Honors and Awards

June 2021

Ph.D. candidate Hongyuan Zhang (mechanical engineering) received the Texas Advanced Computing Center's 2021-2022 Frontera Computational Science Fellowship, which provides a year-long opportunity for talented graduate students to compute on the most powerful academic supercomputer in the world.

Professor Shashi Shekhar and Ph.D. student Yan Li (computer science and engineering) received the 2021 Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award from the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies (CTS).

May 2021

Professor Tyler Lawson (mathematics) has been chosen to receive a Albert and Dorothy Marden Professorship, a five-year research award that recognizes exceptional contributions to mathematics by tenured faculty members.

Graduate student Chris Warkentin (chemistry) was named a Renewable Energy Commercialization (REC) Fellow by the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

Professor George Karypis (computer science and engineering) received the Distinguished Contributions Award during the 2021 Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD).

Ph.D. student Elisah VandenBussche (chemical engineering and materials science) was selected to serve as a 2021-2022 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Congressional Fellow representing the area of Energy.

Professor Evan Skillman (physics and astronomy) has been named a College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor.

Ph.D. student Anthony Zhenhuan Zhang (industrial and systems engineering) won runner-up at the Best Paper Award Competition held by the Production and Operations Management Society's College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management (HOCM).

Professor Saif Benjaafar (industrial and systems engineering) has been named a University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Professor.

Graduate student Rebeca Rodriguez (chemistry) received the Spring 2021 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award from the University of Minnesota's Office for Equity and Diversity. 

Alumnus Ibrahim Sabek (Ph.D. CompSci '20) received an honorable mention in the University of Minnesota's Best Dissertation Award program.

Associate Professor Bharat Jalan (chemical engineering and materials science) received the Peter Mark Memorial Award from the American Vacuum Society (AVS).

Assistant professor Crystal Ng (earth and environmental sciences) received a 2021 Community-Engaged Scholar Award from the University of Minnesota. 

Professors Beth Stadler (electrical and computer engineering) and Evan Skillman (physics and astronomy) were named College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professors. 

Undergraduate students Dominic Marticorena, Venkat Reddy, Daniel Glynn (biomedical engineering), Meghan Cahill, Jeffy Jeffy (chemistry), Swati Rampalli (computer science and engineering), David Ma (computer science and engineering, mathematics), Grace Hansen (industrial and systems engineering), and Emma Lovett (chemical engineering and materials science), and graduate students Sylvester Nwosuji (biomedical engineering), Becca Dura (data science), Persephone Ma, Svetlana Baranova (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering), Maddy Nyblade (earth and environmental sciences), Mattea Allert (bioinformatics and computational biology), Esther BanaianSarah BraunerMcCleary Philbin (mathematics), Sankar MuthukrishnanAaron Tucker (mechanical engineering), Alexander Criswell (astrophysics), Maetzin Cruz-Reyes, Rebeca S. Rodriguez (chemistry), C. Estelle Smith (computer science and engineering), and Elisah Vandenbussche (chemical engineering and materials science) received 2021 President's Student Leadership and Service Awards.

Ph.D. student Kang Kang (industrial and systems engineering) received the 2021 College of Science and Engineering John Bowers Excellence in Teaching Assistance Award. 

Associate professor Will Pomerantz (chemistry) received the 2021 College of Science and Engineering George W. Taylor/CSE Alumni Society Award for Distinguished Teaching. 

Professor Rhonda Franklin (electrical and computer engineering) received the 2021 College of Science and Engineering George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service. 

Associate professors Tony Low (electrical and computer engineering) and Rafael Fernandes (physics and astronomy) received 2021 College of Science and Engineering George W. Taylor Awards for Distinguished Research. 

Associate professor Dan Keefe (computer science and engineering) received the 2021 College of Science and Engineering Charles E. Bowers Faculty Teaching Award. 

