2017 Withrow Distinguished Scholar—Junior Award


March 17, 2017

Eleven receive top honors during 27th Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon 

It was a celebration of teaching, scholarship, and service when members of the Michigan State University College of Engineering convened in the University Club on Thursday, March 16, at the 27th Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon. 

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, greeted award winners and about 100 guests from the college during the annual spring ceremony.Eleven from the college received top honors March 16. Awards were presented (l to r), top row: Bradley Marks, Nathan Mellott, Anthony Ingle; middle row: Joshua Nahum, Ramakrishna Mukkamala, Peter Lillehoj, Geoffrey Recktenwald; front row: Kyle Foster, Jennifer Keddle, Gilbert Baladi, and Joyce Chai.

The Withrow Endowed Teacher/Scholar/Service Award Program was established by the Withrow family to recognize faculty of the MSU College of Engineering who have demonstrated excellence in instructional and scholarly activities and rendered distinguished service to the university and the student body. Jack Withrow earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSU in 1954 and an MBA in 1971. He retired as executive vice president at Chrysler Corp. in 1988, and then served as president and chief operating officer at Lectron Products Inc., from 1989 to 1995. He received the MSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1984. Dottie Withrow earned a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy and elementary education from MSU in 1955 and a master’s degree in teaching from Oakland University. She was a special education teacher in West Bloomfield Schools for many years and published a children’s book that promotes responsible pet care and a second book that teaches children about opera.

Distinguished Scholar—Junior Award: Peter Lillehoj
(Nominees have been in service to the university as instructors, assistant professors, or associate professors for not more than seven years.)

Peter Lillehoj is an assistant professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Institute of International Health. He has quickly established himself as an internationally recognized authority in the areas of BioMEMS, lab-on-a-chip and biosensors with applications toward mHealth, wearable sensing, and point-of-care testing since joining MSU less than five years ago.

Lillehoj was the first to demonstrate the use of a mobile phone for quantitative electrochemical measurements of disease biomarkers, which has opened up a new direction in mHealth technology. Additionally, his pioneering work in wearable sensors for biomolecular detection was recognized by a prestigious NSF CAREER Award in 2014.

Through a strong network of collaborators, both within and outside of MSU, his research has been acknowledged by the scientific community through publications in respected scientific journals, and invited talks at premier scientific meetings and universities. His recognition by the research community and professional societies has resulted in invitations to serve on proposal review committees for multiple funding agencies including NSF, NIH and The Wellcome Trust, and as a reviewer for top scientific journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and PLOS ONE.

He has published eight journal papers in respected peer-reviewed journals, and five articles in peer-reviewed international conference proceedings in collaboration with his colleagues and students. In 2014, he was recognized with the Annals of Biomedical Engineering Award for Most Downloaded Article. His work has also been featured in various news media including The Huffington Post, CBS Detroit, Gizmodo, Bioscience Technology, Malaria.com, and others.

Dean Leo Kempel and Mechanical Engineering department chair James Klausner (right) presented the Distinguished Scholar - Junior Award to Peter Lillehoj for establishing himself as an international authority in the areas of BioMEMS, lab-on-a-chip and biosensors since joining MSU less than five years ago.

Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering