Duke Engineering Celebrates Class of 2017

May 14, 2017

Duke University Class of 2017

Duke University awarded more than 500 degrees to undergraduate and graduate engineering students on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 12 through 14, during a weekend of commencement exercises that began with diploma ceremonies for professional master’s degree students, continued with a university-wide ceremony at Wallace Wade Stadum and concluded with Pratt School of Engineering celebrations in Cameron Indoor Stadium. See photos

Philanthropist and financier David Rubenstein delivered the university’s commencement address on Sunday morning, while Dean Ravi V. Bellamkonda and senior class president Uzoma Bailey Ayogu spoke at the undergraduate engineering school ceremony held Sunday afternoon. Watch the 2017 undergraduate ceremony

Bellamkonda and the Pratt faculty awarded Bachelor of Science in Engineering diplomas to 296 students (there were 315 students total for the Class of 2017, which includes students who earned degrees during the fall semester). The Class of 2017 includes 90 Master of Science and 80 PhD engineering graduates. The 2017 Master of Science graduates include students who are continuing their studies toward doctoral degrees. Sixty-seven Master of Engineering Management (MEM) and 13 Master of Engineering (MEng) degrees were awarded during the 2016-2017 academic year.

All told, the Pratt Class of 2017 includes 565 students.

Overall, Duke awarded degrees to more than 5,300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to students who are graduating this spring. Students who graduated in September or December 2016 were invited to participate in Sunday's ceremony.

Many Pratt graduates received special prizes or awards:

PHD Awards

Biomedical Engineering

  • Nick Bottenus – Doctoral Dissertation Award
  • Yangxiaolu Cao – Doctoral Dissertation Award

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Mark Bartlett – Outstanding Scholar Award
  • Aaron Forbis-Stokes – Oustanding Scholar Award

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Qiuyun Llull, Qingtao Sun – Outstanding Dissertation Award
  • Craig LaBoda – Service to the Department Award

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

  • Dean Culver – Outstanding Dissertation Award
  • Qing Tu – Outstanding Dissertation Award

Master's Degree Awards

Biomedical Engineering

  • Daniel Candrea – Excellence in Master of Science Studies

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Fang Qi – Excellence in Master of Science Studies

Graduate Student Awards

  • Andres Contreras, Sarah Diringer, Andy Stershic – PhD Plus Program Leadership

  • Laila Roudsari, Mark Bartlett – Engineering Graduate Student Council Service

Undergraduate Awards

Aubrey Lynn Presnell, Jeremy Elias Schreck – The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award
The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award is presented annually by the Engineering Student Government to the member of the graduating class of the School who has achieved the highest scholastic average in all subjects, and who has shown diligence in pursuit of an engineering education. The award was initiated to honor the spirit of academic excellence and professional diligence demonstrated by the late Dean Walter J. Seeley.

Aubrey Lynn Presnell –The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award
The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award is presented in recognition of Dr. Meier’s leadership in establishing the North Carolina Gamma Chapter on January 10, 1948, and his continuous service until April 19, 1975, as chapter advisor. This award is given annually to the graduating Tau Beta Pi member who symbolized best the distinguished scholarship and exemplary character required for membership.

Sebastian Rodolfo Baquerizo Queirolo – Pratt School of Engineering Student Service Award
Established in 1978, the Pratt School of Engineering Student Service Award is given to graduating seniors who, by contributions of time, effort and spirit, have significantly benefitted the community of the School of Engineering.

Aubrey Lynn Presnell – The da Vinci Award
The da Vinci Award is presented to the Biomedical Engineering student with the most outstanding academic record as determined by a faculty committee. The award commemorates the contribution of Leonardo da Vinci in laying the foundations of the mechanistic study of human life.

Anchi Wu, Grace Ying – The Helmholtz Award
The Helmholtz Award is given to graduating seniors who present the best research projects as judged by the departmental faculty. The award commemorates the work of Hermann von Helmholtz in laying the foundation of biomedical engineering.

Daniel Archer Hull – The Theo C. Pilkington Memorial Award
The Theo C. Pilkington Memorial Award was established in 1993 by the Whitaker Foundation as an endowment award in memory of Dr. Pilkington, founding chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. The recipient is selected at the end of the junior year and the award is given in recognition of outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.

