News Archives

  • UNM
  • >Home
  • >News
  • >2018
  • >April
  • > School of Engineering honors outstanding students, faculty, staff at awards ceremony May 3

School of Engineering honors outstanding students, faculty, staff at awards ceremony May 3

May 3, 2018 - By Kim Delker

The School of Engineering honored outstanding students, faculty and staff during its annual awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m. May 3 in Centennial Engineering Center.

The awards ceremony was held in the auditorium, followed by a reception in Stamm Commons.

Honorees were presented with the awards by the dean and their respective department heads.

For a full list of winners, see the program.

Learn more about our winners:

CBE Outstanding Sophomore: Aspen Shafer

Aspen is a sophomore in our chemical engineering program. Over the past few semesters, Aspen has worked hard and challenged herself in all of her classes. Her hard work has paid off. She has a 3.9 GPA and will be doing a research internship in biofuels this summer. She accredits a lot of her achievements to the amazing people she has met during her time in college; their unwavering support has kept her motivated throughout the intense chemical engineering curriculum. Aspen spends a lot of time studying, but she also enjoys playing ultimate frisbee with her team, the Bombshells, here at UNM.

CBE Outstanding Junior: Christopher Brock
Christopher has the highest GPA in our junior class, which currently is at 4.23. Aside from studying chemical engineering as a major, Christopher is also pursuing two minors, mathematics and economics. Christopher graduated from Albuquerque Academy in 2015 and decided to studying chemical engineering because of his love for math and science and his desire to apply what he learn to solve practical problems. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and then work in industry. He plans to use the knowledge he gains to increase the efficiency and sustainability of chemical engineering processes. In his free time, he enjoys building and maintaining reef aquariums as he finds that it is very rewarding to design and grow your own ecosystem.

CBE Outstanding Senior: Dylan Brown
Dylan is a senior our department. He has been carrying out research at the Center for Biomedical Engineering on conjugated polyelectrolytes and their antibacterial properties with Prof. David Whitten and has presented this research at multiple national and local conferences. He has also mentored both chemical engineering and non-engineering students in research. He has served as the President and Vice president of our local professional student society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, completed the Ronald E. McNair research program, and helped develop an undergraduate research mentorship program with UNM’s STEM Collaborative Center. He has also worked with the department to help develop undergraduate curricula such as a senior lab experiment. Dylan believes that the best path to success within the chemical engineering department is by building a community within the student body. Dylan is also an artist. He is interested in the connection between art and science as a method of reach a broad audience. This fall, he will starting a Forest Biomaterials master’s program at North Carolina State University.

CBE Outstanding Graduate Student: Aurora Fabry-Wood
Aurora Fabry-Wood joined the Biomedical Engineering in March of 2013. She immediately became a leader in the laboratory and began developing DNA nanotechnology for many purposes including advanced molecular computing, molecular diagnostics, and intelligent materials. Her continued leadership in the laboratory has resulted in her mentoring many undergraduate students and less experienced graduate students. Her project is multidisciplinary and she works across three faculty in the CBE and CS of UNM and the Chemistry department of Columbia University to accomplish her research. Her research has been outstanding and she has many presentations, three journal publications, and two more publications about to be submitted. Her effort in teaching has been exemplary, where she has been a leading graduate student in developing new curriculum for the CBE department via the FACETS program. In addition, she has been a leader in the GSA, and has been the president of the BME/CBE graduate student society in 2015. She received her MS in 2015 and will be defending her thesis May 4th, 2018. Her leadership, scientific acumen, and work ethic has made Aurora an outstanding contributor to both the BME program and the CBE program.

Civil Engineering Outstanding Sophomore: Alissa Perea
Alissa Perea is an undergraduate student in the department of Civil Engineering. She is currently finishing the second semester of her sophomore year. She is a member of ASCE. Her wish is to specialize in Structural Engineering. She also hopes to intern at Sandia National Laboratories this coming school year.

