22nd Annual Faculty and Staff Awards
Jacqueline Isaacs, Interim Dean of Northeastern’s College of Engineering, announces and congratulates the recipients of the College of Engineering Faculty and Staff Awards for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The College of Engineering Faculty Fellowship program recognizes our most promising Associate Professors in the College. Recipients of these fellowships will have demonstrated both outstanding achievement and the potential for leadership in their respective departments, COE and Northeastern, and in their discipline. Through such fellowships, we wish to acknowledge and support our faculty rising stars as they take on increasingly prominent roles as academic leaders and show great promise for their, and the College and University’s, future success.
Outstanding Teachers of First-Year Engineering Students
“Professor Dransfield is clearly very passionate about chemistry. He was always energetic and engaging. Even at 9:15 in the morning he was always ready to teach and constantly stayed on topic. Overall great professor.”
“There are not enough words to describe how great of a teacher Professor Hertz is, he is always so excited to teach the class and creates a fun, engaging, easy going environment that this class would have seriously missed with any other instructor.”
“Professor Block is very friendly and teaches with enthusiasm. He was very knowledgeable and definitely cares about us as people rather than students. He was a great teacher because he was fun and helpful.”
“Professor Lindhe is a great professor and provides enough examples and explanations in class to make sure you understand the math. He clearly conveys information and made his expectations for the quizzes and tests extraordinarily clear.”
“Professor Di Credico is always energetic and helpful when covering confusing topics. She is overall a very good professor who is very enthusiastic and a pleasure to have as a teacher.”
Fostering Engineering Innovation in Education Award
“Dr. Dehghani teaches courses that are integrated into our industrial engineering, data analytics engineering, engineering management, operations research, and Galante business programs. Mohammad has consistently received above average TRACE scores over the years, while teaching a large number of students, and this speaks to his ability to adapt his teaching style and pedagogy to be impactful to a wide student audience from differing backgrounds.”
Dr. Dehghani is also the Director of the Galante Engineering Business Program. This program offers a progressive opportunity for engineering students to complement their technical engineering education with business skills by earning a graduate certificate in engineering business. Galante is founded on the values of student engagement and leadership to strengthen interpersonal and professional skill.
Outstanding Cooperative Education Coordinator Award
“Since joining Northeastern’s co-op team in August 2016, Jessica has emerged as a leader within the CEE co-op education program. A true highlight of the year was the 2019 CEE Excellence in Teaching Award. Jessica’s commitment to teaching and advising including the ‘ability to inspire’ truly resonates with our engineering students.”
“In service, Jessica’s leadership of the Engineers without Borders chapter as faculty advisor culminated in the student chapter award in November 2019 as ‘Premier Student Chapter of the Year’ by EWB-USA.”
“Nate has been a valuable contributor to COE for over six years… His dedication to providing robust co-op opportunities, maintaining strong co-op employer relationships, ability to motivate his students, and general flowing positivity are just a few reasons for this nomination.”
“Nate advised 117 students in 2019; his dedication and commitment to his student advisees is evident in all that he does. He takes the time to get to know all his students, including their background, long-term career goals, and interests outside of academics.”
Constantinos Mavroidis Translational Research Award
Originally named the Outstanding Translational Research Award, in 2020 the award was renamed in honor of Constantinos Mavroidis, a College of Engineering Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Director of the Biomedical Mechatronics Laboratory. His admirable dedication, accomplishments, and contributions to research and education embody the essence of the award. Professor Mavroidis was the first recipient of this award at its inaugural launch in April 2014.
College of Engineering Distinguished Professor
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
“Dr. Jin’s original fundamental research, innovation for transformative technology development for a wide spectrum of manufacturing applications, and broad impact on the manufacturing industry make her highly deserving of the Outstanding Translational Research Award.”
“Even as Prof. Jin is at the beginning of her academic career, she is already leading in her field and exemplifying the level of translational importance for her research.”
“Through his efforts, Professor Sun is actively engaged in translating his outstanding research into the real world and engineering next-generation sensors, antennas, and tunable components for next-generation devices.”
“Professor Sun has shown enormous dedication in translating his research into inventions that are expected to impact the miniaturization of next-generation wireless and sensor devices. He is highly deserving of the COE Outstanding Translational Research Award.”
Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award
“As one of the department’s most senior members, Dionisio has been instrumental in developing the teaching and research programs for undergraduate, masters, and PhD students. Over the past 30 years Professor Bernal has succeeded in adapting to the changing research landscape and has maintained a modern approach to addressing the most challenging problems in structural engineering.”
“Professor Bernal has established himself as a genuine top scholar in his field internationally, and he translates his knowledge and passion for his expertise through all aspects of his work.”
