23rd Annual Faculty and Staff Awards

Message from the Dean

It is my honor to announce our 23nd Annual College of Engineering Faculty and Staff Awards for the 2020-2021 academic year. These notable awards recognize outstanding service and contributions to our college in a variety of areas.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you very much for your hard work, commitment, and dedication to excellence.

Gregory D. Abowd
Dean, College of Engineering
Northeastern University



Faculty Fellows

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.

Constantinos Mavroidis Translational Research Award

“Dr. Ganguly is an expert in studying the impact of climate change and climate extremes on civil and environmental infrastructure. His work is highly interdisciplinary, and he has had numerous collaborators from the fields of computer science, climate science, environmental studies, and several related areas of engineering. Dr. Ganguly’s research is translational in various aspects: crossing disciplinary boundaries, introducing new interdisciplinary areas, translating research to industry with his start-up, and impacting the community and the general public with his engagement.”

“Dr. Ruberti excels at starting things (programs, companies, initiatives) and bringing them to fruition. He started the Bioengineering PhD program at Northeastern long before there was a bioengineering department. He was a founding member of the department of bioengineering and his most recent initiatives, two spin-out companies based on his research, were started in 2020. Dr. Ruberti currently has 18 patents and 5 pending applications. Dr. Ruberti has demonstrated repeated success at taking ideas from his academic lab and translating them into solutions for problems in commercial companies.”

Description and Past Recipients



Excellence in Mentoring Award

“Dr. Melachrinoudis’s mentorship was displayed at its highest level recently during an atypical transition in departmental leadership. He took the helm with a comforting command, such that the faculty felt at ease moving through this abrupt change for MIE. The Industrial Engineering group has grown considerably under Manny’s leadership, in both number of faculty and in its diversity of research and teaching. The amount of time and effort he invests in mentoring students and faculty is staggering. Dr. Melachrinoudis is most deserving of this recognition and embodies the example and legacy of mentoring.”

Mofei Xu, MGEN Co-op

“Mofei joined Northeastern University from an extensive career in the nonprofit sector, and brought with her an emphasis on care, intentionality, and advocacy for under-resourced populations and communities. She has gone above and beyond for her students, her colleagues, and her community by inspiring us all through her innovative contributions to the team. Mofei’s initiatives and knowledge on issues of cultural competency and inclusivity create a space for all community members to feel safe and valued.”

“Jasmine is a mentor to everyone—faculty, staff, and administrators. She willingly shares her experience to help members of our community understand best practices and available resources in COE and across the university. With an open door and trusted by colleagues and peers alike, she also always takes the time to provide guidance with a listening ear. Her mentoring extends from how-to-do and who-to-see input to advice on helping people be most successful and even discussions on more difficult situations—all while being supportive and open to diverse perspectives.”

Description and Past Recipients



Faculty Research Team Award

This interdisciplinary team of researchers has exemplified the value of bringing complementary expertise together in an agile manner to address the problems at the intersection of global societal problems. They developed a unique strategy to secure external funding in pursuit of realizing their research goals. This team convened in summer 2020 to leverage their complementary expertise to introduce transformational advances in remote sensing, machine learning, hyperspectral imaging, hydrologic modeling and risk assessment to address grand challenges impacting the natural and build environments.

Description and Past Recipients



Fostering Engineering Innovation in Education Award

“Throughout his 25+ year career at Northeastern University, Dr. Bugrara has shown great leadership in developing MGEN programs and putting Northeastern at the forefront of the engineering education world. Under Kal’s leadership, the Master’s in Information System has grown to over 1500 students each year–among the largest in the university. To meet the demands of this growth, he has created 20 new courses in the last five years and is continually revising the curriculum to meet the demands of the engineering workforce. Keys to Kal’s success include his commitment to students’ success and connection with industry and state of practice.”

Kevin Parker, MIE Co-op

“Kevin Parker has made immediate impact on COE curriculum in four major ways. First, by designing and piloting a new course around engineering activism. Second, by sourcing and sharing new ethics case material to be used in Cornerstone of Engineering. Third, by updating course curriculum, related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and lastly, by facilitating a monthly anti-racism discussion group for COE co-op faculty. Kevin did a tremendous job in building safe sharing spaces while allowing students to explore what it means to be an engineer from multiple perspectives.”