Civil Engineering Outstanding Junior: Cody Powell
Cody Powell was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. Upon graduating from Cibola High School, Cody attended New Mexico Tech for one semester before transferring to UNM. In 2011, following his first semester at UNM, Cody enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he would eventually serve in Afghanistan in 2013. While in the Marine Corps, Cody attained the rank of Sergeant, held positions as high as Infantry Section Leader, and was awarded multiple decorations such as a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. After exiting the Marines in 2015, Cody returned to UNM to pursue a degree in Construction Management due to his interest in building construction and related topics. He currently sustains a GPA of 4.17, and is working very hard to not only maintain this, but improve it. This is Cody’s second year in a row receiving this particular award. Working as a full time intern for Jaynes Corporation currently, Cody is applying the knowledge he has obtained in the classroom and his personal passion to real world projects. So far to date, Cody has been an integral part of a project team that has completed over $25 Million of construction projects in the past year. In the coming semesters Cody hopes to contribute as much as he can to the Construction Management community here at UNM, and continue to strive for excellence. Although he will not graduate until the spring of 2019, Cody already has plans to pursue a Master of Construction Management degree, and possibly a Master of Business Administration degree to bolster the skills he will learn throughout his undergraduate career.

Civil Engineering Outstanding Senior: Cassy Scarlott-McClintock
Cassy Scarlott McClintock, a senior graduating in civil engineering. Her senior year she was the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers as well as concrete canoe captain. In lieu of this, she was recognized for outstanding regional performance for the second year in a row. She is currently a member of chi epsilon, the civil engineering honor society and just received her order of the engineer pinky ring. She will be graduating cum laude with a diploma of distinction. She was also chosen as the undergraduate student speaker at spring convocation. Starting in the fall she will be coming back to UNM to get her masters in water resources engineering.

Civil Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student: Moneeb Genedy
Moneeb Genedy, a Candidate for Ph.D. in CE Department. He is a part of Dr. Taha’s research group. His research focus on polymer nanocomposites repair materials for restoring wellbores seal integrity and has total of 17 publications including 7 papers in peer reviewed journals in addition to 1 patent. In 2016-2017, Moneeb was the Instructor for CE 305-Infrastructure Materials Science class. He was also the conference coordinator for the International Congress of Polymers in Concrete (ICPIC2018) in Washington D.C.

Computer Science Outstanding Sophomore: Farhang Rouhi
Farhang came to UNM from Iran. He has a cumulative GPA of 4.22. He loves AI and hopes one day there will be robots everywhere. He also likes to play basketball in his free time.

Computer Science Outstanding Junior: Anna Carey
Anna has done exceptional service to our department this year. She is a student representative on the CS advisory board, and also gave testimony during our ABET accreditation visit. She has a cumulative GPA of 4.18 and is active in research, working on protein visualization in 3D with Prof. Lydia Tapia.

Computer Science Outstanding Seniors: Anacaren Ruiz and Hector Cabada
Anacaren Ruiz has a cumulative GPA of 3.72 and is remarkable for her service in student organizations and nonprofits. She has done research with Prof. Jed Crandell on Twitter data in Ecuador elections. She will be starting her Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara.

Hector Cabada is a McNair scholar. His cumulative GPA is 4.06 and he is working on research with Prof. Trilce Estrada. He has already contributed to two research papers and his results have been used for a grant application.

Computer Science Outstanding Graduate Student: Nikan Chavoshi
Nikan came to UNM from Iran for graduate school, and last month she defended her PhD dissertation under the guidance of Prof. Mueen. She is the lead architect of the DeBot system, which discovers fake accounts, or bots, on Twitter. Nikan was the president of UNM Women in Computing. She has received many awards for her research; and has filed a patent on the DeBot system. After her PhD Nikan is heading to Silicon Valley to start work at Oracle.

Computer Science Robert (Bob) Veroff Undergraduate Excellence Award: Kage Weiss
The new Veroff Scholarship has been established thanks to a genereous gift from UNM computer science alumni to honor professor emeritus Bob Veroff. It is given to an exceptional rising senior. The first recipient is Kage Weiss. Kage is exceptionally diligent and helpful. He has served as an undergraduate grader and lab assistant. His academic performance is superb as well, with a cumulative GPA of 4.18. Unfortunately, he cannot be here today as he is in class at the Mesa del sol campus.

ECE Outstanding Sophomore: Kavin Kullama
Kavin Kullama is one of ECE’s top Computer Engineering students with a cumulative GPA of 4.23. During his time in Thailand, Kavin has participated in several Mathematics and Physics competition in Thailand and has received award for doing well in the competition. He is currently retired from taking any competition in order to pursue his career. He has been supported by his entire family who encouraged him to study abroad. He would like to express his gratitude back to his family one day. During his free time, Kavin enjoys his favorite video games. He also frequently solves advance-level Mathematics and Physics problems. Occasionally, he practices programming and applies it to Mathematics and Physics as well. Kavin will be continuing his junior year in the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico next fall to pursue a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering. 