“I believe Professor Singh has the most important characteristics to deserve this prestigious award evidenced by his high-impact and well-recognized research outcomes in robot sensing and navigation… His accomplishments during his tenure at Northeastern and his world-renowned research in field robotics are clear indicators that he well deserves this recognition.”
“Hanu has been an exemplary contributor to the Robotics program at Northeastern and has produced some very strong students, who themselves have gone on to produce major impacts.”
Outstanding Faculty Service Award
“Gunar is one of those individuals who abhors inefficiency and is constantly looking out for solutions to help the department out of the tedium of the mundane… In a department with over 70 faculty members, >50 TAs, >300 faculty candidate applications, and >1000 student applications, his solutions have made a tremendous impact upon the overall operation of the department… Unlike other committee services, these tasks are not readily seen from outside and yet their impact is immeasurable.”
“Not a stranger to stepping up when needed, Ron was the obvious choice to serve as interim chair of Chemical Engineering over this past year… Ron stepped up and moved the department forward, supporting young and seasoned faculty alike through many changes this past year.”
“He has enthusiastically dedicated 37 years of service to the Department, College, University and society. There exists no one more deserving of this service award.”
Excellence in Mentoring Award
“As a successful female researcher, Dr. Minus is a role model. She is an outstanding scientist, innovator, engineer, communicator, and a great mentor. She is an ideal candidate for this award given her outstanding work, her extraordinary academic background, research achievements, and extraordinary commitment as a mentor for younger faculty members.”
“Professor Shefelbine is a distinguished researcher, enthusiastic teacher, attentive supervisor and outstanding mentor. Shefelbine leads by example in her endless curiosity, critical thinking and pursuit of excellence. She instills these important values not only in a research setting, but also in the classroom and outreach activities. Prof. Shefelbine maintains the perfect balance by challenging us to explore, learn, and expand our knowledge, while also providing us with the direction and necessary tools to achieve our goals. Sandra is truly an irreplaceable asset to our community and a deserving candidate for this award.”
“Over the last three years, I have known Laura to be a fantastic teammate, always cheerful and exceptional in everything she does. Her quick-wit, attention to detail, and loyalty to the University have endeared her to colleagues. She is a true champion for higher education with a tireless commitment to serving our University.”
Faculty Research Team Award
This interdisciplinary team of researchers was awarded a $2.5 million NSF grant to create “Co-worker Robots to Impact Seafood Processing (CRISP): Designs, Tools and Methods for Enhanced Worker Experience.” This team is working with the seafood processing industry as a test case to learn more about how robots could be integrated into the workforce. These robotic coworkers would simultaneously make the workplace safer and more comfortable for human workers and more efficient and profitable for companies.
Taskin Padir, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be designing and building the robots; Alicia Sasser Modestino, associate professor of public policy, urban affairs, and economics, is evaluating the economic impact on workers and companies; John Basl, associate professor of philosophy, is looking at the ethics of autonomy (How do we build a robot that respects human values, such as privacy?); Kristian Kloeckl, associate professor of art, design, and architecture, is investigating the best way for humans and robots to work together; and Kemi Jona, assistant vice chancellor of digital innovation and enterprise learning, is designing training programs to give workers the skills they will need in the new workplace.
Martin W. Essigmann Outstanding Teaching Award
“Stratis works truly in the interest of the students and is an excellent role model as a teacher. He has been an excellent mentor for his graduate students and patiently and thoughtfully advises them. The warm nature of his personality truly engages students in their pursuits. Stratis is the kind of teacher that you come across only rarely.”
“Stratis is patient in teaching and guiding students to learn concepts. He spends plenty of time to help students derive theorems and guides them in their writing. Even with his busy schedule… he always finds time for students.”
“Courtney is an exceptional teacher who has had a substantial impact on students and on her colleagues and has significantly influenced the curriculum in both the first-year engineering program as well as chemical engineering over the past nine years.”
“I think Professor Pfluger is a great candidate for this award because she provides excellence in teaching and inspiring contributions to student learning… She doesn’t hesitate to go above and beyond to ensure her students succeed, even if that means challenging the status quo and changing things that aren’t working.”
Going the Extra Mile “GEM” Staff Award
“Combining his strong work ethic, his ability to systematically approach tasks, and his penchant for detail, Thomas has developed a reputation for being someone who delivers quality results on any project, consistently exceeding expectations with his approach to developing his solutions.”
“During the current COVID-19 crisis, Thomas has truly demonstrated initiative, anticipating data needs and developing new reports to provide timely information for decision making…I appreciate his enthusiastic and positive attitude, his dedication and most of all his true team spirit.”
