Thursday, March 12, 2015

8 Engineering Students Receive Gordon Fellowships and Engineering Leadership Awards

Last Friday, eight Engineering students were recognized as 2015 Gordon Fellows at the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Engineering Leadership Center’s annual Engineering Leadership Awards ceremony. 
View more photos of the event here.
The awards dinner honored one industry professional, three graduate students and five undergraduate students. Staff and faculty members are encouraged to nominate engineering leaders with vision, integrity, demonstrated teamwork, leadership and communication skills, and engineering ability to become a Gordon Fellow and receive an Engineering Leadership Award.

Congratulations to: Mark Chapman, Mridu Sinha and Hermes Taylor-Weiner as the graduate award recipients; Tyler Day, Delara Fadavi, Mary Graves, Aditi Gupta and Nico Montoya as the undergraduate award recipients; and wireless communications industry pioneer, inventor and entrepreneur Martin Cooper as the professional award recipient.

Guests and award recipients were welcomed by Jacobs School of Engineering Dean and Gordon Center Director Albert P. Pisano, and were served dinner in the Great Hall at UCSD’s International House.

“Our Gordon Center works to identify and train effective engineering leaders,” Pisano said. “I like to call these people the ‘Change Makers’.”

The Gordon Center offers an engineering leadership education year-round through their Gordon Scholars program, but the purpose of the Engineering Leadership Awards program is to reward and recognize successful students who have served as role models for the Jacobs School of Engineering. During the event, each student was invited on stage, individually introduced and recognized for their engineering leadership. As newly minted Gordon Fellows, they will each receive an award alongside the Gordon Medal for Engineering Leadership. Each graduate awardee will receive $10,000 and each undergraduate awardee will receive $2,500.

Mark Chapman
Mark Chapman is a Bioengineering Ph.D. candidate whose research on the biomechanics of genetically modified muscle cells is leading to a better understanding of childhood muscular dystrophy. He shares his passion for science through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates, where he has mentored more than 30 students. As chair of student activities for the Jacobs School Graduate Student Council, he launched the Pi-Mile Run, which is now an annual campus event to benefit the San Diego Science Alliance.

Mridu Sinha
Bioengineering Ph.D. candidate Mridu Sinha collaborates with clinicians in her research to improve outcomes of newborns with brain injuries. She has interned at several companies, where she focused on product development to enhance health care. While in India, she created experiential curricula to encourage girls to stay in school, and she used this experience to deploy a hands-on course for five San Diego High Schools. The course relates social problems to health and challenges students to design an engineering solution.

Hermes Taylor-Weiner
Hermes Weiner is also a Ph.D. candidate under the Bioengineering department and combines this engineering knowledge with training in public policy to tackle controversial issues in science. He is writing a brief on U.S. Stem Cell clinics that sell non-FDA approved therapies and making recommendations on policies to protect patients. An NSF Fellow, his research focuses on embryonic stem cell differentiate into insulin-producing cells, and he has received numerous research awards and publications in prestigious journals.

Tyler Day

Tyler Day is a Bioengineering student and has received the prestigious Young Investigator Award for his research which identified genetic risk factor for HIV-associated cognitive dysfunction. He has become a skilled experimental technician through his work with the UCSD Center for AIDS research and performed an international research experience in Taiwan where he studied brain-computer interfaces. Tyler is an undergraduate advisor for Global TIES where he has mentored six teams working on humanitarian engineering projects.

Delara Fadavi
Bioengineering undergraduate student Delara Fadavi founded the UCSD Engineering World Health’s Distribution Team which is focused on manufacturing and deploying student projects. The team plans to begin clinical trials of their low-cost HIV diagnostic system in Tijuana clinics. Delara co-founded Meego Technology to develop a motion-activated alarm to deter laptop thefts in public places. The team has been accepted to the UC San Diego MyStartupXX Incubator and has completed the NSF Innovation-Corps Phase 2 Program.

Mary Graves

The first in her family to go to college, Mary Graves has distinguished herself in both research and student leadership. Grave is an undergraduate student under the department of Chemical Engineering, and her interests include mental illness and drug addiction. As a research summer scholar at the University of Minnesota, she led a 12-person team studying the effect of exercise on cocaine addiction. Graves is a leader in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers student chapter, where she organizes opportunities for students to network with mentors and prospective employers.

Aditi Gupta
Aditi Gupta is Bioengineering student and a co-founder of MeeGo Technology, which is developing a motion-activated alarm to deter laptop thefts in public places. Among Gupta’s many research experiences, she spent a summer at Taiwan’s National Yang Ming University where she studied the efficacy of herbal medicine for treating depression. She actively participates in student events, and was the chief organizer for Bioengineering Day 2014 and is helping to organize the inaugural multidisciplinary San Diego Hackfest.

Nico Montoya

As leader of the Triton Rocket Club, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering student Nicholas Montoya helped grow the organization from five members to 60, and led the team to reach technical milestones, garner industry sponsorship, and achieve national recognition. The student team aims to be the first in the U.S. to launch a rocket into space. Montoya has completed internships at Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, JPL and Portfolium. He constantly mentors fellow students, and actively uses his contacts to help his peers secure job opportunities.

Martin Cooper has been referred to as the “father” of the portable cellular telephony, having conceived the first portable cellular phone in 1973. Cooper was a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, before becoming the division manager and head of R&D for Motorola over his 29-year tenure at the Company. As a serial entrepreneur, Cooper has started a number of businesses including co- founding GreatCall, Inc., maker of the Jitterbug phone and service, ArrayComm, the world leader in smart antenna technology and Dyna LLC, a business incubator, where he currently serves as Chairman. Cooper was an inaugural member of the Wireless History Foundation Wireless Hall of Fame. Red Herring magazine named him one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs of 2000, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Business named him a Transformation Technology Change Leader and he is a recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal. In 2010, Cooper was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Science and Technology. In February 2013, Cooper was co-recipient of the Charles Stark Draper Prize; one of the world’s preeminent awards for engineering achievement. In September 2013, Cooper was awarded the coveted Marconi Prize and in January 2015, the IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award.

Cooper delivered the evening’s keynote address and spoke highly of this year’s Fellows, stating that he was in a room with the engineering leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Confident in Cooper’s statement, we expect great futures ahead for this year’s Gordon Fellows. Congratulations again to these students!

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