ECE Outstanding Junior: Benjamin Reichelt
For the past 5 years, Benjamin Reichelt has worked at Los Alamos National Labs. There, he has developed simulations of materials under explosive conditions, designed explosive experiments, and done many other things involving explosions. He is also currently working at the UNM plasma physics laboratory conducting research under Professor Mark Gilmore. When he has the time, Ben enjoys hiking with his dogs, metalworking, amateur bartending, and rock climbing.
His weaknesses include sour cream and onion potato chips and writing lists of accolades that his mother deems sufficiently boastful.
At the moment, Ben is planning to go to grad school to study plasma physics after he graduates.

ECE Outstanding Senior: Loic Djamen Tchapda
Loic Djamen is an electrical Engineering student with a cumulative GPA of 4.2. Having grown up in Cameroon, he moved to Albuquerque in order to attend UNM, as part of a grander plan to make change around him. Over the last four years, Loic developed great curiosity in Engineering through research in nanoscience and materials’ characterization at CHTM. Later, he had the opportunity to help as an undergraduate research assistant in the ECE Department in the plasma science laboratory. Loic is currently interested in Hardware and electronic design as well as FPGA-based high performance computing. During his free time, he likes outdoor sports like soccer (real football), basketball, or volleyball. However, he would usually and sadly have more homework to do. He also likes sleeping but that does not always work out either. Loic is planning on first pursuing a professional Engineering career and later get a Master’s Degree in the field that will have caught his interest the most. Finally he wants to thank his parents, the ECE faculty, and God for this award and opportunity to get an Engineering degree.

ECE Outstanding Graduate Student: Divya Jangili
Divya Jangili is a Computer Engineering Master student with a cumulative GPA of 4.11. She has worked as a Quality analysis tester at Accenture, one of the top fortune 500 companies. She has also worked as a "People Project Advocate", where she used to manage project team building activities and conduct knowledge transfer sessions to new joiners. Divya Jangili has received the Star Performance award for her outstanding work and contribution in Accenture. Divya Jangili is currently working as a Research assistant at UNM innovation and design where they develop applications for degree plans of many universities, which guides the students to a 4-year graduation program allows the universities to track student success rate. Also, Divya Jangili is working as a software developer for curricular analytics application that helps the universities to analyze their curriculum efficiency just by visualization — and comparing their curriculum with another curriculum. During her leisure time, Divya Jangili engages in crafting and loves to do paper crafts. Within 5 years Divya Jangili would like to see herself having in-depth knowledge of the latest technologies and wants to be a Lead full stack developer.

ME Outstanding Sophomore: Rachel Starkweather
Rachel has been on the SOE Dean’s list since joining UNM in Fall 2016. Her current GPA is 4.13. She does not only spend her time getting outstanding grades yet she is very active in the campus community. She is a member of student organizations such as Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Emerging Lobo Leaders, among others. In addition, Rachel has been a participant in the Sandia National Laboratories internship program for the past year. She has gained various experiences to allow her to grow as a student and a future engineer. There is no doubt in our minds that Rachel Starkweather is an Outstanding Sophomore in Mechanical Engineering! 

ME Outstanding Junior: Josh Ludwigsen
Josh Ludwigsen has been an outstanding student long before entering UNM. He earned 45 UNM credit hours through AP testing, and he is a UNM Regents’ Scholarship recipient. His current GPA is 4.12. He has also been a student intern at Sandia National Laboratories since high school, with his current duties involving explosive testing from conception, execution, and data post-processing. His past research experience includes testing and finite element modeling of head impacts in sports, and passive assisted bending of resistant joints. Josh is very active in our student chapter of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In high school he had earned varsity letters in Football, Track, Academics and Student Government. Now he is also a frequent science fair judge and volunteer. 

ME Outstanding Senior: Melanie Schneider
Melanie maintains a nearly perfect GPA despite working 20 hours a week at the Applied Research Associates. Faculty in the department are very impressed with her hands on and analytical skills and can easily see her progress to become an engineering researcher of the highest caliber! She is currently conducting research on understanding dispersion and agglomeration of graphene nanoparticles in nanocomposites. Melanie possesses great team work ethics. She has a strong desire to challenge herself beyond the regular academic curriculum. She has the determination and self-motivation to make an outstanding researcher. Throughout her academic program so far she has won numerous awards, a recent one in 2018 being the UNM Leadership and Involvement Award. 

