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Engineering Students, Faculty Receive Honors at Ceremony

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nearly 370 students at the University of Kansas School of Engineering celebrated a milestone at the school’s graduate recognition ceremony, held May 12 at Allen Fieldhouse.  Degrees were awarded to 290 undergraduate and 79 graduate students, with special honors going to nine seniors and four faculty members.

Lauren Lacey, the outstanding senior in mechanical engineering, was also the recipient of the Sammie and Carl Locke Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the School of Engineering for 2012.

The other outstanding seniors are:

  • Jason Eslick – Computer Science
  • Patrick Gegen – Computer Engineering
  • Megan Godsey – Chemical Engineering
  • Elizabeth Riedel – Civil Engineering
  • Danish Tarar – Petroleum Engineering
  • Michael Whitten – Architectural Engineering
  • Matt Williams – Aerospace Engineering
  • Mikhail (Mike) Zakharov – Electrical Engineering

In addition to commemorating the achievements of the graduating class, several outstanding faculty members were lauded for their academic, research and service endeavors.

Belinda Sturm, assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, was selected by engineering students as the Gould Award winner for Outstanding Educator.  The award provides $4,000.  Sturm is noted for her devotion to students, family and the School of Engineering.  She is known for teaching her classes with great enthusiasm and a willingness to always make time to help students outside the classroom.

Sturm also was selected by a School of Engineering faculty committee to receive the Miller Professional Development Award for Service, which also provides $4,000.  Sturm has an outstanding record of service for the school, KU and her profession.  She has participated as a key leader on several interdisciplinary strategic planning committees the KU’s Bold Aspirations initiative “Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World” and the sustainability curriculum and research committee.  Sturm worked with undergraduates in 2011 to create a new student group, the Association of Water and Environment.

Associate Dean for Administration JoAnn Browning, a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, was selected by students as the 2012 Gould Award winner for Outstanding Adviser.  The award provides $4,000. Browning was praised for teaching with an infectious excitement and enthusiasm for the subject, and her concern about the well being of the students.  She is known for her dedication to giving students the best education possible and sitting down with them to find the right courses to take and identifying which ones will work best for them.

Carl Leuschen, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, received the school’s Miller Professional Development Award for Research. The award provides $4,000.  Leuschen has worked to ensure the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets and KU are world-class learning environments for remote sensing technologies.  His efforts involved the development of the largest antenna array ever flown on NASA aircraft and made possible the first-ever mapping of internal glacier layers located very close to the icebed in the arctic and Antarctica.

Saeed Farokhi, professor of aerospace engineering, was selected by a faculty committee to receive the 2012 John E. and Winifred E. Sharp Professorship. The award lasts three years and includes an annual personal award of $5,000 plus access to $5,000 annually for instructional development.   Farokhi is known for keeping students energized, engaged and excited to learn and explore the complex subject of aerospace engineering.  He is an expert in aircraft propulsion and his textbook on this subject is used worldwide.  The lessons in the book provide a foundation that’s helped KU students win 12 international engine design competitions.



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