Ph.D. student Peter Christenson (electrical and computer engineering) has been awarded the 2021-2022 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship by the University of Minnesota Graduate School.

Assistant professor Samira Azarin (chemical engineering and materials science) is a recipient of the University of Minnesota's McKnight Presidential Fellow Award.

Professor Paul Dauenhauer (chemical engineering and materials science) won the 2021 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis for outstanding research in the field of catalysis from the Catalysis Club of Chicago.

Affiliate graduate faculty member Laura Gagliardi (chemistry) has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Ryan Caverly (aerospace engineering and mechanics) received a Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) award to pursue science and engineering research relevant to the National Defense Strategy.

April 2021

Graduate student Atharva Mahabaleshwarkar (mechanical engineering) won first place in the International Society for Optics and Photonics Student Best Paper Awards. 

Assistant professors Xue Feng (civil, environmental, and geo- engineering) and Qi Zhang (chemical engineering and materials science) received NSF CAREER Awards, given to outstanding junior faculty who exemplify the role of a teacher-scholar.

Ph.D. student Rahul Bhojwani (computer science) was named a finalist in the University of Minnesota’s Acara Challenge for his app called Turia, which is aimed at increasing productivity and reducing stress.

Graduate students Jonathan Smith (aerospace engineering and mechanics) and Clara Kirkvold (chemistry) received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, which supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.

Ph.D. candidate Nicholas Garcia (chemistry) was awarded a Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Award.

Professor Russell Holmes (chemical engineering and materials science) has been named a 2021 Distinguished McKnight University Professor by the University of Minnesota. 

Undergraduate student Bryan Carrick (chemistry and chemical engineering) was recognized as a Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

March 2021

Associate professor Ian Tonks (chemistry) has been selected to receive the Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI) Graduate Research Faculty Safety Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Chemical Health and Safety.

Postdoctoral researcher Jennifer Kimbrough (chemistry) was awarded a National Cancer Institute Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award.

Ph.D. candidate Evan Whiting (earth and environmental sciences) is a recipient of the University of Minnesota Bell Museum’s 2020 Natural History Award.

Assistant professors Julianna Abel and Suhasa Kodandaramaiah (mechanical engineering), Turan Birol (chemical engineering and materials science), and Peter Kang (earth sciences) received 2021-2023 McKnight Land-Grant Professorships from the University of Minnesota. 

Associate professors Casim Sarkar (biomedical engineering) and Lana Yarosh (computer science and engineering) are recipients of 2020-21 Horace T. Morse - University of Minnesota Alumni Association Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Ph.D. candidate Yali Zhang (electrical and computer engineering) was awarded the Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group (ARFTG) Roger Pollard Student Fellowship in Microwave Measurement for her work on 3D integrated circuits.

Assistant professor Michelle Calabrese (chemical engineering and materials science) received a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award to support her research on the rheology of soft materials.

Ph.D. student Max Van Wyk De Vries (earth sciences) received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for his fall meeting poster presentation.

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

Alumnus Samson Jenekhe (Ph.D. ChE '85) was awarded the prestigious 2021 American Physical Society Polymer Physics Prize for his outstanding contributions to the synthesis, photophysics, and structure-morphology-performance relationships in semiconducting polymers.

Ph.D. student Lizzy Crist (biomedical engineering) received a University of Minnesota Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for her work on developing a 3D microfluidic device that models how breast cancer cells spread in a patient’s body.

February 2021

Associate professor Tony Low (electrical and computer engineering) has been named one of the most influential researchers in his field according to the 2020 global list of Highly Cited Researchers released by Clarivate Analytics.

Student Marie Wulff (electrical and computer engineering) is one of only 44 students from institutions in the U.S. and the world to be awarded a prestigious Brook Owens fellowship.

CSE academic advisor Jacquelyn Burt (computer science and engineering) received the 2021 Gopher Spirit Award, an annual award that goes to a University of Minnesota advisor who “contributes to a positive office culture, is inclusive, and brings others up.”

