Honors and Awards - 2020

December 2020

Ph.D. student Gaurav Nayak and visiting scholar Jianan Wang (mechanical engineering) received two of the available five student awards at the 47th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Sciences.

Postdoctoral associate Daniel Huh (chemistry) has received a Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Professor Daniel Boley (computer science and engineering) has been selected as an Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Member for his outstanding scientific contributions to computing.

Alumna Karla Peterson (B.S. CivE '94) received the George Warren Fuller Award from the Minnesota Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for her distinguished service in the water supply field.

Professor George Karypis (computer science and engineering) and alumna Xia Ning (Ph.D. CSci '12) won the prestigious 10-Year Highest-Impact award at the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) for their paper on sparse linear methods for top-n recommender systems.

Alumna Maryam Khaleel (Ph.D. ChE ’15) was recognized by the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East Regional Young Talents Program for her work on developing hierarchical porous materials from inorganic synthetic routes.

Professors George Barany (chemistry) and Keshab Parhi (electrical and computer engineering) will be inducted into the National Academy of Inventors for their innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions.

Regents Professor Donald Truhlar (chemistry) and associate professors Tony Low (electrical and computer engineering) and Dan Knights (computer science and engineering) were named in the Clarivate's 2020 Highly Cited Researchers list, recognized for being the most influential researchers in their fields.

Undergraduate student Brian Carrick (chemical engineering and chemistry) tied for first place in the 2020 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Student Technical Presentation Competition.

November 2020

Assistant professor Nicholas Race (chemistry) won a 2021 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, an honor presented every year to up-and-coming researchers worldwide who are in the early stages of their independent academic career.

Professor Tony Gherghetta (physics and astronomy) was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor David Lilja (electrical and computer engineering) received the BenchCouncil Achievement Award by the International Open Benchmark Council in recognition of his long-term contributions to benchmarking, measuring, and optimizing computer performance.

Ph.D. student Lucas Kramer and associate professor Eric Van Wyk (computer science and engineering) received the Distinguished Paper Award at the 2020 Software Language Engineering (SLE) Conference.  

Professor Connie Lu (chemistry) has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany in honor of her her outstanding research record.

Ph.D. student Yali Zhang (electrical and computer engineering) won first place at CSE's Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition for her research on using nanometer-sized interconnects in integrated circuits. 

Ph.D student Courtney Hutton Pospick (computer science and engineering) was selected as a 2020-21 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Scholar, an award made to graduate-level scholars who have high scholastic records and potential to have a great impact on their fields.

Professors Michael McAlpine (mechanical engineering), Chris Ellison (chemical engineering and materials science), Richard James (aerospace engineering and mechanics), and associate professor Bharat Jalan (chemical engineering and materials science) received 2020 TechConnect Business Innovation Awards for their respective work on 3D printing on moving surfaces, recyclability of mixed plastic waste streams, and ferroelectric oxide crystals. 

Professor Emeritus Robert Pepin (physics and astronomy) was selected to receive the 2020 Fred Whipple Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Undergraduate student Alisha Radstake (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) received the 2020 Simon and Claire Benson Award, which recognizes the most outstanding student of her department's graduating class.

Graduate student Huda Zahid (chemistry) has received a 2020-2021 Engineering in Medicine Doctoral Fellowship from the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM).

October 2020

Distinguished McKnight University Professor Graham Candler (aerospace engineering and mechanics) is playing a leading role in the U.S. Department of Defense University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics.

Assistant professor Mike Weimerskirch (mathematics) received the 2020 Wolfram Research Innovator Award for his work on the Minnesota Online Learning System (MOLS).

Distinguished McKnight University Professor Jian-Ping Wang (electrical and computer engineering) was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).

Graduate student Ruyuan Wan (data science) received an Outstanding Poster award at the 2020 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

Ph.D. students Rachel Tenney (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering), Matt Lawler (biomedical engineering), Dean Maxam (mechanical engineering), and Courtney Hutton Pospick (computer science and engineering) were selected as 2020-21 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Scholars.

Alumnus Bryan W. Boudouris (PhD ChE '09) received the 2021 John H. Dillon Medal in Polymer Physics from the American Physical Society (APS) "for fundamental insights connecting polymer structure with charge transport in free radical conducting polymers, organic electronics, and functional block copolymers."

Undergraduate student Brian Carrick (ChE '22) recently won first place in the Student Technical Presentation Contest at the AIChE North Central Student Regional Conference.

Professor Mahesh Mahanthappa (chemical engineering and materials science) has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) upon the recommendation of the APS Division of Polymer Physics (DPOLY).

Professor Paul Dauenhauer (chemical engineering and materials science) has been named a 2020 fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation—he also received the organization's "genius grant."

September 2020

Professor John Gulliver (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) received the Hunter T. Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers Environmental and Water Resources Institute.

Alumnus Mary Kurth (B.S. Physics '74) is a recipient of the 2020 Alumni Service Award from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association for achievements including her 20+ year career in leadership at global agricultural giant Cargill and her unparalleled volunteerism at the University.

Alumnus Nick Halla (B.S. ChE '05) is a recipient of the 2020 U40 Alumni Leader Award from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association for his groundbreaking work in founding Impossible Foods. 

Graduate student Kevin Eschen's (mechanical engineering) paper, in collaboration with apparel studies graduate student Rachael Granberry, won two awards at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems (SMASIS) Conference.

Ph.D. candidate Aduramo Lasode (mechanical engineering) was named one of the University of Minnesota Graduate School's 2020-2021 Leadership in Equity, inclusion and Diversity (LEID) Fellows. 

Associate professor Mingyi Hong (electrical and computer engineering) is a recipient of two awards: an Intel-National Science Foundation joint research award to develop artificial neural networks for wireless network systems and the 2020 IBM University Award.

Professor Rhonda Franklin (electrical and computer engineering) was named Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Minnesota Scientist of the Year in recognition of her leadership of the University of Minnesota Institute of Engineering in Medicine Inspire Program.

Graduate student Beza Tuga (chemistry) received the 2019-2020 Robert L. Ferm Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the Department of Chemistry.

Assistant professor Yahya Tousi (electrical and computer engineering) is a recipient of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) 2020 Young Faculty Award for his project titled, “Wideband and Interference-Resilient Mixed Mode Time Transfer for Distributed Radios.”

Alumnus Thomas H. Epps III (Ph.D. ChE '04) has received the 2020 Dr. Percy L. Julian Distinguished Lecture and Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).

Professor Saif Benjaafar (industrial and systems engineering) has been elected an INFORMS Fellow, a high honor that recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in operations research and the management sciences.

Associate professor Cara Santelli (earth sciences) has been named to the 2020-21 Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Faculty Cohort Program. 

Alumna Laura Odell (B.S. EE '86) has been named a recipient of the WE20 Spark Award, which the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) awards to honor individuals who contribute to the advancement of women by mentoring those around them.

August 2020

Alumnus Austin Kraft (B.S. Math ’20) was offered a Fulbright Award to travel to Indonesia to conduct a comparative study of grammatical binding in three Indonesian languages.

Ph.D. student Adeline Espinasse (chemistry) received a Baxter Young Investigator Award for her work on decreasing the pathogenicity of MRSA.

Alumna Angela K. Wilson (Chem Ph.D. '95) is a recipient of the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA).

Assistant professors Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran and Nicholas Race (chemistry) received a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award from the National Institutes of Health General Medicine for her research on decoding and rewiring enzymatic redox signal transduction pathways.

Professor Christopher Cramer (chemistry) received a 2021 American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Scholars Award for his excellence in organic chemistry.

Alumnus Vasileios Kalantzis (CSci Ph.D. '18) for received the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics's Student Paper Prize, recognizing outstanding scholarship by students in applied mathematics and computing.

July 2020

Regents professor Donald Truhlar was named Reviewer of the Month for July 2020 by the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry for his professionalism, compassion, and collaborative spirit supporting the theoretical and computational chemistry community.

Alumnus Ashok Sahni (ESci Ph.D. '68) received India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) 2020 Life Time Excellence Award for his contributions in the field of Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology and Biostratigraphy.

