Alumni Awards 2018

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May 14, 2018

Congratulations 2018 Alumni Award winners

The 2018 Alumni Award winners are (l to r) JC Mao, Brad Borgman, Prabhat Shukla, James Susan, Lisa Sparrow, Tracy Camp, Mitzi Montoya, Darius Adamczyk (back), and Green Apple Teaching Award winner Steven Kosmas, all hosted by Engineering Dean Leo Kempel.




















 May 1, 2018

Eight Engineering alumni to be honored May 5 for significant accomplishments 

Eight distinguished alumni of the Michigan State University College of Engineering will be honored Saturday, May 5, during the 2018 Alumni Awards Banquet at MSU’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. MSU Engineering will also recognize a teacher from Grosse Pointe North High School during the annual ceremony that recognizes those whose significant accomplishments reflect positively on MSU and the College of Engineering.The 2018 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award goes to Jianchang "JC" Mao, corporate vice president for artificial intelligence and research at Microsoft.

Receiving this year’s Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award is Jianchang “JC” Mao. The award is the highest honor presented to an alumnus by the college. It recognizes professional accomplishment, volunteer service, and distinguished service to the college and the engineering profession.

Mao received a PhD from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) in 1994. Today, he is a corporate vice president, Artificial Intelligence and Research, at Microsoft. He leads a global team of engineers, scientists, product managers, marketplace operators and analysts, responsible for building technologies and products, and running a multi-billion-dollar advertising marketplace that powers Bing, Yahoo!, AOL, and other syndication partners. 

Mao joined Microsoft in 2012, and today is responsible for defining Bing Advertising growth strategies, technical directions, product road maps, and operating cadence. In 2014, he was awarded the title of Distinguished Engineer, an honor conferred to less than 0.1 percent of Microsoft full-time employees. 

Mao is a fellow of IEEE. His research interests include artificial intelligence machine learning, data mining, information retrieval, computational advertising, and image processing. He has published more than 50 papers in journals, book chapters, and conferences, and holds 29 U.S. patents.

He has been actively involved in MSU community activities, including hosting alumni receptions, giving lectures on campus, serving on the CSE Strategic Partners Council, hiring interns and full-time employees from MSU, and contributing to MSU scholarship funds.

Mao credits the training he received at MSU for his career success. He said his advisor, University Distinguished Professor of CSE Anil Jain, has become his long-time mentor and friend. “I deeply cherish my PhD experience at MSU,” he added.

He lives in Bellevue, Washington.

Seven other alumni received departmental honors and the Green Apple Teaching Award:

Mitzi M. Montoya will receive the Applied Engineering Sciences (AES) Distinguished Alumni Award.• Mitzi M. Montoya, the Sara Hart Kimball Dean of the College of Business at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, will receive theApplied Engineering Sciences (AES) Distinguished Alumni Award. Her focus on entrepreneurship has led her to teach courses on innovation and marketing strategyin the U.S., England, Brazil, Italy, Egypt, Kuwait, Russia, Japan, Hon Kong, Switzerland, Panama, and Argentina. She received a bachelor’s degree in AES in 1990 and a PhD in 1995 in marketing and statistics.

Brad Borgman, vice president of Engineering for the TWT Group in Seattle, Washington, will receive the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. He has led the design and development of thrill rides and attractions for theme parks around the world, including Universal Studios, Disney Imagineering, DreamWorks, Sony, and Warner Brothers. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1979 in agricultural engineering.

Prabhat Shukla, founder of Fluorotherm Polymers Inc., in New Jersey, will receive the Red Cedar Circle Award in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. As president and chief executive officer for more than 20 years, he has built Fluorotherm into a coveted trademark that is recognized internationally for expertise in fluoropolymers and heat exchanger fields. He received a master’s degree in 1975 and a PhD in 1980 in chemical engineering.

James Susan, president of Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber (FTCH), Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will receive the Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. He joined FTCH in 1992 and has been instrumental in its growth and development as one of the Top 500 Engineering and Design Firms in the nation (according to Engineering News-Record.) He received a bachelor’s degree in 1975 in civil engineering and a master’s degree in 1977 in sanitary engineering.

Tracy Camp, professor and head of the Department of Computer Science at the Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colo., will receive the Computer Science and Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. She is also the founder and director of the Toilers, an ad hoc network research group. Her research focus is on wireless networking. She is a strong advocate of broadening participation in computing. She received a master’s degree in 1989 in computer science.

Darius Adamczyk, chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell, will receive the John D. Ryder Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Award.Darius Adamczyk, chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell in New York City, will receive the John D. Ryder Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Award. He leads this Fortune 100 company and its $40.5 billion in sales in 2017 with a portfolio that spans industries, homes, building, aviation, defense, space, oil, gas, industrial, chemicals and vehicles. He received bachelor’s degrees in 1988 in electrical engineering and computer engineering.

Lisa Sparrow, president and chief executive officer of Utilities, Inc., in Chicago, will receive the Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. She leads a privately-owned water and wastewater utility providing safe drinking water and environmentally responsible wastewater service to more than a million people in 18 states. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1993 in mechanical engineering.

Also, the Green Apple Teaching Award will be presented to Steven Kosmas, who has taught at Grosse Pointe North High School for 22 years. He has spent the past 16 years teaching chemistry, honors chemistry, AP chemistry, and organic chemistry. This award was established in 2006 to honor K-12 teachers who are inspiring students to study math, science, and engineering. MSU student Ted Supal, a senior in chemical engineering, nominated Kosmas.

Read more about the accomplishments of this year’s distinguished winners. (.pdf)