Engineering Women Shine at Women of Innovation Awards Night

women1UConn Engineering was well represented during the 2013 Women of Innovation® Awards night on March 19th, with six outstanding women finalists among a total of 52 finalists spread across nine categories.  Doctoral candidate Zhaohui Wang, who is pursuing her Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering, took home the Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award for her exceptional achievements in the area of underwater acoustic communications and networking.

The Connecticut Women of Innovation Awards, now in their ninth year, are sponsored by the Connecticut Technology Council, Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp., Covidien, Day Pitney LLP and United Technologies Corp. Please view photos of the event here.

Zhaohui was co-nominated by her advisor, Dr. Shengli Zhou, the Charles H. Knapp Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering, along with Dr. Yaakov Bar-Shalom, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor & Marianne E. Klewin Endowed Professor in Engineering. In nominating her, they wrote, “Zhaohui’s research has shown remarkable innovation and creativity. She has identified and addressed multiple challenging problems when processing data collected from several underwater acoustic communication experiments.  In particular, her work is the first in the field to solve the problem of high data rate multicarrier transmissions in channels with very long path arrivals in – for example – deep-water acoustic communication networks. Her work is also the first to address a general type of interference, which cannot be categorized by either impulse noise or narrowband noise as in existing works.  This enables concurrent Sonar operations without affecting the underwater acoustic communication performance.”

Other UConn Engineering finalists included:

Research Innovation and Leadership Award Category

  • Dr. Radenka Maric, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy, who has introduced innovative approaches to nanomaterial synthesis.  Her most significant contribution has been in the development of a new manufacturing process for fuel cells that can make highly efficient fuel cell-powered vehicles a viable commercial option. She was co-nominated by her colleagues, Drs. Mark Aindow and Pamir Alpay.

Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award Category

  • Alicia Echevarria, an M.S. candidate (Civil Engineering) whose research centers on multi-hazard resilience of conventional and innovative reinforced concrete bridge columns. Alicia is also the co-founder and CEO of a UConn start-up business, Advanced Column Solutions LLC, with her advisor and nominator, Dr. Arash Zaghi.
  • Jamie Maciaszek, a doctoral candidate (Biomedical Engineering) studying the signaling and adhesion mechanisms of red blood cells from patients with sickle cell disease. Jamie received a competitive American Heart Association predoctoral fellowship and serves as first author on four scholarly publications. She was nominated by her advisor, Dr. George Lykotrafitis.
  • Paiyz Mikael, a Ph.D. candidate (Materials Science & Engineering) whose research involves the development of three-dimensional, biocompatible scaffolding to aid in bone repair. Paiyz is a native of Iraqi Kurdistan, a GK-12 Fellow at UConn, and a UConn alumna (M.S. Biomedical Engineering). She was nominated by Aida Ghiaei, UConn Engineering’s Graduate Outreach Manager.
  • Zengmin Xia, a doctoral candidate (Materials Science & Engineering) researching ways to improve the speed, longevity and success of bone and tissue regeneration and repair through the development of novel polymer/ceramic tissue engineering scaffolds.   She was nominated by her thesis advisor, Dr. Mei Wei.

Small Business Innovation and Leadership Award Category

  • Maria Tarczynska, an accomplished architect who has contributed to large-scale projects such as the American Airlines Terminal and East Side Access Project, which will bring the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal. Maria was nominated by Dr. Krystyna Gielo-Perczak of UConn’s Biomedical Engineering Department.

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