New & noteworthy

Pulkit Agrawal (M.S.’14, Ph.D.’18 CS) and Jacob Andreas (Ph.D.’18 CS) will join MIT’s electrical engineering and computer science faculty this summer as assistant professors, while Cathy Wu (Ph.D.’18 EECS) will be an assistant professor in MIT’s civil and environmental engineering department.

Electrical engineering and computer sciences professors Elad Alon, Sayeef Salahuddin and Dawn Song (Ph.D.’02 EECS) have been elected as fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Alon was elected for contributions to mixed-signal integrated circuit design and methodology, Salahuddin for his research on low-power electronic and spintronic devices, and Song for her work in systems security and privacy.

Environmental engineering professor Lisa Alvarez-Cohen has been selected as a 2018 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors fellow. She was selected for her contributions to the understanding of microbial transformation of high-risk xenobiotic chemicals, as well as the management of these chemicals through practices that protect the environment and public.

Bioengineering professor Adam Arkin and his team have disentangled some of the complex determinants for how bacterial genes are translated. Their work, which used a massive set of 244,000 synthetic sequence experiments, was published in Nature Biotechnology.

Kenneth Armijo (M.S.’08, Ph.D.’11 ME) received the 2018 Zia Award from the University of New Mexico Alumni Association. He is currently an energy researcher at Sandia National Laboratories and is an active supporter of STEM events in his local community.

Claire Tomlin

Tomlin elected to National Academy of Engineering

Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor and alumna Claire Tomlin (Ph.D.’98 EECS) has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering for her “contributions to design tools for safety-focused control of cyberphysical systems.” Her research focuses on applications, unmanned aerial vehicles, air traffic control and modeling of biological processes. With this selection — among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer — Berkeley Engineering now has 73 faculty members in the academy. (Photo by Noah Berger)

Maria Artunduaga (M.T.M.’18 BioE), received the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the inaugural Women in IT Awards in Silicon Valley in recognition of her achievements as the founder and CEO of Respira Labs. She was also named winner of the Early Career Award from the WITI@UC Athena Awards, along with Next Generation Engagement Award winners Sally Winkler and Kayla Wolf (both current bioengineering Ph.D. students) and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Barbara Simons (Ph.D.’81 CS).

Electrical engineering and computer sciences professors Krste Asanović and Peter Bartlett have been elected 2018 fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery, as have alums Thomas Funkhouser (Ph.D.’93 CS) and Kimberly Keeton (M.S.’94, Ph.D.’99 CS).

Glenn Ballard, associate adjunct professor of civil engineering and research director of the Project Production Systems Laboratory, has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Construction. Ballard was noted as a true innovator and was cited for his work as co-founder of the Lean Construction Institute and as the inventor of the Last Planner System.

Ruzena Bajcsy was celebrated with a commemorative bobblehead figure in her image at the 2018 Grace Hopper Conference. A pioneer in robotics and computer vision, she was recognized alongside legends including Grace Hopper, Annie Easley and Mae Jemison.

Dado and Maria Banatao were honored with UC Berkeley’s Founders Award for long-term distinguished leadership and service to academic and philanthropic programs across the university. In 2005, they established the Dado & Maria Banatao Center for Global Learning and Outreach from Berkeley Engineering (GLOBE) to “bring the world’s best to Berkeley Engineering and to bring the best of Berkeley Engineering to the world.” Dado currently serves on the CITRIS advisory board and Maria is a UC Berkeley Foundation Trustee.

Yousef Bozorgnia (Ph.D.’81 CE) has been awarded the Bruce Bolt Medal from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his extensive contributions to seismic research. The former director of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, he is currently on the civil engineering faculty at UCLA.

Jonathan Bray (Ph.D.’90 CEE), civil engineering professor and faculty chair in Earthquake Engineering Excellence, was selected by the ASCE Geo-Institute to receive the 2019 Karl Terzaghi Award.

Michael Brenndoerfer (M.Eng.’18 EECS), now a senior software engineer at Fitbit, founded a cryptocurrency brokerage platform called Cryptonite, which allows users to trade every cryptocurrency directly with US dollars and manage all of their coins in one place.

Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Connie Chang-Hasnain is the new director of the Berkeley Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory. She is taking over for Ming Wu (M.S.’86, Ph.D.’88 EECS), who is stepping down after 10 years as director. Last fall, Chang-Hasnain was also elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Ovijit Chaudhuri (B.S.’03 Eng. Physics, Ph.D.’09 BioE), now a mechanical engineering professor at Stanford University, has uncovered a previously unknown mechanism that cancerous cells use to break through the basement membrane, allowing the tumor to become invasive.

Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor David Culler and alumnus Jonathan Hui (M.S.’05, Ph.D.’08 EECS) have won the Association of Computing Machinery Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems’ 2018 Test of Time Award. The award, which recognizes papers that are at least 10 years old and have had a lasting impact, was for a paper that dispelled the notion that IP cannot run on wireless embedded sensors.

Fiona Doyle, vice provost of graduate students, dean of the graduate division and mechanical engineering professor, will retire this summer after 36 years as a Berkeley faculty member and administrator. She has had a long and illustrious career as a teacher and researcher within the College of Engineering, which she joined as its third female faculty member in 1983.

Juan BanalesJuan Banales (B.S.’13 ME) has been elected mayor of Pittsburg, California. At 27, he is the youngest mayor in the city’s history. He has been a city council member since 2016 and previously served on the planning commission. At Berkeley, he was part of the student advisory council as well as the first LeaderShape cohort, which he credits for cultivating his interest in public service. “At the fundamental core of Berkeley Engineering and the university as a whole is a commitment to community and to be a well-rounded person,” he said. “From professors to the body of research, the emphasis was always on how to use my education to be a good citizen.” (Photo courtesy Juan Banales)

The Indian Institute of Technology has established the Soumitra Dutta Chair in Artificial Intelligence in honor of Soumitra Dutta (M.S.’87, Ph.D.’90 CS). He is the founding dean of the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University as well as the architect of the Global Innovation Index.

Deborah Estrin (B.S.’80 EECS) has been awarded a 2018 MacArthur Foundation fellowship, widely known as the “genius” grant. A professor and associate dean at Cornell Tech, she creates open-source applications and platforms that leverage mobile devices and network services to address social challenges.

Professor Filip Filippou (Ph.D.’83 CE), whose research focuses on the nonlinear analysis of structures, has been appointed to the Byron and Elvira Nishkian Chair in Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Allen Goldstein, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of environmental science, policy and management, and Katherine Yelick, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, were elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Diane Greene (M.S.’88 EECS), CEO of Google Cloud, has been named to Data Economy’s list of “America 50: the World’s Top 50 North, Central and South American Influencers.” She was also recognized this spring with UC Berkeley’s Campanile Excellence Achievement Award, which is given to alumni who are pushing the edge of what’s possible. She is currently a member of Berkeley Engineering’s advisory board.

Electrical engineering and computer sciences assistant professors Moritz Hardt and Sergey Levine have been named 2019 Sloan Research Fellows, given to researchers whose early-career achievements mark them as being among today’s very best scientific minds.

Kevin Healy, professor of bioengineering and of materials science and engineering, has been elected to the Biomedical Engineering Society Class of 2018 fellows for his exceptional achievements in the field.

Mechanical engineering graduate student Hossein Heidari won the $100,000 Shark Tank prize for best innovative technology at BASF Innovent 2018. He received the award for his work on computed axial lithography, a volumetric 3D printing solution invented in the Design for Nanomanufacturing Lab, which is led by Hayden Taylor, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Ron Klemencic (M.S.’86 CE) was honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of five Outstanding Projects and Leaders Award winners for 2019, in recognition of his contributions to the civil engineering design industry. The chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, he is one of the world’s leading structural design engineers of tall buildings, including the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

Alireza Lahijanian (B.S.’09, M.S.’10 ME) is the co-founder of Rbhu, an engineering and design consulting firm for large-scale sculptures and art at Burning Man.

Tsu-Jae King Liu, dean and professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council’s Hall of Fame for her professional achievements and contributions to Silicon Valley. A member of Intel’s board of directors, she was also recently named to Women Inc.’s list of Most Influential Corporate Board Members.

Urmila Mahadev (Ph.D.’18 EECS) has solved one of the most basic questions in quantum computation: How do you know whether a quantum computer has done anything quantum at all? She developed an interactive protocol by which users without quantum powers can employ cryptography to harness and drive a quantum computer, earning her best paper and best student paper prizes at the Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science.

