Excellence in graduate education

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April 5, 2019

Celebrating the winners from the 2019 Engineering Graduate Research Symposium

The 2019 Engineering Graduate Research Symposium at Michigan State University showcased 300 poster presentations and celebrated both the Outstanding Graduate Student Awards and the Fitch H. Beach Award nominees duringAmin Jourabloo won the 2019 Fitch H. Beach Award for most outstanding graduate researcher in engineering. ceremonies March 21 at the Breslin Center.

Katy Luchini Colbry, assistant dean for graduate student services, was host for the annual event.

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies John Verboncoeur offered the welcome and served as emcee for the awards ceremony.

The event included presentations by the nominees for the Fitch H. Beach Award for outstanding graduate student research. Awards are based on a review of students’ academic and professional records and on an oral presentation of their research. Nominees receive a stipend, certificate, and a medal to be worn at graduation. 

Amin Jourabloo is the 2019 winner of the Fitch H. Beach Award for most outstanding graduate researcher in the College of Engineering. The PhD student in computer science is advised by Xiaoming Liu. His research focused on Designing Convolutional Neural Networks for Face Alignment and Anti-Spoofing. 

This year’s winners are: 

2018-19 Fitch H. Beach Award for Outstanding Graduate Research

This endowed award, established by Janet M. Beatty in honor of her uncle, recognizes the most outstanding graduate researchers from each department within the College of Engineering. 

  • FIRST PLACE: Amin Jourabloo, Advisor: Xiaoming Liu, Computer Science & Engineering
  • SECOND PLACE: Aritra Chakraborty, Advisor: Philip Eisenlohr, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
  • THIRD PLACE: Hadi Salehi, Advisor: Rigoberto Burgueño, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Kaitlyn Casuli, Advisor: Kirk Dolan, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Joshua Drost, Advisor: Tamara Reid Bush, Mechanical Engineering
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Biyi Fang, Advisor: Mi Zhang, Electical & Computer Engineering
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Joseph Salatino, Advisor: Erin Purcell, Biomedical Engineering
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Hao Wang, Advisor: Jianrong Wang, Computational Mathematics, Science & Engineering 

2018-19 Outstanding Graduate Students

This award recognizes the most outstanding PhD student in each program, as selected by the faculty within the department.Lisaura Maldonado-Pereira was presented the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Chemical Engineering. Her advisor is Ilce Medina Meza.

  • Monica Setien, Biomedical Engineering (Advisor: Erin Purcell)
  • Juan Sebastian Hernandez Suarez, Biosystems Engineering (Advisor: Pouyan Nejadhashemi)
  • Lisaura Maldonado-Pereira, Chemical Engineering (Advisor: Ilce Medina Meza)
  • Farshid Felfelani, Civil Engineering (Advisor: Yadu Pokhrel)
  • Mingzhe Li, Civil Engineering (Advisor: Weiyi Lu)
  • Sarah Tymochko, Computational Mathematics, Science & Engineering (Advisor: Elizabeth Munch)
  • Zli Munir, Computer Science (Advisor: Alex Liu)
  • Saranraj Karuppuswami, Electrical Engineering (Advisor: Prem Chahal)
  • Camille McCall, Environmental Engineering (Advisor: Irene Xagoraraki)
  • Yuxiao LIn, Materials Science (Advisor: Yue Qi)
  • Suihan LIu, Mechanical Engineering (Advisor: Rigoberto Burgueño) 

2018-19 Engineering Graduate Research Symposium Best Poster Awards

These awards recognize students who presented exceptional research posters at the annual Engineering Graduate Research Symposium. 