ME Outstanding Graduate Student: Patrick Wayne
Patrick Wayne was born in Albuquerque, NM. After completing high school, he joined the U. S. Army and served a total of 9 years on active duty. During this time, he was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Riley, Kansas. He served two tours of duty in Iraq in 2003 and 2005 and was honorably discharged from the military in 2007. In Fall 2008, he decided to further his education and was admitted to UNM. In May of 2011, he joined the research group in the Shock Tube Facility in the Mechanical Engineering department. In December of 2012 he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and he received a Master of Science degree in 2015. His research involved studies in planar laser-induced fluorescence of shock-driven instabilities, particle image velocimetry, and studies of fundamental physics of gas mixtures subject to shock wave propagation. He is currently working on his Ph.D., co-advised by Professors Peter Vorobieff and Randy Truman. He has published several papers out of his research work and is expected to graduate this Fall.

Outstanding Sophomore – Lauren Crabtree
Lauren and her family are all from Albuquerque and she has lived here her entire life. Both of her parents are UNM alumni. She attended high school at Volcano Vista High School before coming to UNM, which is where she learned about the field of nuclear engineering and nuclear science. She discovered the field in her career preparations class, where she took a professional aptitude test and nuclear engineering was a suggested career path for her. She looked up more information on the field and fell in love with everything she found. Ever since then she has wanted to be a nuclear engineer. Additionally, in her chemistry classes they learned about nuclear reactions and power plants, and she found the topic fascinating.

After completing high school she received the UNM Presidential Scholarship award. In college she has become a part of the NSF STEP program with the NE department, which has matched me with an internship at Los Alamos National Labs for this coming summer. I will be performing and researching lanthanide separation techniques with applications in nuclear forensics, and doing wet chemistry liquid chromatography work. After she finishes her undergrad, she hopes to go on to grad school and get her master’s in nuclear engineering, and eventually go on to a career at LANL or Sandia.

Outstanding Junior – Aaron Overacker
Aaron is a proud Albuquerque native born and raised in the same house. Growing up he always had a fascination with mathematics and science. This is due to both of his parents having degrees in electrical engineering. He always thought he would follow in their footsteps and become an engineer. It wasn't until he went on a tour around the UNM engineering school that he finally decided that he wanted to do nuclear engineering. He chose nuclear because of the reactor UNM had on campus and the challenge that it would bring. While at UNM, he has been a member of the UNM football team, putting his ability to balance school and sports to the test. He was a member of STEP his sophomore year and attended the conference in Pittsburgh that year. Following that spring semester STEP allowed him to work the summer at Sandia National Labs, which proved to be very valuable. The fall of his junior year he was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. This spring he received a year round internship with Sandia. Through all he missed a few classes due to football. This included all of NE-230, 8 weeks of thermodynamics, all of Transport, NE315, NE323L. This semester he was unable to attend 6 weeks of organic chemistry and NE330. He thanks  the department for allowing him to pursue his dream of playing college football without penalty to his education. He also wanted to thank everyone in his class who have helped him along the way, because without a great support system he wouldn't be where he is today.

Outstanding Senior – Carly Romnes

Carly is from a small town in northern New Mexico that doesn’t have very many academic opportunities. Despite this, she was able to work hard and succeed throughout her time in college. She received the NASA Scholarship for most of her undergraduate schooling and received the Tau Beta Pi, ANS, and Glenn and Ruth Whan Founder scholarships this past year. She has  completed two internships with NASA and plans to complete a third this coming summer. This coming summer she will work on submitting a peer-reviewed journal article on her summer internship. Throughout her time at UNM, she has maintained a high GPA and currently it is 4.09.

This past year, she applied to 11 different graduate schools and was accepted into all of them. She was offered fellowships at many of these universities and research assistantships at many as well. She was accepted to  MIT, Stanford, Caltech, and the University of Michigan. She was able to visit 9 of the schools she was accepted to so that she could make the most informed decision. She has decided to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to obtain her  PhD focusing on nuclear materials research.

Recently, she received the Tau Beta Pi fellowship for next year and received the SURGE fellowship and a graduate college fellowship from the University of Illinois. She also received the Sloan Scholarship for her doctoral studies. She also won best undergraduate paper in the materials science and technology section of the ANS Student Conference and my senior design team won best paper in the aerospace science and technology section. 


Outstanding NE Graduate Student – Benjamin Cowen
Ben has always been interested in developing a better physical understanding of the universe, which includes learning about how elegant equations can describe complex physical phenomena, the effects of materials due to galactic space radiation, and developing equations of state of materials in extreme environments. His desire to learn about these processes encouraged him to study mathematics and physics at North Carolina State University, where he was heavily involved in undergraduate research. In order to supplement his undergraduate coursework, he interned at NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center. He also carried out undergraduate research at NC State, where he worked with equipment that was also used on the International Space Station, in order to compare the behavior of materials under various conditions with those in microgravity. During his senior year at NC State, he decided he wanted to combine his love of physics and mathematics to investigate ways to provide for the growing energy demands of the nation. Nuclear engineering offered a unique opportunity to combine his interests, and help solve this challenging problem.

This led him to apply to the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies at UNM, under Regents’ Professor Mohamed El-Genk. Professor El-Genk encouraged Ben to investigate irradiation effects in ceramics at the atomistic scale for potential applications to space nuclear reactors and accident tolerant fuel systems for Light Water Reactors. This involved carrying out a significant number of molecular dynamics simulations with systems of 10’s – 100’s of millions of atoms at UNM’s Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC) and at Idaho National Laboratories. At UNM he received the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Graduate Fellowship and two New Mexico Space Grant Consortium Research Fellowships. He was accepted as a user at the Center for Integrated Nano-technologies (CINT), which allowed him to interact and collaborate with researchers at both LANL and SNL. Thin films of ceramics of interest were deposited at LANL’s CINT facility and then used for in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy ion beam irradiations at the Ion Beam facility at Sandia National Laboratories. This, along with his research results on the threshold displacement energy in ceramics have been well received for modeling irradiation effects.
Ben received his M.S. in Nuclear Engineering in 2015, and will graduate with his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering in August 2018. He has published 1 technical report, 5 peer reviewed journal articles, with 2 more under review, and 3 in preparation. He also presented his undergraduate and graduate research work at 3 conferences. After graduation, Ben hopes to join one of the DOE Laboratories in New Mexico and establish collaboration with Professors and work with graduate students at UNM.

MEP Outstanding Leadership – Maria Kelly
Maria Kelly is an Albuquerque native who is graduating this May with a degree in Chemical Engineering. During her time at UNM, she has become involved with the Society of Women Engineers and Tau Beta Pi student organizations. Through her involvement with student organizations, she found a supportive network of peers and advisors who supported her through her engineering degree. She has particularly enjoyed participating in STEM outreach events with the School of Engineering, SWE, or Tau Beta Pi. Outside of school, Maria works in a materials science and electrochemistry laboratory at Sandia National labs where she helps conduct research on rechargeable batteries. When not at work or school, Maria enjoys spending time with her friends and family, listening to music, and reading 

Outstanding Student Organization – Society of Women Engineers
UNM SWE Achievements
• 62% increase in membership this year
• Secured over $20,000 in funding for 36 UNM SWE members to attend the WE17 conference in Austin, TX.
• Hosted a day-long outreach event for 65 Girl Scouts with hands-on STEM activities and laboratory tours.
• Participated in 8 different STEM outreach events in the Albuquerque community this year.
• Hosted a 3rd annual Industry Night to help UNM engineering students network with local practicing engineers.

Outstanding Staff Awards

The first award goes to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering’s Sarah Dominguez.

Sarah is the Advisement Coordinator for CBE and joined us in 2015. She came to us with extensive experience working with students in University College, and she has put that to good use to develop an outstanding advisement system for our department. She is extremely capable and competent. If she does not know an answer, she will find it out. I was impressed how well she worked with Prof. Eva Chi and quickly organized our advisement process from admission to graduation. She handles over 400 undergraduate students and all of the Chemical Engineering graduate students and even managed the Nuclear Engineering advisement till recently when we add a new staff member. Doing all of this with a smiling face and making students feel at home. This has had a huge impact on our department. Her hard work paid off and we had a very successful ABET visit. Her sense of responsibility and work ethic make her an outstanding employee. I am so pleased to have Sarah working with us in CBE.

