Students Capture Honors

Our students are exceptional and diverse, from those who are just beginning their UConn engineering studies to those who are completing them. In recent months a number of our students captured coveted scholarships, awards and distinctions. We highlight some of them in this story. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding students.

graphicDoctoral candidate Ke Peng and his advisor, Dr. Mohammad Tehranipoor (Electrical & Computer Engineering), were honored with a Best Paper Award for their paper presented during the 14th IEEE North Atlantic Test Workshop (NATW). The paper was titled “Efficient Pattern Grading for Small Delay Defects in Digital Integrated Circuits.” It discusses the team’s research involving an efficient pattern evaluation and selection procedure for screening small delay defects (SDDs) in integrated circuits, which arise from physical defects as well as process variations and crosstalk. SDDs introduce small delays whose impact can be significant in cases where the sensitized path is long or critical. The team’s approach involves an efficient pattern evaluation and selection procedure for screening SDDs. Ke received his B.S. degree at Northwestern Polytechnical University (Xi’an, China) in 2004 and his M.S. from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, in 2007.

graphicDoctoral students Woosun An and Chulwoo Park (Electrical & Computer Engineering) were co-authors on a paper that garnered a Best Student Paper award for the Modeling and Simulation Track at the 14th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposia (ICCRTS). Their paper, presented during the June 15-17 meeting in Washington, DC, was entitled “HMM and Auction-based Formulations of ISR Coordination Mechanisms for the Expeditionary Strike Group Missions.” Both are advised by Dr. Krishna Pattipati. The paper describes work relating to the development of an analytic model for investigating intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) coordination mechanisms in the context of dynamic and uncertain mission environments, using hidden Markov models and multi-stage auction algorithms.

Woosun received his B.S. from the University of Chung Ang , South Korea (2001) and his M.S. from the University of Florida in 2005. He previously received UConn engineering summer fellowship awards in 2007 and 2008. Chulwoo received a B.E. degree from R.O.K. Naval Academy, Korea and his M.S. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1996 and 2003, respectively.

graphicJing Dong, a doctoral candidate in Chemical Engineering, received one of just five Michael J. Hogan Graduate Summer Research Awards for 2009. The $5,000 award will support her work involving the development of biodegradable plastics and fibers from wheat gluten, which may replace petroleum-based plastics. Jing expects to complete her degree by early fall. She was nominated by her thesis advisor, Dr. Richard Parnas. A graduate of Tianjin Polytechnic University (China), Jing was awarded her M.S. and B.S. degrees in Material Science and Chemical Engineering in 2004 and 2001, respectively.

graphicAlumna Danielle McGeary, now a Clinical Engineer and Project Manager of Biomedical Engineering at Hartford Hospital, won the American College of Clinical Engineers (ACCE) Student Paper Award for her paper entitled “Engineering an HL7 Interface and Wireless Infrastructure to Improve the Efficiency of ECG Analysis at Hartford Hospital.”

Danielle explained that her paper focused on implementing an HL7 interface and wireless infrastructure into the preexisting ECG system at Hartford Hospital. According to Danielle, “the HL7 interface was a mechanism by which the Hartford Hospital ordering software and electronic medical record systems could exchange crucial patient data back and forth with the ECG analysis software at the hospital. The new system created a much more efficient way of tracking and comparing patient ECGs and also improved the hospital’s documentation compliance required for monetary reimbursement.”

Danielle earned her M.S. (2009) and B.S. (2007) degrees in biomedical engineering at UConn. Her undergraduate focus and research involved investigations of the strength and porosity of various compounds of hydroxyapatite, a derivative of human bone.

graphicDoctoral student Mehdi DaneshPanah was selected to receive a $3,000 SPIE Scholarship in Optical Science and Engineering. SPIE is an international optics and photonics society and boasts more than 188,000 members across the globe. In 2009, the society expects to award nearly $300,000 in scholarships to 116 outstanding students.