DewGood Public Service Technology Award

  • First Place: Xue (Zoe) Jiang, "A Disposable Skin Patch for Rapid Malaria Infection Detection"
  • Second Place: Mary Ensch, "A Pilot Scale Flow-Through System Utilizing Boron-Doped Diamond Perforated Plates for the Destruction of PFOA" 

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science

  • Hamid Karimi, "Learning Hierarchical Discourse-level Structure for Fake News Detection"
  • Michael Langford, "Enhancing Learning-Enabled Software Systems with Novelty Search to Address Environmental Uncertainty" 


  • Ali Akhavan-Safaei, "Spectral Element Method for Stochastic CFD and Uncertainty Quantification"
  • Wei Wang, "Support Estimation of Phylogenetic Tree Using SERES Resampling Approach"
  • Mehdi Samiee, "A Fractional Subgrid-Scale Model for Turbulent Flows" 


  • Lucas Stanek, "Hybrid Quantum-Hydrodynamics/Kinetics Model for Dense Plasma Mixtures"
  • Adamantia Chletsou, "UHF Rectenna for Implanted and Free Space Communications in Biomedical Applications" 

Kaitlyn E. Casulli, of biosystems engineering, won best poster among the Fitch H. Beach Award nominees.Fitch H. Beach Nominees

  • Kaitlyn E. Casulli, "Developing Model-Based Tools for Quantifying Rish Mitigation and Validating Commercial Dry-Roasters" 

Health, Food Safety and Biomechanics

  • Chelsie Boodoo, "Remodeling the Bladder through Static Pre-Stretch"
  • Patrick Vaughan, "Influences of Age and Rate of Loading on Material Property and Fracture Morphology in the Porcine Femur"
  • Kara Dean, "Effect of Exposure Route on Threshhold Levels of Concern for P. Aeruginosa in Premise Plumbing Systems"
  • Xue (Zoe) Jiang, "A Disposable Skin Patch for Rapid Malaria Infection Detection" 

Materials and Manufacturing

  • Shengyuan Bai, "Mesoscale Interface and Surface Characterization by ?-XRD Mapping on Mosaic and Lateral Grown Single Crystal Diamond"
  • Geeta Kumari, "Microstructural Evolution with Varying Solutionizing Temperature in Allvac 718plus"
  • Erik Stitt, "Preparation of Graphene Nanoplatelet (GnP) Polyamide Copolymer Nanocomposite Utilizing a Hybrid Solvent/Melt Compounding Methodology" 

Mechanics and Structures

  • Puneet Kumar, "Effect of Temperature Induced Restraint on Fire Resistance of Prestressed Concrete Beams"
  • Yogesh Kumbargeri, "An Image Processing Based Method to Evaluate Chip Seal Pavement Performance"
  • Marissa Grobbel, "Remodeling in the Lean and Obese Type II Diabetic Urinary Bladder" 

Mobility and Robotics

  • Nilay Kant, "Orbital Stabilization for a Class of Underactuated Systems"
  • Sam Shojaei, "Investigating Commuting-oriented Outlooks on a Multimodal Transportation System with Shared COnventional and Electric Bicycles" 

Sustainability and Environment

  • Mary Ensch, "A Pilot Scale Flow-Through System Utilizing Boron-Doped Diamond Perforated Plates for the Destruction of PFOA"
  • Akshay Murali, "Natural Coagulants as Low-Cost Alternatives for Water Treatment in Resource-Constrained Settings: The Case for Moringa Oleifera"
  • Siddharth Shukla, "Energy Saving in Residential Buildings Associated with the Use of Transparent Organic Photovoltaics in the United States" 

2018-19 Engineering Distinguished Scholar Awards

These awards recruit outstanding students with unique backgrounds to graduate study in engineering at Michigan State.Faculty members are strong supporters of the annual graduate symposium.

· Austin Ferguson, Computer Science & Engineering

· Christopher Herrera, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

· Meheryar Kasad, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

· Md. Shakir Mahmud, Civil & Environmental Engineering

· Alexander McKim, Computational Mathematics Science & Engineering

· Subrata Mukherjee, Electrical & Computer Engineering

· Xinda Qi, Electrical & Computer Engineering

· Robert Termuhlen, Computational Mathematics Science & Engineering

· Julian Venegas, Computational Mathematics Science & Engineering

· Samantha Winther, Biomedical Engineering

· Yuqin Wu, Chemical Engineering & Environmental Science

· Han Xu, Computer Science & Engineering

· Chi Zhan, Civil & Environmental Engineering


Visit the 2019 Photo Gallery at: https://hjseeley.zenfolio.com/p1006568925