Assistant professors Turan Birol (chemical engineering and materials science), Jungwon Choi (electrical and computer engineering) and Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran (chemistry) received 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards, which aim to support junior faculty members who embody the role of ideal teacher-scholars.

Ph.D. student Lizzy Crist (biomedical engineering) was awarded a 2021-22 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship, which supports outstanding University of Minnesota Ph.D. students who are engaged in interdisciplinary research.

CSE academic advisor for international students Kelly Deustchman received the University of Minnesota's Gopher Way award, given to an advisor who models inclusivity, accessibility, and advocacy in their work. 

Academic advisor Kacey Gregerson (chemical engineering and materials science) is a recipient of a 2020-21 University of Minnesota John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. 

Assistant professor Ognjen Ilic (mechanical engineering) received a 3M Non-Tenure Faculty Award, an honor that recognizes outstanding young faculty who excel in STEM research, academic leadership, and experience.

Professor Brenda Ogle, professor Alena Tolkacheva, alumna Molly Kupfer, Ph.D. students Wei-Han Lin and Ryan R. Mahutga, and undergraduate student Jeffrey Ai (biomedical engineering), along with professor Michael McAlpine (mechanical engineering), received a Best Manuscript Award from Circulation Research, a publication of the American Heart Association.

Professor Demoz Gebre-Egziabher (aerospace engineering and mechanics) was elected as 2021 Fellow member of the Institute of Navigation (ION).

January 2021

Ph.D. student Joel Wolfrath and professor Abhishek Chandra (computer science and engineering) won the Best Poster Award at the fifth Association for Computing Machinery/Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers Symposium on Edge Computing (SEC).

Assistant professor Samira Azarin (chemical engineering and materials science) has been selected by the College of Science and Engineering Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee to receive the George W. Taylor Career Development Award.

Assistant professor Peter Kang (earth sciences) received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for a five-year project on “Predicting Transport, Mixing, and Reaction in Three-dimensional Heterogeneous Fractured Media Across Scales.”

Assistant professor Suo Yang and graduate student Sai Ranjeet Narayanan (mechanical engineering) had their paper on aerosol spread in music classrooms chosen as Editor's Pick in the Physics of Fluids journal. 

Assistant professor Martina Cardone (electrical and computer engineering) has been awarded a CAREER award by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Distinguished McKnight University Professor Keshab Parhi (electrical and computer engineering) as one of its 2020 ACM Fellows.

Ph.D. candidate Guarav Kumar (chemical engineering) had his research paper, “Dehydra-decyclization of 2-methyltetrahydrofuran to pentadienes on boron-containing zeolites,” selected as an Editor’s Choice article in the journal Green Chemistry.

Alumnus Douglas Lauffenburger (Ph.D. ChE ’79) was awarded the 2021 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education from the National Academy of Engineering.

Associate professor Will Pomerantz (chemistry) was selected as the co-chair of the International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS) Global Council by the ICBS Board of Directors.

Alumnus Tianyi Chen (EE '19) is the inaugural recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Signal Processing Society’s (SPS) Best Dissertation Award.

Associate professor Cari Dutcher (mechanical engineering) and her lab's recent paper on phase-dependent soluble surfactant transport was selected for American Chemical Society Editors' Choice award. 

Graduate student William Gurstelle (history of science, technology, and medicine) received an honorable mention for the 2020 Sacknoff Prize for Space History for his paper on Beatrice Finkelstein and the early U.S. manned space program.

Ph.D. students Jerald Thomas and Courtney Hutton Pospick, along with assistant professor Evan Suma Rosenberg (computer science and engineering), received the best paper award at the Association for Computing Machinery's 2020 Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology.

The American Chemical Society and its Young Chemists Committee (YCC) has awarded assistant professor Courtney Roberts (chemistry) with a Leadership Development Award to support her participation in the YCC Leadership Development Workshop.