Description and Past Recipients



Going the Extra Mile “GEM” Staff Award

“Ed has been instrumental in keeping the ECE laboratories safe, clean, and organized during the pandemic as well as during the construction work within ECE undergraduate labs. Ed was continued to offer genuine help and dedication to the students during this challenging time. Students repeatedly emphasized the wonderful interactions and assistance they have with him. It is clear that Ed is an integral part of the undergraduate laboratory experience in ECE and he has clearly gone the extra mile for COE.”

“While Lisa is truly fantastic at getting her job done, she also manages to do so with kindness and grace. She truly cares about the people she works with, which is evident in the way she interacts with her supervisors, those that she oversees, and the faculty she supports. At Northeastern, she has been involved in matters that impact the College and those in it; for example, she has participated in the re-design of the Visitor Exchange Program, which is a highly valued program in COE, and she is always aware of ways that she can help COE staff members (past and present) grow in their careers.”

“As the writer charged with producing acknowledgment letters on behalf COE personnel, Sarah was forced to rethink her entire job as we went virtual last March. Sarah adapted her workflow to an electronic one, working out new processes with the Deans and the chairs. Through this example, Sarah changed an existing way of managing one of her responsibilities and provided a solution to an unprecedented challenge. Through these efforts, she clearly went above and beyond and is an excellent representative of going the extra mile.”

Description and Past Recipients



Martin W. Essigmann Outstanding Teaching Award

“Dr. Jamali’s aptitude for instruction and ability to connect with his students make him a reliable source of guidance. He consistently integrates his research and real-world examples into his interdisciplinary and discipline specific courses. His teaching style and genuine care for students has positively impacted student experiences while maintaining rigorous instruction on complex engineering concepts.”

“Dr. Wang truly works in the interest of his students and is an excellent role model as a teacher. He is currently advising or co-advising an impressive 21 PhD students, and has already graduated 7 PhD students as an assistant professor. He has made major contributions in the classroom offering stories of real-world experiences and strong mentoring skills to support his PhD students.”

Description and Past Recipients



Outstanding Cooperative Education Coordinator Award

Kelsey Kaul, MGEN Co-op

“Kelsey’s work to support students and advance her collective industry knowledge has gone beyond what has been expected. As the only Co-op Coordinator on the west coast supporting MGEN students for several months, Kelsey exceeded expectations by developing relationships with new employers and companies across both the greater Seattle area and Silicon Valley. Kelsey’s knowledge has allowed her to communicate our students’ experiences to employers in a way that grasps their subtleties and make our students fit for the job at hand.”

Iraz Medhi, Co-op

“Iraz has taken the lead in developing, maintaining, and improving curricula for the ECE and COE co-op teams. She is consistently evaluating her previous and current coursework and curricula to refine and upgrade her lessons and material. Notably, when Iraz first began as a co-op coordinator on the ECE team, she took the initiative to draft a common lesson plan for all coordinators on the team and created the master Blackboard courses that coordinators could use as a template for their own courses. Iraz has been an invaluable resource for every person and department she collaborates with.”

Description and Past Recipients



Outstanding Faculty Service Award

“Over the past six and half years, Dr. Palikhe has been an outstanding member of the COE team, filling key positions in the Seattle and Boston campuses. She has continued to support the demanding MS in Engineering Management program with over 500 students as an advisor, Associate Program Director, and, now as the Co-Program Director. THE MSEM program is one of the largest at Northeastern, and co-directing this program takes a significant amount of time and commitment. Himlona’s contributions to the institution, faculty body, and student community through these roles have been inspiring.”

Description and Past Recipients



Outstanding Teachers of First-Year Engineering Students

“Professor Toher is quite passionate about the topic matter and really wants the students to comprehend the material. There is never a dull moment in class as Professor Toher brings lots of energy to his teaching.”

John Sangster, Engineering

“Professor Sangster has a way to make the class fun. Students really zoned in on wanting to go into engineering. He uses his experience to make sure that his students are always supported and he always goes above and beyond to reach out.”

Evan Dummit, Mathematics

“Professor Dummit clearly displayed enthusiasm for the course. He was very clear with his explanations, very helpful when students were confused, and the workload was always manageable.”

Joha Joshi, Physics

“Professor Joshi is extremely helpful when it comes to explaining lab procedure and the theory behind the lab. She understand students’ struggles and made sure pre-lab lectures were easy to understand and was responsive to questions both in and outside of class.”