Assistant professor Jason Goodpaster (chemistry) is a recipient of a 2020 Machine Learning in the Chemical Sciences & Engineering awards from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. 

Professor Mehmet Akcakaya (electrical and computer engineering) received two grants from the National Institutes of Health: a Research Project Grant (R01) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Trailblazer Award.

Postdoctoral researcher Yinan Shu (chemistry) has received the Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award, created by Elsevier Publishing to honor Robin Hochstrasser and support young scientists.

Alumna Lee Jones (ChE B.S. '79) has been selected as the 2020 University of Minnesota Entrepreneur of the Year to recognize her entrepreneurial success and her significant contributions to the University and broader business community

Professor Rhonda Franklin (electrical and computer engineering) is an inaugural recipient of the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine's Abbott Professorship in Innovative Education.

Professor Zhi-Li Zhang (computer science) has received a prestigious Machine Learning Research Award from Amazon Web Services for his proposal to study universal graph-embedding neural networks.

Alumnus Lucas Caretta (MatSci B.S. ’13) is one of only 24 postdoctoral students nationwide to receive a prestigious 2020 Ford Foundation Fellowship.

June 2020

Alumnus Mirko Musa (CivE Ph.D. '19) has received the 2020 Best Dissertation Award in Physical Sciences and Engineering awarded by the University of Minnesota Graduate School.

Professor George Karypis (computer science and engineering) received a 2020 University of Minnesota Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Outstanding Advisor Award for his excellent advising and teaching of graduate students.

May 2020

Graduate student Jiayi He (chemistry) received an Eastern Analytical Symposium Graduate Student Research Award for her outstanding talent for scientific research.

Undergraduate students Marcos Zachary (biomedical engineering) and William Zunker (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) were named 2020 Astronaut Scholars. 

Ph.D. student Rong Ma (aerospace engineering and mechanics) has been awarded the 2020-2021 Amelia Earhart Fellowship by Zonta International.

Graduate student Anh Hoang (mathematics) received the 2019-20 Aaron and Anna Beek Graduate Student Teaching Award from the University of Minnesota's Council of Graduate Students.

Undergraduate student Angela Cao (chemistry) received the chemistry department's 2020 J. Lewis Maynard Prize for inorganic chemistry.

Professor Cynthia Cattell (physics and astronomy) has been appointed a College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor. 

Assistant professor Max Bezada (earth and environmental sciences) received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research on stress, deformation, and seismicity in continental interiors.

Ph.D. student Yang He (computer science) has been awarded the John T. Riedl Memorial Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for 2020.

Professor John Gulliver (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) has been selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers Environmental and Water Resources Institute to receive the 2020 Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award for his dedication to the field. 

Professors Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) and Marc Hirschmann (earth and environmental sciences) have been elected as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honor societies.

Professor Aaron Massari (chemistry) received a 2020 University of Minnesota Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Outstanding Advisor Award for his excellent advising and teaching of graduate students.

Ph.D. student Chance Parrish (chemical engineering) won a Finalist Prize in Physical Sciences and Engineering at the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute's 2020 Research Exhibition.

Undergraduate students Katharina Fransen (chemical engineering), Logan Karls (materials science and engineering), María Sánchez-Muñiz (mathematics), Adrienne Sands (mathematics), Ondrew Tillotson (mathematics), Trygve Eggen (mechanical engineering), Mackensie Schuster (civil engineering), Caro Silvola (bioproducts and biosystems engineering), Cole Jensen (chemistry), and Meghan Cahill (chemistry) have received President’s Student Leadership & Service Awards (PSLSA) for their accomplishments and contributions as outstanding student leaders at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

April 2020

Ph.D. candidate Nyssa Capman and undergraduate student Judith Dominguez (mechanical engineering) are recipients of prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Assistant professor Timothy Kowalewski (mechanical engineering) was awarded a University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Fellowship.

Professor Svitlana Mayboroda (mathematics) has been awarded a University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Professorship, one of the highest honors for faculty at the University of Minnesota.

Professor Ramesh Harjani (electrical and computer engineering) received the L.K. Maheshwari Foundation Distinguished Alumnus award from his alma mater, the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani.

