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William Cosart, wearing a blue lei, hands a framed certificate to Claudia Arias.

William Cosart, a retired UA Engineering professor, presents the eponymous award to Claudia Arias of the college's development team. (Photo: Brian Topping)

UA Engineering Celebrates 2018-2019 Employee Awards and Accolades

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UA Engineering Celebrates 2018-2019 Employee Awards and Accolades

May 8, 2019
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Faculty and staff gather for a luncheon to reflect on recent successes, promotions and retirements.

College of Engineering faculty and staff gathered in the South Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center for an appreciation luncheon on May 6, 2019. A chain with 376 paper links wound around the stage.

“There are so many of us in the college, so we put together a chain with every link representing a member of the faculty or staff,” said Nancy Emptage, an administrative associate in electrical and computer engineering. “We’re one unit.”

The theme of the luncheon, “Grow Together,” recognized ways in which members of the college work together to support one another.

“The number of things you all have accomplished over the years is really outstanding,” said interim Dean Larry Head.

William Cosart, who worked as a professor, dean and acting department head in the College of Engineering for several decades, took the stage to announce the winner of the 2019 William P. Cosart Award, created in 2001 to recognize staff members whose service to the college stands out. This year’s recipient, Claudia Arias, has worked in the development office for more than eight years and for the University of Arizona for nearly two decades. Cosart said when a group of deans and faculty members wanted to start giving out an award in his name after his retirement, they let him decide who the award would go to.

“I just felt students get scholarships and things like best paper awards, faculty get awards and grants, but the staff don’t get recognized,” he said. “I said, ‘Let’s make it an award for staff who go above and beyond the call of duty.’”

Faculty Promotions

Neng Fan, systems and industrial engineering, and Hongki Jo and Yao-Jan Wu, civil and architectural engineering and mechanics, became associate professors.

Samy Missoum, aerospace and mechanical engineering, and Dominic Boccelli and Lianyang Zhang, CAEM, became full professors.

Kathleen Melde, ECE, was named associate dean of faculty affairs.

Length of Service

A number of employees were recognized for their years of service to the university.

40 Years

35 Years

  • Ana Rodriguez, manager of finance and administration for the college
  • Parviz Nikravesh, professor, AME
  • Tribikram Kundu, professor, CAEM

30 Years

Awards and Recognition

Additional achievements included:

  • Jekan Thanga, AME, won the Dubai Future Foundation MBR Mars Settlement Challenge.
  • Jennifer Barton, biomedical engineering, was a featured leader in BizTucson Magazine.
  • Judith Su, BME, received an outstanding paper award from the journal Light: Science and Applications and the 2019 Dr. Horace Furumoto Innovations Professional Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, and was named a Scialog Fellow by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
  • Rebecca Vanderpool, BME, won the Max Harry Weil Award for Resuscitation Science from the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation at the 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
  • Robert Fleischman, CAEM, is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar spending six months in Italy.
  • Tribikram Kundu, CAEM, received the Non-Destructive Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Prognosis Division Founders Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Kevin Lansey, CAEM, will be traveling to Austria as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar.
  • Jeanne Yordy, CAEM, received a Western Association of College and University Business Officers professional development scholarship.
  • Kim Ogden, CHEE, was chosen as one of the UA’s six “science superheroes” for her contributions to STEM education.
  • Reyes Sierra and Jim Field, CHEE, received two awards from the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program to study the biodegradation of insensitive high explosive compounds.
  • Nancy Emptage, ECE, received a 2019 UA staff excellence award.
  • Ming Li, ECE, was named a 100 Distinguished Technical Program Committee Member of IEEE INFOCOM 2018 and received a UA Distinguished Scholar Award.
  • ECE’s Roman Lysecky and Janet Roveda, with graduate research assistant Bozhi Liu, received a best paper award at the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Computer Design.
  • Neng Fan’s SIE student team received an honorable mention in the energy systems division of the Best Student Paper Competition at the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers Annual Conference 2018.
  • Roberto Furfaro, SIE, was the keynote speaker at the 2018 International Academy of Astronautics SciTech Forum.
  • Hongyue Jin, SIE, received a certificate of excellence from the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative.
  • Pavlo Krokhmal, SIE, organized the UA’s 2018 Data and Decisions workshop and received a 2018 U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship.
  • Young-Jun Son, SIE, was the general chair of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences 2019 Winter Simulation Conference.
  • Vignesh Subbian, SIE, was named a distinguished fellow of the Center for University Education Scholarship and advised a student team that won a best paper award at the American Society for Engineering Education’s annual conference.
  • Sean Wu, SIE, won the Best Paper Award in the Human Performance Modeling Tech Group at the 2018 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference and was the keynote speaker at the first International Meeting of Human and Technology.
  • Ricardo Valerdi, SIE, was a keynote speaker at the Systems Thinking Institute and Department of Energy’s Cost Estimating Community of Practice conference.
  • Qiang Zhou, SIE, is on the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers Quality Control and Reliability Engineering Division’s 2018-2019 board of directors.

Retiring Staff and Faculty

  • Linda Cramer, graduate academic adviser, was with SIE for 24 years.
  • Sue Rombough, senior business manager, served the college for 30 years.
  • AME professor Ed Kerschen first came to the UA in 1981.
  • ECE professor Miklos Szilagyi was with the department for 36 years.
  • MGE professor Pinnaduwa “Kumar” Kulatilake is starting a Distinguished Foreign Expert Talent position in China.