Ellen Jackson, English

“Professor Jackson does a great job presenting ideas that force students to think and to approach things from new angles. She is very responsive to the class and actively listens to what students have to say.”

Past Recipients



Outstanding Staff Award

Sam Casey, MGEN

“Sam has administratively spear-headed the addition of over 20 new courses over the past few years, navigating the Courseleaf and college processes with grace and with exquisite attention to detail. Additionally, Sam is an exceptional problem solver and has great knowledge about our programs and university/college processes. His organization, leadership, and awareness of the program’s needs have made him an invaluable asset to our unit. Sam’s commitment to his work is unwavering and his passion for his role is evident through the high quality of work he produces.”

“Taryn is a true leader in the department, interacting exceptionally well with faculty and staff throughout the department, college, and university. She sets a tone of excellence and collaboration among the staff. For a year and a half through Fall 2020, she picked up much of the work normally done by our Operations Manager while a search was on to fill that role–this is an exceptional level of dedication and performance. Taryn is passionate about her work, strategic and creative in her thinking, committed to the department and university. ”

Description and Past Recipients



Outstanding Staff Teamwork Award


“The $37M SENTRY proposal to the U.S. Dept. Of Homeland Security was completed on March 10th. The preparation of the proposal was a monumental task given the need to address the theme and respond in just over 2 months. Creating a competitive proposal required not only numerous faculty contributions but also a coherent supporting element provided by COE staff members along with NU RES grants officer. The SENTRY staff put forth an “above and beyond” effort that extended well past normal hours and required a systematic and comprehensive team effort to attain the goal.”

Description and Past Recipients



Rising Star Staff Award

Caitlin Goldblum, UG Advising

“Caitlin consistently demonstrates what it means to be a true team player–always volunteering to take on additional tasks, going above and beyond supporting our students and remaining positive especially during the hectic registration periods. Caitlin embodies the spirit of what the award seeks to achieve; an outstanding team member who is always willing to go above and beyond, while also seeking ways to enhance the student experience.”

“Over the past three years, the Electrical and Computer Engineering department has grown their research funding by over 50%. Charlie has not only been able to maintain the high level of service that is needed but also raised the bar in the level of support needed by ECE faculty. Charlie has been able to partner with his colleagues and deliver the highest quality service. Charlie’s focus on building strong relationships has allowed him to excel in his current role and is an important characteristic of a rising star.”

“When the pandemic slammed shut research operations on campus, Ian was thrust into the unprecedented situation of having custodianship of all 19 active bioengineering labs; shutting them down in a way to minimize losses; identifying and assuring that any potential biological or chemical hazards were neutralized and assuring PIs that the situation was stable. Ian carried out this task with incredible patience, impeccable communication skills, due diligence and a sense of calm authority.”

Description and Past Recipients



Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award

“Since starting at NU in the fall of 2011, Dr. Livermore has built a highly innovative research program targeting important microsystem challenges with the potential for dramatic impact on energy systems, health, human functioning, and more. Her work is characterized by unique solutions to technical challenges of great importance to society, such as leveraging origami folding to engineer biomimetic tissues and organs on a chip. Dr. Livermore not only continues to hone her craft, but also provides an inspiration to many of our young faculty. As an active mentor, she is extremely generous with her time. Dr. Livermore is a fundamental scholar of the highest quality, and is the epitome of how we idealize research as we recruit in STEM, or promote University-level and national-level research accomplishments.”

Description and Past Recipients



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 22 months, Jackie Isaacs served our college as interim dean. A demanding role under normal circumstances, in her time as dean, Jackie also endured a global pandemic that changed our world, university, and college. It was in these most challenging times that her leadership, unwavering dedication, and hard work shined. She connected teams, fostered solutions to an array of evolving needs, and helped our college continue to provide a quality and safe learning and working environment for students, faculty, and staff. Her leadership, resilience, and innovation is admirable.”

Gina O’Brien-McLelland, Dean’s Office

Michael Jocelyn, Dean’s Office

“During the entire pandemic year, Gina and Michael have been on campus overseeing our many teaching space and lab renovations and operations, and they have also been the ideas and ears of the dean’s office. With their efforts, our facility renovations stayed on schedule giving our students new modern facilities to enhance their experience and our faculty have been able to have the resources needed to continue innovative research.”

Past Recipients