Sanjay Mehrotra (B.S.’78, M.S.’80 EECS), president and CEO of Micron, has been elected chair of the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Teresa Meng (M.S.’84, Ph.D.’88 EECS) has won the 2019 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for her “technical contributions to and leadership in the development of wireless semiconductor technology,” as well as the 2018 Association of Computing Machinery’s SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award. She is the co-founder of Atheros Communications as well as a professor emerita at Stanford University.

Ed Morse, professor of nuclear engineering, has published a book, Nuclear Fusion, from Springer International Publishing.

PoJui (Ray) Chiu and William Tarpeh

Two Berkeley Engineering alums were named to Forbes’ 2019 “30 Under 30” list, which recognizes young trailblazers in North America.

Po-Jui (Ray) Chiu (M.Eng.’14 BioE), the co-founder of BioInspira, was on the list in the energy category. Inspired by a deadly natural gas explosion in his homeland of Taiwan, Chiu is developing accurate, inexpensive, power-efficient biosensors for detecting chemicals in the air.

William Tarpeh (Ph.D.’17 CEE) was named in the science category. As a doctoral student, Tarpeh developed a method to extract nitrogen from urine, turn it into a gas and combine it with water to make fertilizer. He is currently an assistant professor at Stanford University.

Top photo courtesy Po-Jui (Ray) Chiu; bottom photo by Daniel McGlynn

Mike Nelson (Ph.D.’88 CS) is chief scientist at Xcalar, a big data processing and virtual data warehouse platform, where he will spearhead the company’s cloud and software-as-a-service efforts.

Mechanical engineering assistant professor Grace O’Connell has been selected to receive the ASME 2019 Early Career Award for her “pioneering work in multiscale mechanics of musculoskeletal soft tissues.”

Shmuel Oren, who recently retired as professor of industrial engineering and operations research and now serves as a professor of the graduate school, was awarded the Berkeley Citation, one of the university’s highest awards for individuals “whose achievements exceed the standards of excellence.”

Farhang Ostadan (Ph.D.’83 CE) received the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. Energy Award for his work in the nuclear power industry.

Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has received the 2018 IEEE Education Society Mac E. Van Valkenburg Award for his outstanding and innovative teaching.

Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Stuart Russell has won the 2019 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence’s Feigenbaum Prize for his contributions to the field of artificial intelligence, including its application to global seismic monitoring for the nuclear test ban treaty. He was also elected as an honorary fellow of Wadham College at Oxford University, his alma mater.

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has won the 2018 Association of Computing Machinery’s SIGDA Pioneering Achievement Award for his lifetime contributions to electronic design automation.

Professor Zuo-Jun “Max” Shen is the new chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, taking over for outgoing chair Ken Goldberg. Last year, he was also named an INFORMS fellow, an honor given to researchers who exemplify outstanding lifetime achievement.

Adnan Shihab-Eldin (B.S.’65 EECS, M.S.’67, Ph.D.’70 NE) was awarded the Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award, in honor of his “enduring passion to build up the modern higher education and scientific research system for Kuwait and the Arab world.” He is currently director general of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

Manu Sridharan (Ph.D.’07 CS) joined the faculty at UC Riverside as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Eric Steen (Ph.D.’10 BioE) won the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce’s Visionary of the Year award for 2018. He is the CEO and co-founder of Lygos Biotech, which produces bio-advantaged chemicals using a low-cost microbial fermentation technology.

Ken Thompson (B.S.’65, M.S.’66 EECS) has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in recognition of his work as the co-creator of the UNIX operating system with Dennis Ritchie.

Allen Tsai (B.S.’00 EECS) is the founder of Pani, a smart-home company that builds products to help consumers and utilities measure, monitor and recycle water. Prior to Pani, he co-founded Azul Mobile and Ekata Systems.

Nuclear engineering professor Jasmina Vujic has been elected to the highest rank of fellow within the American Nuclear Society in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of nuclear science and technology.

Eicke Weber, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, has been awarded Solar Future Today’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work in solar energy research.

Junqiao Wu, professor of materials science and engineering, was named an American Physical Society fellow for his pioneering research in semiconductor technologies.

Industrial engineering and operations research professor Candace Yano was awarded the INFORMS George E. Kimball Medal in recognition of her distinguished service to the institute as well as the operations research and management profession.

Tarek Zohdi, professor of mechanical engineering, has launched the Fire Research Group to explore effective engineering solutions for uncontrolled wildfires. The group is a collective of researchers from Berkeley Engineering, the Space Sciences Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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