Mehdi is working toward his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering under the guidance of Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Bahram Javidi and is a co-author on more than 22 publications, including seven scholarly journal papers, two book chapters and 13 conference proceedings papers. Three of Mehdi’s proceedings have received Best Paper Awards. In 2008, Mehdi was among 12 recipients of the IEEE Lasers & Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) Graduate Student Fellowship Award.

His research interests pertain to passive and active 3-D imaging systems, including collaborative multi-perspective imaging and information processing as well as tomographic digital holographic microscopy and its application in stem cell research. Read more about Mehdi’s work on pages here and here.

uconn graphicThree UConn engineering students received scholarships from the Connecticut Power and Energy Society during the organization’s June 17 dinner: Ashwin Billava, Michael Ciurylo and Dipayan Ghosh. Please see the society’s press release here:, and their video presentations here:

May graduates Sarah Berth (Chemical Engineering) and Jacquelynn Garofano (Materials Science & Engineering) were named recipients of the campus-wide 2009 Outstanding Senior Women Academic Achievements Award. The award recognizes those graduating women from each school who have excelled academically and demonstrated dedication to research and service to the University community. Sarah and Jacquelynn received their awards during a May 8 ceremony, along with 15 other outstanding young women.

The awards are co-sponsored by the UConn Women’s Center, the Provost’s Commission on the Status of Women, and the Alumni Association. Kathleen Holgerson, Director of the Women’s Center, said he award arose in conjunction with the University’s celebration of the 100 Years of Women in 1993.

graphicSarah, who also earned the coveted role of student speaker during the May 2009 commencement, said of her Outstanding Achievement Award, “It feels absolutely amazing to be so honored by the School of Engineering. I am privileged to represent the University of Connecticut so positively, but I could not have gotten this far on my own. I am grateful for all the advice, hard work and support that have helped me through engineering.”

Among the highlights of her undergraduate career at UConn, Sarah counts her participation in the intensive preparatory BRIDGE program during the summer of 2005, which helped prepare her for the rigorous engineering curriculum her first year. A recipient of the Pratt & Whitney Engineering Diversity Scholarship, Sarah immersed herself in numerous activities throughout her undergraduate years. She was a member of Phi Sigma Rho, the engineering sorority; president of the Engineering Student Leadership Council during the 2007-08 school year; vice president of the chemical engineering honor society, Omega Chi Epsilon; and an intern with Pratt & Whitney’s Green Engines program.

graphicJackie completed her M.S. in April and is now pursuing her doctoral degree under the guidance of Dr. Mark Aindow. The focus of her doctoral research is high-resolution characterization of laser-processed superalloys — specifically percussion laser-drilled nickel-based superalloys — using electron microscopy. Her papers have appeared in the Journal of Materials Science (2009) and Microscopy & Microanalysis (2008). Jackie is the President and founder of the UConn chapter of the Materials Research Society (MRS) and has been an active member and officer in the Material Advantage student chapter since 2006 as well.

In receiving her Outstanding Senior Women Award, Jackie said “I am incredibly honored to be a recipient of such an award, especially since the award was given for the UConn Graduate School. I am grateful to Dr. George Rossetti for his generous nomination of me, and to the entire faculty in the Materials Science & Engineering program, who are exceptional researchers, teachers and advisors.”

graphicGraduate student Katherine “Kade” Etter (Biomedical Engineering) was selected one of two Student Life Award recipients for Outstanding TA of the Year in 2009. Kade is a Community Assistant in the Northwest Complex and a Teaching Assistant responsible for instructing six sections of a BME course along with overseeing 15 lab sections. The combined enrollment for the course and lab is more than 100 undergraduate students. She also oversees the efforts of five sophomore students who assist her in the lab and provides mentorship and tutoring for students who require extra help in completing homework assignments. As an undergraduate, Kade was Senior Development Advisor of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), Community Assistant in the Northwest dorm, and a Biomedical Engineering undergraduate enrolled in the University’s Honors Program.

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