Our second Outstanding Staff Award this year goes to Annette Torres, who is also from the Department of Chemical and Biological Enginering.
Annette is the Department Administrator in CBE. She holds the department together and make sure we function well as a team. In her 6+ year tenure as Dept. Admin, she definitely brought a change to the department – we became a team working together. The change was from night to day, the staff actually enjoyed coming to work again. And you all know it is the staff that make our university function. Her laughter is infectious and consistent with her catch phrase, “Life is good” which translates to her dealings with students, faculty and staff. She has been very successful at hiring staff members. During the last 2 years our department was on the move from Farris to Mechanical Engr. and back. Annette managed this transition so well that the movers commented on how organized we were, to the point where the move finished earlier than expected. Annette “bleeds cherry and silver!” UNM is very much a part of her life as a student, alum and now an employee. She quietly works to instill Lobo pride not only in the department by throughout SOE. And she continues to amaze me with picking up new skills to help the department.

Our third Outstanding Staff Award this year goes to Ronald McKinstry from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Ron has been the Engineering Tech in Mechanical Engineering since 2015. He has a very wide range of duties spanning facilities/technical support, inventories, safety protocols, IT support, building and lab access etc. He carries out his duties efficiently and, most importantly, with a very positive attitude, always taking things upon himself. Whenever Ron sees (or smells) something that may cause concerns, he is prompt to investigate and seek solutions. He takes safety and occupational health very seriously. Normally a technician would react to things when they happen. But Ron is proactive in identifying problems and looking for areas to make improvement.

Ron has always shown professionalism, respect and a great attitude toward whomever he is helping and whatever job is requested. His attention to detail and quality of work alone sets him apart from others by taking the extra time to ensure the job is done correctly and efficiently. Students, staff and faculty in the department are all very impressed with Ron’s ability to multitask and not only complete the job but to ensure that the person requesting help is satisfied with the results. He is a truly outstanding staff member who is on top of all his duties and beyond.

Outstanding Faculty Awards

Junior Faculty Award for Teaching – Jamie Gomez from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Jamie Gomez joined our department in 2013 with a PhD in chemical engineering from Florida. Over the past four years she has developed into an outstanding educator and a valuable member of the chemical engineering program in CBE. Many of her innovations which have now become standard operating practice within our department. For example, the “Uncomplication Station” which he pioneered in the junior lab is now used by faculty in the senior lab, in modified form. Essentially it is a venue for students to informally discuss their experimental plans and to go over the theory underlying each experiment. I will add a quote from a student in our program “Professor Gomez is very passionate about getting her students become the best chemical engineers they could be. She is always very patient with her students and ready to provide them with guidance whether it is a problem that needs to be solved, a morale boost, or to figure out what to do after graduation… What I find truly unique about Professor Gomez is that deep down she really cares about her students and who they become.” Not only is Jamie devoted to her teaching, she is now engaged in a collaboration with a Learning Scientist, Dr. Vanessa Svihla, to investigate how students learn and to develop new approaches for teaching. She is co-PI of a NSF grant to study the Professional Formation of Engineers. She regularly attends the AICHE and ASEE meetings and presents her findings on teaching and learning. She has published papers and her poster on “Jigsaws and Parleys” won a poster award at the ASEE summer school for junior faculty last year. And she has been involved in organizing the Engineering Expo which will take place on Friday, also serving on the SOE recruitment committee.


Junior Faculty Award for Research Excellence – Sang Eon Han from the Department of Civil Engineering
Sang Eon Han joined our department in 2012 with a PhD in chemical engineering from Minnesota and a post-doc at MIT. He came to us a theorist, so we gave him a very small lab, which he soon outgrew. He has been phenomenally successful and now has a large experimental program in the Centennial Engineering building, and is a member of CHTM where his group does the micro-nano fabrication. The close interplay between his theoretical predictions and his ability to bring a large group together to do experimental validation is a major strength of his research program. His work is truly innovative, how to use nanostructuring to change how light and heat interact with materials, which will have major impact in many areas, including solar energy. Sang Eon has demonstrated the ability to raise external funds (through his AFRL, NSF Career grant and his Scalable Nano Manufacturing grants). As an assistant professor, he has an impressive list 25 publications, 9 patents, a start-up company and over $2.2 million in research funding. His research expenditures put him at the #1 spot among the Assistant Professors in the school of Engineering. He is a very dedicated teacher and has evolved his classes to help students understand how to master difficult mathematical concepts and to apply them to solving problems in chemical engineering. He has won the Industrial Innovation awards from the Korea Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and recently from the US chapter of the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Senior Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence –Mani Hossein-Zadeh from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor Hossein-Zadeh received the B.S. and M. S. degrees in Physics from Sharif University of Technology in IRAN. He continued his studies at the University of Southern California where he received a second MS in 2001 and his Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics in 2005. After three years of postdoctoral research at California Institute of Technology, in 2008 he joined UNM’s ECE department as an assistant professor. Mani has taught 9 different courses including three undergraduate core courses, four graduate core courses that are included in ECE and Optical Science and Engineering’s qualification exams and two new interdisciplinary courses. His teaching evaluations clearly indicate his excellent performance in all these courses and he received ECE’s “outstanding teacher award” as a junior faculty. Mani was also the co-PI of an NSF educational grant focused on introducing ECE undergraduate students to nanotechnology. In addition to teaching, Mani has been an active researcher at the Center for High Technology Materials and is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award.

Senior Faculty Award for Research Excellence – Peter Vorobieff from the Department of Mechanical Engineering
Professor Vorobieff has been with the Mechanical Engineering Department since 1999. He is currently Associate Chair, Director of Graduate Programs and Director of Facilities in the Department. His technical expertise lies in the areas of fluid mechanics, hydrodynamics instabilities, shock-accelerated flows, advanced flow measurement, and renewable energy. He has served as a UNM PI or co-PI on research grants totaling more than $6,000,000, and on most of these grants, he was the lead PI. He led UNM research teams responsible for at least two major discoveries – formation of a braiding pattern in rivulets, and a new class of shock-driven instabilities. In the latter case of Professor Vorobieff’s research breakthroughs, his team discovered a new hydrodynamic instability mechanism which manifests in gas or plasma containing non-uniformly distributed non-gaseous inclusions (particles or droplets) after the passage of a shock wave. It has serious implications in many areas of science, from astrophysics, where shocks propagate through dusty plasma, to aerospace science, where the new instability may affect mixing of drops of fluid with supersonic gas in a supersonic combustion ramjet engine. The work would not have been possible without years of preceding effort that led to the construction of the unique shock tube research facility in our department. This facility sets the standard for the state of the art in experimental studies of compressible multiphase flow.

Professor Vorobieff’s research excellence is recognized by the national and international community of scientists. He is associate editor of ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering and a member of the international scientific advisory board and editorial board at the Wessex Institute. He has organized several international conferences on multiphase flow. He is not only a brilliant experimental scientist but also an excellent teacher, and an effective, dependable, and entertaining colleague in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Glenn Whan Memorial Award
The Dr. Glenn Whan memorial award is a new award for the School this year. All current, and former, faculty, staff and students in the School of Engineering are eligible for this award, making it highly competitive. The award is named for Dr. Glenn Whan, who during his tenure at UNM served as the Chair of Nuclear Engineering and later as the Dean of the School. This award is given to someone who not only displays excellence in service to the community and the School, but who has excelled professionally and whose work reflects the qualities of Dr. Whan’s strong commitment to teaching and to students, with exceptionally high standards, dedication, and scientific excellence.

That said, our inaugural recipient of the Dr. Glenn Whan memorial award is Dr. Robert Busch from the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Bob, please join me on stage.

Bob’s nomination is the epitome of the intent of this award. In fact, he is so exemplary and deserving, that it will be difficult to convey that in this short presentation. However, those who know Bob, know just how outstanding he is in his field. His nomination referred to him as:
• a pillar of the nuclear engineering community;
• the department’s face of the profession and of the American Nuclear Society in particular;
• one of the most active faculty members in the nuclear profession and community;
• an outstanding teacher/educator;
• and inspiring to students, yet demanding and caring.

Bob’s commitment to delivering an educational experience of the highest quality to undergraduate students has been a hallmark of his academic career. His graduates are highly sought after by groups at LANL, Sandia, and the nuclear industry, and his undergraduate students are regularly selected for internships and collaborative research opportunities. Bob has gone above and beyond in service to the profession serving in a multitude of roles at UNM, and in his profession, since the early 80’s. He is also a licensed senior reactor operator and chief reactor supervisor for UNM, and a world recognized expert on nuclear criticality safety training.