Doctoral Students Capture Honors

Three doctoral students in engineering, Claire Weiss, Mehdi DaneshPanah and Bob Schulein, have received major honors in recognition of their scholarly achievements.

Claire Weiss, a doctoral candidate advised by Dr. Pamir Alpay (Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering), won the Best Graduate Summer Research Award at the Summer Student Research Symposium held on August 7, 2008 at the Adelphi Laboratory Center in MD. Ms. Weiss competed with more than 100 summer interns for the gold medal award, which was presented for her work on “Novel Thin Film Materials for Tunable Device Applications,” which she carried out with Dr. Melanie Cole. A total of six awards were presented. She also received a $500 check.

Ms. Weiss conducted research over the summer at the Army Research Labs (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Ms. Weiss said “Working at ARL was an especially rewarding experience for me because of the unique resources that ARL has to offer. In addition to the state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, all of the employees were extremely eager and helpful whenever I had a question. These two factors really helped me get the most out of my time there, and I feel that I really learned a lot.”

Mehdi DaneshPanah, a Ph.D. candidate advised by Dr. Bahram Javidi (Electrical & Computer Engineering), was selected a recipient of 2008 IEEE Lasers & Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) Graduate Student Fellowship Award. This fellowship is presented to up to 12 outstanding LEOS members worldwide pursuing doctoral studies within the fields of electro-optics, lasers, photonics, optics, or closely related areas. Mr. DaneshPanah will formally receive the award during the LEOS Annual Meeting (LEOS 2008) in Newport Beach, CA in November. Commenting on his award, Mr. DaneshPanah said, “The Graduate Student IEEE-LEOS Fellowship Award is a great honor for me. I think of it as an encouragement for myself and for my fellow graduate students in the School of Engineering, for it shows the level of graduate student body competence as well as scientific novelty of the ongoing research at UConn.”

Mr. DaneshPanah and fellow doctoral candidate Bob Schulein – along with Dr. Bahram Javidi (Electrical & Computer Engineering) and their collaborators Drs. Paul McManamon and Edward Watson of the Air Force Research Laboratory – were presented a 2008 Best Automatic Target Recognition Paper Award. Their paper, entitled “New Paradigms for Active and Passive 3D Remote Object Sensing, Visualization, and Recognition,” was presented at the 2008 Automatic Target Recognition Conference, a section of the March 2008 SPIE Symposium on Defense and Security, in Orlando. This keynote address paper describes passive sensing for imaging, visualization, and identification of 3D objects. Reflecting on the award, Mr. Schulein said, “We’re doing a lot of very exciting research in the 3D imaging field and this award is a great confirmation that we’re on the right track.”

Dr. Javidi explained that this passive sensing methodology offers an attractive alternative to laser radar (LADAR) systems in terms of cost, compactness, and scalability. The award was sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Categories: Doctoral Degree, emagination, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering, passive sensing methodology, Summer Student Research Symposium, The Graduate Student IEEE-LEOS Fellowship