New & noteworthy
Pieter Abbeel, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, is the recipient of the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award for his contributions to deep learning for robotics.
Civil engineering undergraduates Arupa Adhikary, Cole Benner, Chee Weng Michael Leong, Alejandro Sannia and Karilin Yiu took first place at the 2020–21 Airport Cooperative Research Program’s University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. Their proposal to help solve airfield congestion utilizes methods from high occupancy vehicles.
Zakaria Al Balushi, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, was among Nanotechnology’s young researcher awardees, recognized for his contributions on electronic and photonic materials synthesis.
Bioengineering graduate student Kwasi Amofa was named to the 2021 class of Gilliam Fellows by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Two early career engineering faculty have been named 2021 Rose Hill Innovators: Gopala Anumanchipalli, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, and Liana Lareau, assistant professor of bioengineering.
Paige Balcom (M.S.’18 ME) has won the 2021 “Use It!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for her invention of a locally made, manually powered recycling system to transform PET plastic waste into desirable household products such as wall tiles. She plans to use the prize money to finance grants in Uganda to support local innovators.
Industrial engineering and operations research undergrads Duncan Barcelona, Alexandra Novales, Maya Sprouse and Samantha Tito earned first place at the IISE Industry Advisory Board’s YouTube Video Contest. Their winning video will be used to promote the industrial and systems engineering profession to high school students, teachers and college counselors.
Bolt Threads, co-founded by David Breslauer (Ph.D.’10 BioE), has been named one of the 10 most innovative fashion and style companies of 2021 by Fast Company. They were recognized for their Mylo product, a leather substitute made from fungal mycelium.
The Cal Seismic Design Team took second place in this year’s Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Seismic Design Competition. Meanwhile, the Cal Steel Bridge Team won second place in this year’s American Institute of Steel Construction’s Student Steel Bridge Supplemental Competition; the team was also recognized for its great enthusiasm and support among teammates by winning the Robert E. Shaw Jr. Spirit of the Competition Award.
Jennifer Chayes, associate provost of the Division of Computing, Data Science and Society and professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, has been honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Computing Machinery.
Electrical engineering and computer sciences assistant professors Alvin Cheung and Somayeh Sojoudi and mechanical engineering assistant professor Grace Gu (B.S.’16, M.S.’17 IEOR) have each received Office of Naval Research 2021 Young Investigator Program Awards, which recognize new career faculty for prior academic achievement and their potential to make significant scientific contributions.
David Culler, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences, is a 2021 recipient of the Berkeley Citation, one of UC Berkeley’s highest awards that honors individuals whose achievements exceed the standard of excellence.
Abigail De Kosnik, director of the Berkeley Center for New Media, has been selected as a recipient of UC Berkeley’s American Cultures Excellence in Teaching Award.
E-commerce startup Drapr — founded by Will Drevno (B.S.’13 IEOR), along with Haas alums Richard Berwick and David Pastewka — has just been acquired by Gap Inc.
Ioannis Emiris (M.S.’91, Ph.D.’94 CS) professor of informatics at the University of Athens in Greece, has been elected president and general director of the ATHENA Research Center, a nationwide institution focusing on information and communication technologies.
Andrea Goldsmith (B.S.’86, M.S.’91, Ph.D.’94 EECS), dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University, has been appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Anjali Gopal (B.S.’15, Ph.D.’21 BioE) has been named to the Council on Strategic Risks’ 2021–22 class of the Fellowship for Ending Bioweapons Programs. A member of bioengineering professor Amy Herr’s lab, she aims to leverage her scientific training for pandemic preparedness and bioweapons prevention initiatives.
Paul Hagouel (Ph.D.’76 EECS) will be the 2022 chair of the Committee on the Genocide of the Roma. He is also a member of the Greek delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Academic Working Group.
Computer science professor Joseph Hellerstein (M.S.’92 CS) has been named a Datanami 2021 Person to Watch. He is the chief strategy officer and co-founder of Trifacta, a company that markets data preparation and interaction technology based on Data Wrangler, a data transformation and discovery tool that he co-developed at the RISELab.