Posthumous award in memory and in appreciation of Eddie Tyrance’s 24 years of outstanding service and commitment to the College of Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“This academic year, Eddie has been instrumental in keeping the laboratories going while the entire construction work within ECE undergraduate labs has been a constant feature. What is really remarkable is the dedication and genuine help he offers the students. Talking to students at Capstone competition, the students repeatedly emphasized the wonderful interactions and assistance they had with Eddie. It is clear that Eddie is an integral part of the undergraduate laboratory experience in ECE and he has clearly gone above and beyond what is expected.”
Rising Star Staff Award
“David is resourceful, solution-oriented, and approaches projects with creativity and curiosity. He thinks “outside the box,” which has yielded some of CEE’s most successful campaigns to date. Moreover, he regularly takes on the challenge of learning new technology and other skillsets to further augment the materials CEE is able to create within the department… He never fails to highlight the accomplishments of others, and in turn, we would like to acknowledge his.”
“Noah is a valued member of the Bioengineering team… He maintains a cheerful, professional demeanor always, and is sensitive to stressed Capstone students and researchers facing deadlines.”
“As the Sherman Center Lab Technician, Noah has swiftly become a trusted member of our students, faculty, and staff community. Chief among his accomplishments is his effective design and execution of the safety, security, and operational protocols for the Sherman Makerspace… Noah has exceeded expectations by taking the initiative to vet the safety of all Sherman venture projects.”
Outstanding Staff Teamwork Award
Bioengineering Administrative Team
“Because this is the Bioengineering department, perhaps biological analogy best demonstrates what this team means to us. They are the lungs that breathe new efficiencies into how things are done; they are the brain that knows what form needs to be filled out and where to send it; they are the legs that can organize rooms, coffee, seminars, and classes; they are the first face of the Department to every visitor; they are the muscles that do all the heavy lifting for scheduling, organizing, and budgeting; they are skin which hold the department together; and most importantly they are the heart, which ensures the entire department is working toward the same goal: making our department better.”
Outstanding Staff Award
“Early in 2020, Sarah was the sole staff member in the dept., serving nearly 40 tenured, tenure-track and teaching faculty, as well as 500 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. This same time corresponded to a high level of activity in graduate admissions and our department chair search… During this period Sarah has addressed all requests and expanded roles with impressive efficiency.”
“Importantly, Sarah acts in a proactive, rather than a reactive, manner to identify potential issues, best practices and pending opportunities to help ensure that the department operations run smoothly.”
“As the Director of Research Development for COE, Mariah has exhibited creativity and leadership by spearheading numerous new initiatives meant to encourage support and inform faculty on resources available to them to make their research and proposal efforts that much stronger.”
“Across all matters, Mariah consistently demonstrates leadership and an ability to motivate others in pursuit of excellence towards their research efforts.”
Dean’s Award for Meritorious Service
By virtue of the authority vested in me… I hereby bequest the Dean’s Award for Meritorious Service with high praise to the following Assistant Deans of the College of Engineering.
“For persistent leadership across the university in listening to our black and brown students and colleagues, and with the Center for STEM Education to make a difference in the journeys of our students, and for taking action in light of the Black Lives Matter movement to promote a more diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty and staff.”
“For swift and timely response since Spring 2020 leading her team in our Engineering Computer Center with demanding and unending requests for help with connectivity issues and options, as well as supporting computational software and hardware needs from faculty, students, and staff as we urgently and suddenly adapted to remote teaching, learning and working from home.“
“For going beyond the call of duty in leading her academic advising team in response to thousands of inquiries from students and parents during the 2020 Spring / Summer pivot to remote teaching and campus shutdown, and in helping students and parents navigate the myriad of uncertainties in their decisions.”
“For intensive efforts and rapid response in leading her cooperative education faculty and staff team during 2020 Spring / Summer to help employers and students find alternative positions and keep students and parents informed about legal policies and practices as students developed new pathways forward.“
“For quickly and creatively adapting and supporting unwavering recruitment efforts to provide admitted undergraduate students and their parents with an abundance of information on which to base their enrollment decisions, and helping them to virtually decide how our college of engineering offers them a unique, flexible educational journey in light of an unprecedented Fall 2020 opening.”
Dean’s Special Service Award
These teams addressed ongoing, unprecedented challenges under leadership of their functional deans in support of our students, faculty, and staff during recent trying times.
Josie Unger Flanagan
COE Academic & Lab Operations Team
Engineering Computer Center
James Jones Jr
Engineering Enrollment & Outreach
Graduate School Advising
Undergraduate Academic Advising
Best Wishes to our Recent Retirees
In acknowledgment and appreciation of years of dedication and commitment to the College of Engineering, we thank the following COE faculty and staff for their service and congratulate them on their retirements. We hope to be able to host a celebration of their careers sometime in the future.