2017 SEAS Faculty and Staff Awards

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recognizes faculty and staff excellence through a yearly awards program. Recipients are nominated by fellow faculty and staff and vetted by awards committees: one for faculty and the other for staff.  

This year's award recipients are as follows.

Faculty Awards

Staff Awards

Best Teaching Faculty of the Year Award

This award is presented to teaching faculty members for outstanding educational contributions to SEAS.

Rajan Batta, Kevin Burke, Bina Ramamurthy and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Kevin Burke, Electrical Engineering, for significant contributions to SEAS’s first-year program.  Also for excellence in teaching, as demonstrated by an approach that engages students all the way from freshman to senior levels, providing them with the multifaceted education needed to succeed in a career in electrical engineering.

Bina Ramamurthy, Computer Science and Engineering, for significant contributions to undergraduate teaching, research, and creative activities. These include the creation of new courses, a SUNY-approved Certificate Program in Data-intensive Computing, mentoring students across the campus from many disciplines and directing award winning student projects.

Early Career Researcher of the Year Award

This award is presented to assistant professors for outstanding research contributions to SEAS.

Rajan Batta, Lora Cavuoto, Josep Jornet, Gang Wu, Jun Xia and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Lora Cavuoto, Industrial and Systems Engineering, for the integration of human factors and ergonomics principles with models from statistics and data science, and using this towards understanding functional capacity and health with obesity and following stroke and quantifying workload and exposure to risk in industry.

Qing He, joint appointments in Civil, Structural and Envirnomental Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering, for the development of innovative models and algorithms for multi-modal transportation.  Specific problems tackled include problems arising from highway transportation, rail transportation, and supply chain management and logistics.  Domains include connected vehicles, smartphones and social media. 

Josep Jornet, Electrical Engineering, for seminal, and high-impact, contributions to the development of novel communication networks, including terahertz-band communication systems, implantable and wearable medical-device technology, and the internet of things.

Gang Wu, Chemical and Biological Engineering, for exceptional research performance as evidenced by strong research funding and the large number of high impact scientific papers published since joining UB’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. 

Jun Xia, Biomedical Engineering, for an outstanding research funding success and for publishing 50 peer-reviewed journal papers in prestigious engineering and scientific journals, including PNAS, Physical Review Letters, Advanced Materials, Biomedical Optics Express, and Optics Letters.

Early Career Teacher of the Year Award

This award is presented to assistant professors for outstanding educational contributions to SEAS.

Rajan Batta, John Atkinson, Anthony Tessari, Olga Wodo and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

John D. Atkinson, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, for development of a new course in sustainability, which adapted social media tools and engaged students to act more sustainably in their own lives.  Furthermore, for development of a sustainability travel abroad course in Costa Rica.

Johannes Hachmann, Chemical and Biological Engineering, for documented excellence in teaching, the development of an innovative, interdisciplinary, hands-on course on computer-aided research, and numerous initiatives that advance the professional development and educational experience of students in SEAS.

Oliver Kennedy, Computer Science and Engineering, for development of a series of highly innovative projects for CSE 562, for redesigning the database course track, and for co-designing CSE 662.  Also, for co-running an after-hours database seminar for database enthusiasts, practitioners, and academics.

Anthony Tessari, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, for exemplary dedication to teaching, as seen by very high course evaluations in both undergraduate and graduate teaching. Also, for publishing significant papers in the domain of engineering education. 

Olga Wodo, Materials Design and Innovation, for pioneering accomplishments in laying the foundations of pedagogical excellence in developing a new paradigm in materials science education. Also, for sustained high caliber of teaching in both the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Materials Design and Innovation

Senior Researcher of the Year Award

This award is presented to associate or full professors for outstanding recent research contributions to SEAS.

Rajan Batta, Leslie Ying, Atri Rudra and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Qiaoqiang Gan, Electrical Engineering, for transformational research in nanophotonics, which includes studies of optoelectronic devices for use in renewable-energy settings, the exploration of cost-effective approaches to photonic manufacturing, and the investigation of novel optical phenomena of relevance to emergent photonic technology.

Atri Rudra, Computer Science and Engineering, for designing new efficient algorithms for basic database and machine learning problems that have been studied for about four decades. Also, for winning the best paper award at the ACM Principle of Database Systems (PODS) conference in 2012 and 2016, and an invited plenary talk at ACM STOC 2017. 

Leslie (Lei) Ying, joint appointments in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, for the development of computational techniques allowing high-quality image reconstruction from sparsely acquired data sets in magnetic resonance imaging, thereby significantly reducing scan time, improving patient comfort, and also allowing physicians to move towards real-time in vivo imaging of human organs

Senior Teacher of the Year Award

This award is presented to associate or full professors for outstanding recent educational contributions to SEAS.

Rajan Batta, Xin He, Kwang Oh, Tarun Singh and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Xin He, Computer Science and Engineering, for contributions to the effective teaching and learning of design and analysis of algorithms, for preparing students for computer science career through extensive training in problem solving skills, and for guiding and involving students in active research activities.

Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, Computer Science and Engineering, for innovation in using new teaching materials and developing a new teaching platform for computer networking courses.  Also, for integration of teaching and research, and for successful mentoring.

Kwang Oh, Electrical Engineering, for excellence in teaching, as manifested by a unique pedagogical approach of “connecting-the-dots”, and by an integration of research and education in the fields of BioMEMS and microfluidics, and wearable and implantable sensors.

Tarun Singh, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, for commitment to teaching and inspiring the next generation of Mechanical and Aerospace engineers in the field of control, through the recent development of multiple entry level and advanced courses and the involvement of undergraduate and graduate students on influential research topics in his courses.

Unsung Hero Award

This award is presented to a staff member(s) who contributes significantly to a SEAS department, but whose role and support for the department may not be as visible as some others.

Christina Escobar, Terri Nusstein and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winner:

Terri Nusstein, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean's Office

Dean's Award for Excellence in Service

This award is presented to a staff member(s) whose extraordinary service contributions have significantly enriched their SEAS department with exceptional achievements and superior performance.

Christina Escobar, Kim Kriz, Kerry Collins-Gross, Jane Stoyle Welch and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Kerry Colliins-Gross, SEAS Undergraduate Office

Kim Kriz, Department of Electrical Engineering

Jane Stoyle Welch, SEAS Dean's Office

Rising Star Award

This award is presented to a staff member(s) who demonstrates quality performance that indicates continuous development into an exemplary SEAS employee.

Christina Escobar, Kate Doran, Brittany Sandor and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Kate Doran, SEAS Undergraduate Office

Brittany Sandor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
 

Cause for Applause Award

This award is presented to a staff member(s) who exemplifies achievements related to SEAS activities over and above assigned responsibilities.

Christina Escobar, Todd Nibbe, Jason Tillman and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Todd Nibbe, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Jason Tillman, Department of Electrical Engineering

Outstanding Customer Service Award

This award is presented to a staff member(s) who provides exemplary service to SEAS faculty, staff, students and other constituents within/outside their department.

Christina Escobar, Deanie Hedrick, Eva McGovern, Diane Vannatter, Kathy Bartelo and Liesl Folks. Photo credit: The Onion Studio.

Winners:

Katharine Bartelo, Department of Electrical Engineering

Deanie Hedrick, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Eva McGovern, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Diane Vannatter, Department of Computer Science and Engineering