Awards and Honors

Student Awards

SNAME Graduate Paper Prize
Four MechE graduate students, Roberto Urrutia Valenzuela, Philippe Menard, Emmanouil Sarris, and Iason Dimou, were awarded the Graduate Paper Prize by The Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers (SNAME). The students presented the winning paper, “DDG-51 Flight IIA Modified Repeat Project: Area Air Defense Destroyer,” at the SNAME Student Paper Night hosted by MIT.

NEMB 2010 Student Poster Award
MechE graduate student Gunjan Agarwal won second place in the Best Student Poster competition at ASME’s First Global Congress on Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology (NEMB). Agarwal’s project concerned the sorting of biological cells by size using self-assembly techniques. This technology has potential applications in medical research and diagnostics and tissue engineering. Agarwal conducted her research with Associate Professor Carol Livermore.

Marshall Scholar
Tanya Goldhaber, a mechanical engineering major with minors in music and brain and cognitive sciences, will pursue a doctorate degree in inclusive design at the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge with the help of a Marshall Scholarship. Goldhaber is a founding member of the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program at MIT as well as an accomplished violinist and four-time winner of an Emerson Scholarship for private study.

Goldwater Scholar
Omar Abudayyeh, a junior in mechanical engineering, was one of four MIT undergraduates among the 278 students recently named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars—an honor given to mathematics, science, and engineering students based on academic merit. Goldwater Scholars receive up to $7,500 per year for each of their remaining academic years. The awards are given to sophomores and juniors planning careers in science and engineering.

Phi Beta Kappa
Six mechanical engineering students were inducted recently into the Phi Beta Kappa Society: Emily Houston, Leo Luo, Jenna McKown, Samuel Weiss, James White, and Kent Willis.

Fulbright Scholarship
Amos Winter SM ’05, PhD ’10, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and will travel to India to continue work on the “Leveraged Freedom Chair,” a wheelchair he developed specifically for use in the developing world. The “Leveraged Freedom Chair” was also named a 2010 recipient of the R&D 100 Award by R&D Magazine.

Pi Tau Sigma
In spring 2010, fourteen students were inducted into the mechanical engineering honor society Pi Tau Sigma: Omar Abudayyeh, Stephanie Brown, John Boghossian, Mindy Eng, Evan Lampe, Tanya Goldhaber, Lauren Hernley, Vu Hong, Zachary Rose, Ian Rust, Amrita Saigal, Katrina Schoen, Will Vega-Brown, and Kent Willis.

Tau Beta Pi
Five students were initiated into Tau Beta PI this past Spring: Omar Abudayyeh, Trevor James Shannon, Katrina Michelle Ellison, Vu Anh Hong, and Eric Robert Reuland.

Department Student Awards Ceremony – Spring 2010

Graduate Student Awards

American Bureau of Shipping Award
Josh Leighton, Daniel Hanks

Clement F. Burnap Award for Outstanding Masters of Science in the Marine Field
Bret Smart

Link Foundation Fellowship
Jordan Stanway

Luis de Florez Award for Invention/Innovation (Graduate Design Award)
Conor Walsh

Luis de Florez Award for Invention/Innovation (Graduate Science Award)
Jonathan Hopkins, Robert Panas

Meredith Kamm Memorial Award for the Outstanding ME Woman Graduate Student
Lisa Burton

SoE Graduate Student Extraordinary Teaching and Mentoring Award
Amos Winter

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (for outstanding graduate student)
Sheng Shen, Reza Sharifi Sedeh

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (for outstanding graduate research)
Hyukmin Kwon, David Smith

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (for outstanding TAs in Course 2.002)
Ashley Browning, Benjamin Drnecke

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (for outstanding TAs in Course 2.007)
Shane Colton, Mohammad Imani-Nejad

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (for outstanding TAs in Course 2.674)
Marco Cartas

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (outstanding performance, Course 2N)
Jon Gibbs, Roberto Urrutia, Phil Menard

Undergraduate Student Awards

AMP Inc. Award for Outstanding Performance in Course 2.002
Vibin Kundukulam, Emily Shao, Richard Larson

Alfred A.H. Keil Ocean Engineering Development Fund Award for Excellence in Broad-Based Research in Ocean Engineering
Roberto Melendez

BJ and Chunghi Park Award for Outstanding Performance in Manufacturing
Kevin Rustagi, Evan Schneider

Carl G. Sontheimer Prize for Creativity and Innovation in Design
Jesse Austin-Breneman, Barry Kudrowitz, Geoff Tsai

Department Service Award for Outstanding Service to the ME Department
Erika Bildsten, John Boghossian, Toomas Sepp, Katrina Schoen, Tish Scolnik, William Vega-Brown

International Design Competition (2.007 Contest)
Randall Briggs, Dan Fourie, Joseph Conte, John Romanishin

John C. and Elizabeth J. Chato Award for Excellence in Bioengineering
Michaelle Mayalu

Lauren Tsai Memorial Award for Academic Excellence by a Graduating Senior
Emily Houston

Luis de Florez Award for Invention/Innovation (Undergraduate Design Award)
Andrew Marecki

Luis de Florez Award for Invention/Innovation (Audience E-mail Competition)
Samuel Weiss

Peter Griffith Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis
Katherine M. Smyth

Society of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Award for Outstanding Undergraduate in the Marine Field
Matt Gildner, Leah Hokanson