Professor Peter Bruggeman (mechanical engineering) received the college's 2020 George W. Taylor Distinguished Research Award. 

Associate professor James Van de Ven (mechanical engineering) received the college's 2020 Charles E. Bowers Faculty Teaching Award. 

Professors Lee Penn (chemistry) and Lucy Fortson (physics and astronomy) received the college's 2020 George W. Taylor Distinguished Service Award. 

Professor Michel Janssen (physics and astronomy; history of science, technology, and medicine) received the college's 2020 George W. Taylor Distinguished Teaching Award. 

Assistant professors David Poerschke and Turan Birol (chemical engineering and materials science) are two of 26 recipients of the 2019 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program Award.

Professor James Kakalios (physics and astronomy) received the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award from American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

Ph.D. candidate Burhaneddin Yaman (electrical and computer engineering) received the Best Paper Award at the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging. 

Post-doctoral associate Yinan Shu (chemistry) is one of four researchers to receive the American Chemical Society Division of Physical Chemistry's 2020 Young Investigator Award.

Graduate students Prachi Sharma and Shuyi Xie (chemistry) have received 2019-20 Overend Awards in Physical Chemistry.

Graduate student Supriya Ghosh (chemical engineering and materials science) received a 2020 Microscopy & Microanalysis (M&M) Student Scholar Award for her paper on atomic and electronic structure evolution.

Alumnus Anthony Tabet (ChE, Chem '17) has been awarded a prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.

Graduate student Brady Bresnahan (chemical engineering and materials science) has been selected as a 2020 NASA Space Technology Graduate Researcher, working to support NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies.

CSE's University of Minnesota Robotics student group received two 2019 Tony Diggs Excellence Awards from the University, one for Innovation and the other for Outstanding Program or Event. 

Graduate students Santosh Adhikari and Dushyant Mehra (physics and astronomy) received the Student Research Achievement Award for a poster presented at the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society in San Diego.

Ph.D. candidate Gillian McDonald (mechanical engineering) received the University's Aaron and Anna Beek Graduate Student Teaching Award for her work toward enhancing the learning experience for undergraduate students.

Undergraduate student Henry Twiss (mathematics) received the Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious and competitive national scholarship awarded to outstanding sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research-oriented careers.

Professor Kevin Dorfman (chemical engineering and materials science) has been named a 2020 Distinguished McKnight University Professor, an award that honors the highest-achieving mid-career faculty at the University of Minnesota. 

March 2020

Assistant professors Lana Yarosh (computer science and engineering) and Tim Kowalewski (mechanical engineering) are recipients of the University of Minnesota's McKnight Presidential Fellow Award, given to outstanding mid-career faculty.

Alumna Eve Poeschl (CSci B.S. '03) was named to Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's 40 Under 40 List, which recognizes the best young business and community leaders for their professional success and commitment to the community.

Professor Ke Wang (physics and astronomy) has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study aspects of 2D physics.

Alumnus Xiao Xiao (Chem Ph.D. '18) received the Department of Chemistry’s Best Thesis Award for 2019 for his research on aryne-based synthetic methodologies.

Graduate student Monica Ohnsorg (chemistry) received a prestigious CAS Future Leaders program award from the American Chemical Society.

Professor Marc Hillmyer (chemical engineering and materials science) received the 2020 Bright Science Award in materials sciences from Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living.

Assistant Professor Lindsay Glesener (physics and astronomy) was named a 2020-2022 University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professor.

Graduate student Rebeca Rodriguez (chemistry) received a 2020-21 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Fellowship for her research on creating inexpensive sensors for biological target detection.

Ph.D. candidate Max Van Wyk de Vries (earth and environmental sciences) received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the American Geophysical Union's fall 2019 conference for his research on large volcanic landslides and their linkages to glacial retreat.

Professor Wei-Ming Ni (mathematics) received the 2019 Outstanding Ecological Theory Paper Award from the Ecology Society of America for his jointly written paper on spatial population biology. 

Regents Professor Timothy Lodge (chemistry; chemical engineering and materials science) received the Neutron Scattering Society of America's 2020 Sustained Research Prize for his leadership in the usage of neutron scattering.

