competition at the IEEE Neural Engineering conference in San Francisco. 

Assistant professor Tony Low (electrical and computer engineering) has been named a 2019-2022 McKnight Presidential Fellow in recognition of his work with light-matter interactions in two-dimensional atomic crystals. 

Vlad Pribiag (physics and astronomy) was named a 2019 McKnight Land-Grant Professor.

Ph.D. students Alice Nadeau and Jasper Weinburd (mathematics) were awarded Postdoctoral Fellowships from the National Science Foundation.

Ph.D. candidate Natalie Raia (earth sciences) was selected to conduct research at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., as a Smithsonian Institution Pre-Doctoral Fellow.

Professor Maria Gini (computer science and engineering) received the A. Nico Haberman Award for her efforts to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science fields. 

Doctoral alumnus Ryan Cammarota (chemistry) received the Department of Chemistry's 2018 Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.

March 2019

The American Society of Civil Engineers selected professor Bojan Guzina (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) to receive the 2019 Nathan M. Newmark medal for his achievements in structural engineering and mechanics.

Regents Professor Donald Truhlar (chemistry) received the 2019 American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry for his creative contributions to the field.

Graduate students Yichao Zhang and Hwanhui Yun (chemical engineering and materials science) received 2019 Microscopy and Microanalysis (M&M) Student Scholar Awards, sponsored by the Microanalysis Society. 

Ph.D. candidate Anushree Ramanath (electrical and computer engineering) received the best poster award at the 2019 IEEE Power and Energy Conference.

Professor Ian Tonks (chemistry) received the 2019 Organometallics Distinguished Author Award for his writing and guest editing work at the journal. 

Graduate student Morgan Monz (earth sciences) received the John Bowers Excellence in Teaching Assistance Award.

Associate professor Traian Dumitricã (mechanical engineering) was selected to be a 2019-2020 Fulbright Scholar.

Christy Haynes (chemistry), Susan Jones (history of science and technology), Vuk Mandic (physics and astronomy), and Sang-Hyun Oh (electrical and computer engineering) are recipients of the University of Minnesota’s mid-career faculty award, the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship.

Doctoral candidate Yunli Shao (mechanical engineering) received the Matthew J. Huber Award for Excellence in Transportation Research and Education.

Professor Daniel Boley (computer science and engineering) received the 2018-2019 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Post Baccalaureate, Graduate and Professional Education for his leadership in furthering graduate education programming.

Professors Nicola Elia, Chris Kim, and Murti Salapaka (electrical and computer engineering) have been named Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellows.

February 2019

Professor Loren Terveen (computer science and engineering) has been inducted into the CHI Academy for his significant contributions to the field of human-computer interaction.

Associate Professor Nathan Mara (chemical engineering and materials science) received a TMS Structural Materials Division JOM Best Paper Award for his paper examining the performance of metallic nanocomposites at high temperatures.

The 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation accepted a paper on underwater human-robot interaction by Ph.D. student Michael Fulton (computer science and engineering).

Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher (mechanical engineering) received the George W. Taylor Career Development Award for exceptional contributions to teaching by a candidate for tenure during the probationary period.

Ph.D. student Yingying Zhang (mechanical engineering) won a travel grant to attend the Micro/Nano Forum at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Pittsburgh.

Assistant Professors Zhi Yang (biomedical engineering) and Hyun Soo Park (computer science and engineering) received National Science Foundation CAREER Awards for their research projects on peripheral nerves and visual data, respectively. 

Professor Soheil Mohajer (electrical and computer engineering) was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor for his research addressing challenges in big data analysis.

Assistant Professor Li Wang (mathematics) was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Grant for her project on “computational methods for multi scale kinetic systems.”

Ph.D. candidate Brenda Knauber (physics and astronomy) received an Ovshinsky Student Travel Award to present her research at the 2019 March American Physical Society’s meeting in Boston.

January 2019

Professor Saif Benjaafar (industrial and systems engineering) has been appointed to serve as the editor-in-chief for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences journal Service Science beginning January 1, 2019. 

Donald Truhlar (chemistry) received the 2019 American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry "for creative contributions" to his field.

Professor Joseph Konstan (computer science and engineering) was named CSE's new associate dean for research, effective Jan. 2, 2019. His half-time appointment runs through June 30, 2021. 

CSE faculty were among the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers in the world, according to Clarivate Analytics: Hai Cheng (earth sciences), Christopher Cramer (chemistry), R. Lawrence Edwards (earth sciences), Dan Knights (computer science and engineering), and Donald Truhlar (chemistry).

The Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society awarded Professor Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) the 2019 Award in Theoretical Chemistry for her work in the development quantum chemical methods.

Professor Tian He (computer science and engineering) was named a 2018 Association for Computer Machinery Fellow.

Assistant Professor Timothy Kowalewski (mechanical engineering) received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his project on the usage of handheld robots to accomplish “precision manipulation tasks.”