Thomas Sheridan Prize for Academic Excellence by a Graduating Senior
Gregory Tao

Robert Bruce Wallace Prize for Scholarship in Ocean Engineering
Mathew Gildner

Whitelaw Prize (for originality in 2.007 design and contest)
Laura Ware, Brett van Zuiden

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (outstanding undergraduate student)
Trevor Shannon

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (for academic excellence)
Nadia Tepper, Jenna McKown, Samuel Weiss

Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award (outstanding thesis)
John Williams

Faculty Awards

IEEE-ASME Itherm Best Paper Awards
The 2010 IEEE-ASME ITherm Conference (Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems) was a success for MechE faculty members and researchers. A team that included professors Evelyn Wang, John Brisson, and Jeff Lang (electrical engineering), and their DARPA research team—Dr. Matthew McCarthy, Dr. Teresa Peters, Jon Allison, Alonso Espinosa, David Jenicek, Arthur Kariya, and Catherine Koveal—received a Best Paper Award for “Design and Analysis of High-Performance Air-Cooled Heat Exchanger with an Integrated Capillary-Pumped Loop Heat Pipe.”

At that same conference, Kripa Varanasi, d’Arbeloff Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, received a Best Paper Award for “Controlling the Nucleation and Growth of Water Using Hybrid Hydrophobic-Hydrophilic Surfaces.”

Rohan Abeyaratne to receive 2010 Drucker Medal
Rohan Abeyaratne, SMART Director and the Quentin Berg Professor of Mechanics, will receive the 2010 ASME Applied Mechanics Division Drucker Medal. The Daniel C. Drucker medal was established in 1997 to recognize distinguished contributions to the field of applied mechanics and mechanical engineering through research, teaching, and service to the community over an extended period of time.

Kripa Varanasi receives DARPA Young Faculty Award
Kripa Varanasi, the d’Arbeloff Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and leader of the Lab for Surface Science & Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, has received a 2010 Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Varanasi will use his award to focus on developing novel nanoengineered surface technology-enabled thermal-fluid systems for ultra-high-heat flux thermal management. This work could impact multiple industries spanning electronics, photonics, energy, water, agriculture and transportation. Crucial challenges in thermal management include removing heat from electronic and photonic devices while maintaining acceptable component operating temperatures.

Peko Hosoi named 2010 MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Associate Professor Peko Hosoi was recently named a 2010 MacVicar Faculty Fellow. She was specifically lauded for her outstanding undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and educational innovation.

The MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program was established in 1992 to honor the life and devotion to teaching excellence of Margaret MacVicar ’64, ScD ’67. MacVicar was MIT’s first dean for undergraduate education and founder of UROP (the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program). The 10-year fellowship provides an annual scholar’s allowance to support faculty efforts to enrich undergraduate learning experiences.

Alexander Mitsos receives Best Practice Award for Research & Discovery in Life Sciences
Assistant Professor Alexander Mitsos received a Best Practice Award from Bio-IT World for his work in systems biology with Leo Alexopoulos at NTU Athens. Mitsos’ background in mixed-integer optimization enables Alexopoulos to reconstruct signaling networks in normal and cancerous cells. By comparing these networks with and without the effect of drugs, the two researchers are able to identify which parts of the pathway a drug is acting on.

Steven Dubowsky and Francesco Mazzini win Best Paper Award from ASME
Graduate student Francesco Mazzini and Professor Steven Dubowsky won the Best Paper Award from ASME’s Mechanisms and Robotics Committee. Their paper, “The Tactile Exploration of a Harsh Environment by a Manipulator with Joint Backlash,” was presented at the 34th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference in Montreal, Canada.

Roger Kamm elected to the Institute of Medicine
Roger D. Kamm SM ’73, PhD ’77, the Singapore Research Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering at MIT, is one of 65 new members nationwide elected to the Institute of Medicine. One of four national academies in the U.S, the Institute of Medicine serves as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on human health issues.

Kamm’s research seeks to understand the fundamental nature of how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli. Kamm hopes to employ the principles revealed by these studies to find new treatments for vascular disease and develop tissue constructs for drug and toxicity screening. Current research activities in Kamm’s laboratory fall into three broad categories: tissue engineering and microfluidics, cellular rheology, and molecular mechanics. Kamm also received the ASME H.R. Lissner Medal in the summer of 2010.

European Materials Research Society Best Poster Award
Professor Tonio Buonassisi, graduate student Sergio Castellanos, and UROP student Vidya Ganapati won Best Poster at the European Materials Research Society Meeting in Strasbourg, France for their poster “Infrared birefringence imaging of residual stress and bulk defects in multicrystalline silicon.” Visiting students Stephan Schoenfelder and Sebastian Oener also participated in the project.

Evelyn Wang receives 2010 Air Force Young Investigator Award
Evelyn Wang, Assistant Professor of Mechancial Engineering, has received a 2010 Air Force Young Investigator Award. Wang’s work aims to investigate advanced nanostructures to manipulate coupled fluidic and heat-transport processes for high-flux, two-phase microfluidic thermal-management systems. Specifically, her work will utilize nanostructure design to enhance heat transfer of both evaporator and condenser designs.

Domitilla Del Vecchio receives Eckman Award
Domitilla Del Vecchio received the 2010 Donald P. Eckman Award from the American Automatic Control Council, “For contributions to the theory and practice of hybrid dynamical systems and systems biology.” Her research interests are in the control of hybrid dynamical systems with imperfect information and in the analysis and design of bio-molecular feedback systems.