Zachary David Brown – Edward D. "Ned" Light Memorial Award
The Edward D. "Ned" Light Memorial Award is given to a Pratt Research Fellow in biomedical engineering with the best engineering design project as judged by a faculty committee. The award was established in 2012 in memory of Ned Light, who worked for 22 years at Duke, pioneering research in real-time 3D ultrasound imaging and mentoring a host of undergraduate students both in the lab and in life skills.

David Chapman Rosen – The William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award
The William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award, established in 1979, is presented annually to seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence, interest, and enthusiasm in the study of environmental engineering.

Lauren Alison Harper, David Chapman Rosen – The Aubrey E. Palmer Award
The Aubrey E. Palmer Award, established in 1980, is presented annually to a civil or environmental engineering senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. Selection is made by the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Rekha Subhashini Korlipara – The Eric I. Pas Award
The Eric I. Pas Award, established in 1998 in memory of Dr. Pas, former director of undergraduate studies in Civil and Environmental Engineering, is presented to the graduating civil or environmental engineering senior judged by the faculty to have conducted the most outstanding independent study project.

Alden Timothy Harwood – The David Randall Fuller Prize
The David Randall Fuller Prize for Achievement in Electrical and Computer Engineering is presented annually to the graduating senior who has shown the most improvement in academic performance over the first three years.

Ere Aras – The George Sherrerd III Memorial Award
The George Sherrerd III Memorial Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering is awarded annually to the senior in electrical and computer engineering who, in the opinion of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty, has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects and simultaneously has rendered significant service to the School of Engineering and the university at large. The award was established in 1958 by the parents of George Sherrerd III, a graduate of the Class of 1955, to recognize outstanding undergraduate scholarship.

Elijah Henry, John Cole – The Charles Ernest Seager Memorial Award
The Charles Ernest Seager Memorial Award recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate research project and presentation as judged by the faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering as part of the Graduation with Distinction presentation session. The award was established in 1958 by the widow and friends of Charles Ernest Seager, a graduate of the Class of 1955.

Gautam Sai Chebrolu – The Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award
The Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, established in 1997 by former students and colleagues of Charles Vail, a graduate of the class of 1937, professor from 1939-1967, and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1956-1964, recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Sanford Douglas Morton – The Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award
The Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award in memory of T.C. Heyward, Sr., is presented annually by Pi Tau Sigma to an outstanding senior in Mechanical Engineering at Duke University. Selection is based on academic excellence, engineering ability, and leadership, and is chosen by a committee of the engineering faculty.

Matthew Tyler Tobin, Jacob Ryan Wirfel – The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Faculty Award
The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Faculty Award is presented annually in recognition of academic excellence to the graduating Mechanical Engineering seniors who have attained the highest level of scholastic achievement as determined by the faculty.

Andrew John Broaddus Gayle – Raymond C. Gaugler Award in Materials Science and Engineering
The Raymond C. Gaugler Award in Materials Science and Engineering is awarded to the senior who has made the most progress at Duke in developing competence in materials science or materials engineering. The award has been established by Patricia S. Pearsall in memory of her grandfather, Mr. Raymond C. Gaugler, who was president of the American Cyanamid Company prior to his death in 1952

Students Graduating with Departmental Distinction

Biomedical Engineering

  • Rohan K Achar*
  • Yash Bhatnagar
  • Zachary David Brown
  • Leon Yichen Cai*
  • Derek Yu Xuan Chan*
  • Jennifer Minjia Chang
  • John Thomas D'Angelo
  • Harrison Robert Ferlauto*
  • Udita Delta Ghoshal*
  • Thammathida Ketsiri
  • Katherine Lee
  • Kevin Alexander Murgas
  • Eric David Musselman*
  • Kay Palopoli-Trojani*
  • Varun Prasad
  • Aubrey Lynn Presnell
  • Jay Krishna Rathinavelu
  • Zoe Alexa Roecker*
  • Simeng Song*
  • Kantapon Wiboonsaksakul
  • Anchi Wu
  • Grace Ying
  • Christine Zhao
  • Hao Zhao

* Howard G. Clark Award

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Efe Aras
  • Elijah Henry John Cole
  • Kelsey Sierra Evezich
  • Chanwook Oh
  • Jee Hye Park
  • Emre Bozbag Sonmez
  • Cheng Xu
  • Yilun Zhou

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

  • Yang Liu
  • Sanford Douglas Morton
  • Michael Louis Norwalk
  • Samantha Janvier Sheppard
  • Matthew Tyler Tobin

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