Professor Joseph Topczewski (chemistry) received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to support his research on functionalized arenes.

February 2020

Professor Frank Kulacki (mechanical engineering) won the Donald Q. Kern Award for his expertise in heat transfer research. 

Assistant professor Jeffrey Calder (mathematics) received a fellowship with the Sloan Research Foundation, given to early-career faculty in recognition of their potential to revolutionize their respective fields of study.

Professors Shaul Hanany (physics and astronomy), Chris Leighton (chemical engineering and materials science), and Justin Revenaugh (earth and environmental sciences) received the Morse-Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Awards from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. 

Assistant professor Hao Jia (mathematics) received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research on "New Mechanisms for Stability, Regularity and Long Time Dynamics of Partial Differential Equations."

Assistant professor Jeffrey Calder (mathematics) received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his project on harnessing the continuum for big data. 

Alumnus Mark Lauby (EE B.S. '80) was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his development and application of techniques for electric grid reliability analysis. 

Ph.D. student Rongsheng Chen (civil, environmental and geo- engineering) received the 2019 Ryuichi Kitamura Paper Award for his research on "Dynamic User Equilibrium of Mobility-on-Demand System with Linear Programming Rebalancing Strategy.”

Ph.D. candidate Catherine Clark (chemical engineering and materials science) received the University's Outstanding Community Service Award for students in recognition of her involvement on the CEMS Graduate Student Council, Institute on the Environment Boreas Leadership Team, and in the Giving Project by Headwaters Foundation for Justice. 

Professor Carol Shield (civil, environmental and geo- engineering) received the Center for Transportation Research's Richard P. Braun Distinguished Service Award, recognizing her outstanding leadership in transportation-related research and innovation.

Graduate student Benjamin Tomhave (civil engineering) and Ph.D. candidate Pengyue Wang (mechanical engineering) are recipients of the University's Matthew J. Huber Award for Excellence in Transportation Research and Education. 

Professor Graham Candler (aerospace engineering and mechanics) was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest honors awarded to an engineer. 

Professor Joe Kapusta (physics) is a recipient of the University's 2019-20 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education.

Assistant professor Andy Wickert (earth and environmental sciences) was awarded the University's McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. 

Assistant professor Andy Wickert (earth and environmental sciences) received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his research on alluvial-river dynamics through watershed networks.

Assistant professor Lana Yarosh (computer science and engineering) received the College of Science and Engineering's Taylor Career Development Award. 

Professor Mahesh Mahanthappa (chemical engineering and materials science) received the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety's 2020 Laboratory Safety Institute Graduate Research Faculty Safety Award for his outstanding commitment to chemical health and safety in their laboratories.

Graduate student Rebeca Rodriguez (chemistry) received the prestigious and competitive Women Chemists Committee (WCC)/Merck Research Award for excellence in research. 

Professor Demoz Gebre-Egziabher (aerospace engineering and mechanics) received the Dr. Samuel M. Burka Award, recognizing outstanding achievement in the preparation of a paper on positioning, navigation and timing. 

January 2020

Alumna Jeanette Brown (chemistry) received the Henry Hill Award from the American Chemical Society's Division of Professional Relations for her distinguished service to professionalism.

Assistant professor Jason Goodpaster (chemistry) received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in the Division of Chemistry's Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods program. 

Professor Frank Kulacki (mechanical engineering) won the Donald Q. Kern Award for his expertise in the heat transfer field. 

Ph.D. student Zhijie Zhu (mechanical engineering) received the Materials Research Society Foundation Gold Award for his high level of excellence in materials research. 

Postdoctoral fellow Steven Iasella (chemical engineering and materials science) received the Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award. 

Ph.D. student William Elke III (aerospace engineering and mechanics) is one of 19 students nationwide to receive a prestigious NASA Fellowship for his research proposal, "Launch Vehicle Control Design on a Quadcopter Testbed."

Assistant professor Maziar Hemati (aerospace engineering and mechanics) received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in fluid dynamics for his research in the modeling, analysis, and control of fluid flows. 

Assistant professor David Poerschke (chemical engineering and materials science) received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation for his research on oxygen transport in ceramics.