Duke Awards Degrees to 294 Engineering Undergraduate and Graduate Students

May 10, 2004

Duke University and its Pratt School of Engineering awarded degrees to 294 undergraduate and graduate students Sunday in a series of ceremonies beginning with a university-wide commencement exercise in Wallace Wade Stadium and winding up with a rousing ceremony in Duke Chapel.

A total of 235 students, including 13 who completed their work in December and six last September, received Bachelor of Science in Engineering degrees from Dean Kristina M. Johnson before a standing-room-only crowd of parents, relatives and friends in Duke Chapel.

In addition, Pratt awarded 24 Master of Engineering Management degrees. The university’s Graduate School awarded three Master of Science degrees and seven Doctor of Philosophy degrees to graduate students in biomedical engineering; one M.S. and one Ph.D. to civil and environmental engineering students; 13 M.S. and eight Ph.D.s to students in electrical and computer engineering; and two Ph.D.s in mechanical engineering and materials science.

The diploma ceremony for the Master of Engineering Management Program, which began in 1997, was held at noon in the Teer Building. The Graduate School ceremony was held at noon in Page Auditorium and the undergraduate ceremony began a half hour later in the Chapel.

“The Class of 2004 is truly remarkable,” Johnson said, recounting the numerous team and individual awards and honors won by members of the class.

“I have a deep and personal affection for the Class of 2004. This is the first class I helped recruit to Duke,” said Johnson, who was appointed dean in 1999. “I will not forget you.… I wish you the very best on the road to your journey ahead.”

Aruna Venkatesan, who is from Pleasanton, Calif., was awarded the Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award by Johnson for achieving the highest grade point average in all subjects among members of her class. This award is sponsored by the Engineering Student Government.

Here is a list of the winners of all the special prizes and awards:

The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award -- Aruna Venkatesan.
(Presented to the student who has achieved the highest scholastic average in all subjects, and who has shown diligence in pursuit of an engineering education.)

Student Service Award -- Sumit Anil Shah, Rose Hill, Kan.
(Given to the graduating senior who, by his or her contributions of time, effort and spirit, has significantly benefited the community of the Pratt School of Engineering.)

The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award -- James Daniel Hlavacek III, Charlotte, N.C.
(Given to the graduating Tau Beta Pi member who symbolized best the distinguished scholarship and exemplary character required for membership.)

The da Vinci Award -- Shin Ron Ong and Shin Yeu Ong of Singapore; and Aruna Venkatesan.
(Presented to the biomedical engineering students with the most outstanding academic record as determined by a faculty committee.)

The Helmholtz Award -- Kengyeh Ken Chu, Cary; and Shin Yeu Ong
(Presented to graduating seniors who present the best research project as judged by the departmental faculty.)

The Theo C. Pilkington Award -- Padraigin Lane Browne, Stevens Point, Wisc.
(Given in recognition of outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.)

The William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award – Whitney Dawn Eriksson, Portland, Ore.
(Presented to a senior who has demonstrated academic excellence, interest and enthusiasm in the study of environmental engineering.)

The American Society of Civil Engineers Prize -- Noor Nader Atari, Cary, N.C.
(Awarded to an outstanding senior in civil engineering on the recommendation of the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.)

The Aubrey E. Palmer Award -- Noor Nader Atari
(Presented to a civil engineering senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement.)

The Eric I. Pas Award -- Trevor Butler Yates, Jamestown, R.I.
(Presented to a graduating civil engineering senior judged by the faculty to have conducted the most outstanding independent study project.)

The George Sherrerd III Memorial Award in Electrical Engineering -- Brett S. Green, Winston-Salem, N.C.
(Awarded to a senior in electrical engineering who, in the opinion of the faculty, has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects and who has rendered significant service to the School of Engineering and the university.)

The Charles Seager Memorial Award -- Harry Bourne Marr, Cary, N.C.
(Recognizes outstanding achievement in the annual Student Prize Paper Contest of the Duke branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or significant contributions to electrical engineering.)

The David Randall Fuller Prize -- John William Paisley, Greendale, Wisc.
(Presented to the graduating electrical engineering senior who has shown the most improvement in academic performance over the first three years.)

The Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award -- Lauren Ashleigh Powell, Vienna, Va.
(Presented to an outstanding senior in mechanical engineering on the basis of academic excellence, engineering ability and leadership as judged by a faculty committee.)

The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Faculty Award -- Teresa Kathleen Tetlow, Middletown, N.J.
(Presented to the graduating mechanical engineering senior who has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects.)

International Honors Program -- Noor Nader Atari, William Osgood Bell Jr., Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Jose Daniel de Ojeda, Durham, N.C..

Students graduating with departmental distinction:

Biomedical Engineering -- Michael Arthur Babcock, Columbia, S.C.; Jason Venkat Bhardwaj, Pittsburgh; Richard Robert Leo Arthur Bouchard, Overland Park, Kan.; Kengyeh Ken Chu, Cary, N.C.; Nicholas Geza Csikesz, Westford, Mass.; Nathan Andrew Fitzsimmons, Jacksonville, Fla.; Robert Nicholas Graf, Pekin, Ill.; Bradley Harris Hledik, Eugene, Ore.; Megan Mary Klenow, Sonoma, Calif.; Shin Yeu Ong, Singapore; Anand Govind Patel, Huntersville, N.C.; Sumit Anil Shah, Rose Hill, Kan.; Andrew David Steinberg, Augusta, Ga.; Philip Edward Stiller III, Airmont, N.Y.; and Arthur Winston Wood, St. Louis.

Civil Engineering -- Noor Nader Atari, Cary, N.C.; Jennifer Marie Axtell, Potomac, Md.; Lauren D. Kickham, Ellicott City, Md.; and Trevor Butler Yates, Jamestown, R.I.

Electrical Engineering -- Harry Bourne Marr, Cary, N.C.

Mechanical Engineering -- Andrea Cecilia Albergo, Penfield, N.Y.; Brian Thomas Schaaf, Coto De Caza, Calif.; Emanuel Solomon Stockman, Greenville, S.C.; and Lauren Ashleigh Powell, Vienna, Va.