Friday,
August 1, 2014

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Jonsson School Honors its Own in Year-End Award Ceremony

Spong

"I am continually impressed by the stories I hear of individuals in the Jonsson School who go above and beyond," said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science recently recognized faculty and staff members whose work has enhanced the educational experience for students and the work environment for fellow employees.

“I am continually impressed by the stories I hear of individuals in the Jonsson School who go above and beyond,” said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School. “Our annual appreciation and excellence awards banquet was a fun event to say thanks and to celebrate the accomplishments of our own.”

The awards recognize contributions by staff, students, and faculty teaching and research.

The research awards honored both junior and senior faculty members.

“In the junior research category, we ended up recognizing two faculty members,” said Spong, holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering and the Excellence in Education Chair. “Having a difficult time deciding between the best of the best is a good problem to have.”

The Junior Faculty Research Awards went to Dr. Leonidas Bleris, assistant professor of bioengineering, and Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering.

Bleris is a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology. His work has contributed to technologies for general-purpose computing and genome editing. His research group is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Bleris regularly serves on scientific review panels and is an independent expert with the European Commission under the Science, Economy and Society Directorate. He is the leading or corresponding author of several papers published in high-impact journals.

Voit is a pioneer in the area of shape memory polymers (materials that can respond to the body’s environment and become less rigid when implanted in the body), radiation processing of materials and neural interfaces. He directs a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. The group he currently advises includes six postdoctoral researchers, 11 doctoral students and four Texas Biomedical Device Center Fellows. His research has appeared in Science and other high-impact journals.

The Senior Faculty Research Award went to Dr. Robert (Bob) Wallace, professor of materials science and engineering and holder of the Erik Jonsson Distinguished Chair. Wallace helped found the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and has been a recognized technical leader in the semiconductor industry for more than a decade. His team discovered that hafnium silicates and oxides could be used in transistors to enable smaller nanoscale devices — a discovery that revolutionized the computer industry. He has authored more than 260 publications and holds 45 patents. He also was instrumental in creating UT Dallas' partnership with two major research centers, the Center for Low Energy Systems Technology (LEAST), and Southwest Academy for Nanoelectronics.

The award committee also noted that Wallace has consistently supported and graduated PhD students. He is a fellow of AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces and Processing; and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is also a past recipient of an IBM Faculty Award.

In addition to the research awards, the school presented awards for teaching and staff support.


Annual ECS Awards
Senior Faculty Research Award

Dr. Robert (Bob) Wallace
Dr. Robert (Bob) Wallace
professor of materials science and engineering


Junior Faculty Research Awards

Dr. Leo Bleris
Dr. Leonidas Bleris
assistant professor of bioengineering
 Dr. Walter Voit
Dr. Walter Voit
assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering


 


Outstanding Faculty Teaching Awards

Dr. Issa Panahi
Dr. Issa Panahi
associate professor of electrical engineering
Dr. Mark Paulk
Dr. Mark Paulk
senior lecturer in computer science


 
Dr. Kamil Sarac
Dr. Kamil Sarac
associate professor of computer science
Dr. Carl Sechen
Dr. Carl Sechen
professor of electrical engineering



 


Outstanding Teaching Assistant Teaching Awards

Renkai Ji
Renkai Ji
computer science
Anish Nair
Anish Nair
electrical engineering
Mohammad R. Rahman
Mohammad R. Rahman
computer science

Robin Gupta, electrical engineering, photo not available.


Staff Awards

Lynda Gary
Lynda Gary
administrative assistant in computer science
Kathryn Owens
Kathryn Owens
administrative assistant in systems engineering
Melissa Park
Melissa Park
administrative services officer in electrical engineering
Mark Powell
Mark Powell
mechanical engineering machine shop manager


Outstanding A&P Staff Awards

Arturo Elizondo
Arturo Elizondo
assistant director of student services

Media Contact: LaKisha Ladson, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4183, lakisha.ladson@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu.


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