Awards Season in Bloom

The end of the academic year brings with it final exams, the search for summer jobs and commencement for graduating seniors. It is also a time when Villanova University and the College of Engineering present a number of awards for academic achievement, research, and creativity and innovation.

Deans Awards 2013
At the Dean’s Awards Dinner

Dean’s Awards Dinner

In mid-April, the College hosted its 38th annual Dean’s Awards Dinner. An invitation-only event, the Dinner recognizes senior engineering students for their academic achievements and/or their meaningful contributions and service provided to the Villanova College of Engineering. This year, the Dean’s Award for Excellence was presented to 73 students who each had a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 at the end of the fall term. Ten graduating seniors received the 2013 Meritorious Service Award:

Christine M. Alizzi CEE Ellen M. Knapp ChE
Tyler A. Casteel ChE Benjamin W. Lawrence ChE
Ian P. Dardani ME Christine K. McQuade ChE
Francis J. Dougherty ChE Alexander J. Metz ME
Timothy J. Henderson ChE Michelle A. Parziale ME

Pitch Day 2013

Across campus, increasing numbers of students are exploring and engaging their creative and innovative side. The Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE), the Villanova Student Entrepreneurship Competition (VSEC), and the university-wide working group Beyond Ideas offer students opportunities for cross-college, interdisciplinary collaboration and challenges.


VSEC

Pitch Day 2013 included the presentation of the Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence (ICE) Awards. Stephen Schraer ’13 ME (second from right) took home the honors for the College of Engineering, and the campus-wide Meyer ICE faculty award went to Edmond J. Dougherty (second from left), Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship program.


VSEC

VSEC presentations were one of the highlights of Pitch Day. Out of 55 entrants, seven finalists were selected to present their ideas to an audience of judges. Of those seven teams, five included at least one engineering major. This year’s top award went to team “Fun Run,” of which Mechanical Engineering senior Tom Belatti (far right) was a member. Their winning idea was a competitive, socially driven mobile application designed to add motivation and fun to exercise. This is the third straight year that the College of Engineering has been represented on the first place team.

VSEC

“Du Riz,”a team of three junior engineering students, placed third in VSEC. Frederick Hesse-Tetteh CpE (second from left), Warren Chan CEE (front) and Joseph Reckamp ChE (far right) developed an inexpensive, portable rice huller to improve the lot of impoverished rice farmers. Du Riz also took home an award for the most promising social entrepreneurship idea.

Falvey Scholars

Falvey Scholars

Mechanical Engineering senior Russell Rioux (second from left) received the 2013 Falvey Scholar award for the College of Engineering. This annual program recognizes outstanding undergraduate research and is a collaborative initiative of the Falvey Memorial Library, the Honors Program and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Russell’s research mentor was Calvin Li, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium

Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium

Sigma Xi is the international honor society for research scientists and engineers. The Villanova chapter sponsors a research symposium event to recognize and celebrate the work accomplished by University students, and to give students an opportunity to further develop their skills in communicating those accomplishments. Four engineering teams received “Outstanding Poster” awards:

Graduate Poster Winners:

1st place:

Mohsen Samadani ME, “Diagnostics of a nonlinear pendulum using computational intelligence"
Advisor:  Dr. C. Nataraj, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

2nd place:

Parham Ghorbanian ME, (pictured) “Discrete Wavelet Transform EEG Features of Alzheimer’s Disease in Activated States”
Advisor: Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics & Control

Undergraduate Poster Winners:

1st place:

Shawn Welch ’13 ChE, “Development and Analysis of Acidified Silica-Based Catalysts for Cracking of Pinewood Biomass”
Advisors: Assistant professors of Chemical Engineering, Drs. Charles Coe and Justinus Satrio

2nd place:

Joseph Reckamp ’14 ChE, “Evaluation of the Potentials of Paper Mill Sludge (PMS) as a Feedstock for Thermochemical Biofuels Production”
Advisor: Dr. Justinus Satrio, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Looking Ahead

During the College of Engineering Recognition Ceremony on May 18, faculty from each department will award medallions to honor and recognize those graduating seniors who have excelled in academic performance and demonstrated leadership. The highest honor, the Robert D. Lynch Award, will be presented on behalf of the Engineering Alumni Society. Outstanding graduate students also will be recognized, along with the winner of the Farrell Award, which goes to an exemplary faculty member.

The recipients of those awards will be announced after commencement.