2018 CoE Honors Teaching, Research, Students and Professional Staff

The College of Engineering is pleased to announce its 2018 Teaching, Research, Student, and Professional Staff Award recipients. These individuals were honored for their commitment to the College and the College community.

Following a “robust” nomination process across all CoE departments this spring, 13 individuals were honored at a luncheon ceremony on Friday, June 1, with Interim Dean Giuseppe Palmese presiding.

Here are the award winners and the categories in which they were selected:

Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Richard Knight
An integral member of his department, college, and university, Dr. Knight—a teaching professor, associate department head, and undergraduate advisor with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering—serves on the Assessment (ABET) Committee, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the Senior Design Coordinators Committee. At the university level, he has served as one of the College’s representatives on the Senate Committee for Academic Affairs (SCAA) since 2012, including the SCAA Undergraduate Sub-Committee. He is also a member of the University Safety Committee. Additionally, he has served on the College Curriculum Task Force, and the university committee on advising. Knight’s commitment to outreach activities on behalf of the department, the college, and the university is invaluable.

Outstanding Early-Career Research Achievement – shared by Dr. Peter DeCarlo and Dr. Aaron Fafarman
Dr. DeCarlo, an associate professor and graduate studies advisor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, specializes in outdoor air quality, particulate matter size and composition instrumentation and measurements, source apportionment of ambient particulate matter, and the climate impacts of particulate matter. DeCarlo recently made national and international news with the publication of an article in Science Advances on the chemical signature of third-hand smoke.

Dr. Fafarman, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, utilizes nanocrystals as building blocks for electronic and optoelectronic materials, particularly for applications in solar energy conversion, in his research. Starting from these materials, he has demonstrated how to access novel compositions of matter and enable industrially promising fabrications modalities. He is a leader in the study of an emerging photovoltaic material-class known as cesium halide perovskites, as well as in development of low-voltage electrophoretic deposition to synthesize functional electronic materials.

Award recipient Ying Sun with Dean Palmese
Award recipient Ying Sun with Dean Palmese

Outstanding Mid-Career Research Achievement – Dr. Ying Sun
Dr. Sun, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, has shown a vision, commitment and focus on research and the energy to follow through with these plans to place in the top 5% of faculty in the College of Engineering. Her key strength is her ability to contribute across a broad range of areas; a major demonstration of this ability is the success of ARPA-E project where she has organized multi-university, industrial, and governmental resources to move the project forward.

Outstanding Career Scholarly Research Achievement -- Dr. Masoud Soroush
Dr. Soroush is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research interests include modeling, control and optimization of solar cell, fuel cell and power storage systems; probabilistic risk assessment and mitigation; polymerization reaction engineering; process systems engineering; polymer membranes; and multiscale mathematical modeling.

Outstanding Innovation Award -- Dr. Wei-Heng Shih
Dr. Shih, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has received 37 US patents on technologies ranging from ceramic materials to nanotechnology to energy generation and storage to bio and chemical sensors and medical devices. For his highly innovative productivity, he was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2014. Four of his technologies have been licensed and their companies have raised, in aggregate, more than $4M to date to bring the technologies to market. Dr. Sun’s inventions have had a positive impact on society, addressing difficult issues in healthcare and energy.

Outstanding Teacher -- Dr. Joseph Martin
Dr. Martin is a professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. His interactions with students in and out of classroom earned him the nickname of “Doc,” which shows how much students appreciate him as a favored teacher. Most importantly, his students thoroughly learn the essential, fundamental engineering methodologies.

Outstanding Teaching Professor -- Dr. Karkal Prabhu
Dr. Prabhu’s career spans three continents and includes positions in academia, industry, and government research leading to important contributions in mathematics, science, computing, technology, and engineering. He taught and developed a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses that earned him the wide respect of students. He has been described by his colleagues as one of the kindest and most selfless faculty members, a consummate team player, always willing to help out, never complaining, and always reliable.

Award recipient Peter Li with Dean Palmese
Award recipient Peter Li with Dean Palmese

Outstanding PhD Student -- Yuan-Ping (Peter) Li
Li is a dual MD/PhD student conducting research in Assistant Professor Hao Cheng’s Nanobiomaterials and Cell Engineering Laboratory. Peter is a hardworking, motivated, and extremely bright young scholar who is well-positioned to become an outstanding physician scientist in the future. He is highly inquisitive and analytical, and always looking for a new or better method to accomplish research goals.

Outstanding Master's Student -- Patrick West
West is a 5th year BS/MS student completing his master’s thesis research in Professor Ekaterina Pomerantseva’s Materials Electochemistry Laboratory. West is a creative, enthusiastic and hard-working student. Outside the lab and classroom, West is dedicated to promoting the materials field and is always willing to assist with departmental outreach and other service activities.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student -- Jacqueline Tawney
Tawney, ’18, has an impressive track record of service and STEM promotion throughout Drexel, and in the broader community. She is a former Vice President of SWE and an active board member for the past four years. She is a true all-around scientist: scholarship and service combine in a student who is both humble and gracious. After graduation, she will be pursuing graduate work at the California Institute of Technology.

Award recipient Sarit Kunz with Dean Palmese
Award recipient Sarit Kunz with Dean Palmese

Outstanding Academic Advising -- Sarit Kunz
Kunz is assistant director of student services with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. She is a member of the Materials undergraduate curriculum committee, the College of Engineering graduate curriculum committee, the Drexel Autism Support Program Advisory Committee, and the Counseling and Health Task Team for identifying at-risk students. Kunz continuously refines the transactional and developmental aspects of student advising to benefit the whole student.

Outstanding Professional Staff -- Rosemary Sullivan
Sullivan, an academic advisor with the College of Engineering, is an integral part of the advising team. Her leadership of programmatic areas such as the Engineering Leaders Scholars (formerly Paul Peck Scholars) and the UNIV E101 course are unmatched. Sullivan deserves to be honored for her work, her dedication to the success of the College of Engineering students, and for her contributions to the team of advisors within the College.