Students, faculty honored at School of Engineering ceremony


From KU News
By Cody Howard

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Engineering awarded degrees to nearly 350 students at the schools graduate recognition ceremony May 18 at Allen Fieldhouse. Degrees went to nearly 300 undergraduate and 50 graduate students, with special honors going to 10 seniors and five faculty members.

Mary Adams, Rolla, Mo., the outstanding senior in architectural engineering, was also the recipient of the Sammie and Carl Locke Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the School of Engineering for 2013.

The other outstanding seniors:
–Sydney Autry, Mantorville, Minn., petroleum engineering
–Amir Bachelani, Olathe, aerospace engineering
–Dakota Henke, Olathe, electrical engineering
–Ben Hofmeier, Wichita, engineering physics
–Christopher Novosel, Columbia, Mo., civil engineering
–Keeler Russell, Wichita, computer engineering
–Joseph Sandt, Kansas City, Mo., mechanical engineering
–Michael Tabone, DeSoto, computer science
–Emma Watson, Wichita, chemical engineering

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

Shah Keshmiri, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, was selected by engineering students as the Gould Award winner for Outstanding Undergraduate Educator. Keshmiri received recognition for his lasting impact on the students he teaches and for showcasing astounding dedication as a mentor and educator. Students praised him for his strong desire to see students succeed, so much so that he's been known to teach an extra class session for just one student.

Engineering students named David Petr, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, as the Gould Award winner for Outstanding Undergraduate Adviser. Petr was praised for his willingness to take time to talk with students and his keen interest in the well-being of their learning and development.

Prajna Dhar, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, was selected by a School of Engineering faculty committee to receive the Miller Professional Development Award for Research. Dhar's research focuses on furthering the understanding of respiratory diseases, including work on the effects of inhaled carbon nanoparticles on lung function. She received a Leading Light Award from KU in March for earning more than $1 million in research funding during the previous fiscal year.

A committee of School of Engineering faculty selected Adolfo Matamoros, professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, as the winner of the Miller Professional Development Award for Service. Matamoros has been highly involved in the work of the American Concrete Institute. He has also organized technical programs for ACI, the American Institute of Steel Construction, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the NSF-supported National Earthquake Engineering Simulation Program.

Jim Rowland, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was selected by a faculty committee to receive the 2013 John E. and Winifred E. Sharp Professorship. Rowland is known for his passion for engineering education. In addition to his significant teaching contribution to the department and the school of Engineering, Rowland invests time and effort in improving engineering education across the nation. He has served as a member and chair of many engineering education organizations, and his work has been recognized by numerous organizations outside of KU.

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