Bioengineering professor Amy Herr has been appointed to the Schmidt Science Fellows Program Academic Council, where she will mentor groups of fellows and advise the entire fellowship community in her specific area of expertise.
Civil and environmental engineering professor emeritus Alex Horne received the Odum Award from the American Ecological Engineering Society.
Jill Hruby (M.S.’82 ME) was confirmed as the next Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons and nuclear nonproliferation work.
Timothy Hsieh (B.S.’04 EECS) has joined the faculty of the Oklahoma City University School of Law as an assistant professor. He was also elected editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society — the first Asian American editor-in-chief in its 100-year history.
Tammy Hsu (Ph.D.’19 BioE), founder and chief scientific officer of the synthetic biology startup Huue, has been named to the MIT Technology Review’s “35 Under 35” list for developing an environmentally friendly process to create indigo dye using microbes.
Kohei Itoh (M.S.’92, Ph.D.’94 MSE), professor of science and technology at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, was named the university’s next president. He is research supervisor for the quantum state control and functionalization research area of the Japan Science and Technology Agency’s Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology program and the quantum information technology program director for MEXT Q-LEAP.
Cesunica Ivey, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named to Chemical and Engineering News’ “Talented 12” list, which recognizes young stars in the chemical sciences who are working to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.
The Royal Society has selected Michael Jordan, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and of statistics, as a foreign fellow. Membership in the Royal Society is considered one of the world’s most prestigious honors in science.
Leyla Kabuli (B.S.’21 EECS and Music) was this year’s winner of the University Medal, Berkeley’s highest honor for a graduating senior. While an undergrad, she earned a Jacobs Institute Innovation Catalysts Ignite Grant, Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, Samuel Silver Memorial Scholarship Award, Edward Frank Kraft Award for Freshmen and a California Seal of Biliteracy in French and Turkish — and a perfect 4.0 GPA. A classically trained musician, she has held solo and ensemble performances at Hertz Hall on campus, as well as at concert venues across the country. She also served as a teaching assistant for six semesters and has organized outreach activities for local middle and high school students. This fall, she returned to Berkeley for graduate studies in electrical engineering and computer sciences, where she will pursue research in diagnostic imaging.
(Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)
Daniel Kammen — professor of nuclear engineering, of public policy and of energy — has been selected to serve as senior adviser for energy, climate and innovation for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Jay Keasling, professor of bioengineering and of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been named a Distinguished Scientist Fellow by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
Michelle Khine (B.S.’99, M.S.’01 ME, Ph.D.’05 BioE) was appointed associate dean for undergraduate education at UC Irvine, where she is also the director of faculty innovation.
Albert Ko (B.S.’93 CEE) was appointed city engineer and deputy director for the infrastructure design and construction division of San Francisco’s public works department.
Sharjeel Laeeq (B.S.’21 ME) was awarded the 2021 Jengyee Prize, Leadership for a Better World scholarship. Using his own funds, he helped a town in Pakistan install a reverse osmosis system to provide more clean drinking water to residents.
A former capstone project by Jay Lin (MEng’19 ME), published last year as a paper, is now being developed as a product to hold spent fuel rods for 3D tomography investigations at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center accelerator.
James Malley (B.S.’80, MEng’83 CEE) was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to advancements in seismic design over a 38-year career at Degenkolb Engineers, a west coast structural and earthquake engineering firm where he is a senior principal and the group director for three Northern California offices.
Materials science and engineering professors Lane Martin and Kristin Persson have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the advancement of physics.
Professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences Nelson Morgan (B.S.’77, M.S.’79, Ph.D.’80 EECS) won the 2022 James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award, a prestigious IEEE Technical Field Award, for his “contributions to neural networks for statistical speech recognition.”
Grace O’Connell has been honored with a Chancellor’s Award for Research in the Public Interest, which recognizes faculty research that addresses critical needs in local and global communities.
Mechanical engineering professor Oliver O’Reilly was appointed to serve as interim vice provost for undergraduate education.
The INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment has awarded Shmuel Oren, professor of industrial engineering and operations research, the 2021 Harold Hotelling Medal. He also received the 2021 IEEE PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award for his contributions to mentorship and education on the design and operation of electricity markets.
Andrea Palomo Saavedra, a bioengineering and materials science undergrad, was awarded the Society of Women Engineers’ Outstanding Collegiate Member Award, given to 10 students who are making significant contributions to the STEM community and the advancement of women in engineering.
Anthony Papavasiliou (M.S.’07, Ph.D.’11 IEOR), associate professor at Belgium’s Université Catholique de Louvain, was one of six people awarded the prestigious Bodossaki Distinguished Young Scientist Award for 2021. He was recognized for his contribution to the rational use of energy resources and the large-scale penetration of renewable energy sources in electricity systems.
Per Peterson (M.S.’86, Ph.D.’88 ME), professor of nuclear engineering, has been appointed a member of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Electrical engineering and computer sciences assistant professor Jonathan Ragan-Kelley is the recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques’ 2021 Significant New Researcher Award.
Robert Ritchie, professor of materials science and engineering and of mechanical engineering, has published his first book, Introduction to Fracture Mechanics.
Kathryn Rosenbluth (Ph.D.’09 BioE) is the founder of Cala Health, which was named to Forbes’ list of “52 Women-Led Startups Driving the Future of HealthTech and FemTech.” Cala Health creates non-invasive wearable neuromodulation therapies for patients living with chronic diseases.
Computer science professor Stuart Russell has been named a 2021 Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to artificial intelligence research. He was also selected for the 2021 BBC Reith Lectures, one of the most prestigious public lectures in Britain, where he will speak on the impact of AI on humanity.
Shankar Sastry (M.S.’79, Ph.D.’81 EECS) — professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, of mechanical engineering and of bioengineering — is the recipient of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ 2021 Rufus Oldenburger Medal, which honors a lifetime of achievement in the field of automatic control.
Raluca Scarlat (Ph.D.’12 NE), assistant professor of nuclear engineering, is the winner of the American Nuclear Society’s 2021 Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award.
Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Sanjit Seshia was a recipient of the CAV Award at the 2021 International Conference on Computer-Aided Verification. This year’s award specifically recognizes “pioneering contributions to the foundations of the theory and practice of satisfiability modulo theories.”
Aaron Streets, assistant professor of bioengineering, is the winner of the Shu Chien Early Career Lecturer Competition at the UC Systemwide Bioengineering Symposium.
Mechanical engineering assistant professor Hannah Stuart received the Women in STEM2D Scholar Award from Johnson & Johnson.
Armando Tiscareño (B.S.’93, M.S.’94 CEE) has been named executive vice president, east region, for Stacy and Witbeck Inc., a leading heavy civil contractor specializing in the rail transit market.
Ernst Valfer (B.S.’50, M.S.’52, Ph.D.’65 IEOR) is finally enjoying full retirement at the age of 96. He retired from his position as director of a large management sciences staff for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1990, as the director of a community mental health center in 2010 and as a consultant and clinical supervisor in 2019.
Joshua Yang (MTM’16 BioE), co-founder of Nephrosant, was featured in Poets & Quants as one of the “2021 Best and Brightest MBAs.” He graduated from Stanford Business School and also founded another startup, Glyphic Biotechnologies.
Candace Yee (B.S.’21 CEE) was selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Committee on Student Members as a national finalist for the 2021 Daniel W. Mead Prize for Students. This year, students submitted papers about the responsibilities of civil engineers in the face of a global pandemic
Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Kathy Yelick has been named UC Berkeley’s next vice chancellor for research as of January, when she will take the helm from the current vice chancellor, computer sciences professor Randy Katz.
Yang You (Ph.D.’20 CS) received one of two honorable mentions for the 2020 ACM Special Interest Group in High Performance Computing Dissertation Award. A professor of computer science at the National University of Singapore, he also made the 2021 Forbes’ “30 Under 30, Asia” list for healthcare and science.
Professor Bin Yu, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and of statistics, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She was cited as “one of the most influential researchers of her time” for the breadth and importance of her contributions.