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Two graduate students and seven seniors received awards at this year’s virtual banquet. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Engineering students were recognized at the Texas A&M University College of Engineering Student Awards virtual banquet held via Zoom on Nov. 5.

The College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award recognizes one master’s student and one doctoral student who have demonstrated excellence above and beyond usual levels of achievement. This year’s recipients were Seyedmohammadhossein Hosseinian, a doctoral candidate in the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (operations research area), and Lamees El Nihum, a fourth-year medical student at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and a pilot student in the Engineering Medicine Program.  

First presented in 1947 as the Engineering Faculty Senior Award, the Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award is the most prestigious honor bestowed on a graduating senior in the College of Engineering. The award is based on outstanding scholastic achievement, leadership and character.

The Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award winners:

Brady Allen
Dallas, Texas
Aerospace Engineering 

Allen’s academic career has been filled with challenges, but he has proven himself to be more than up to the task. Despite all the rigors of the junior-year curriculum for aerospace engineering, he found the time to design a 2024 lunar lander operations plan for NASA’s Project Artemis in a senior design course, prototyped a novel liquid metal-shape memory alloy actuator for his honors research and prepared for a flight test engineering internship at Boeing.

Despite this, Allen still found time to become involved in student organizations, including being an aerospace engineering student ambassador. He is a member of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the Memorial Student Center’s L.T. Jordan Institute for International Awareness and has served as on-conference director for the Memorial Student Center Outstanding Senior Award. 

Andrew Balog
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Materials Science and Engineering

Balog’s story has been defined by taking the path not followed. He is a first-generation Aggie from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who decided to go to Texas A&M without knowing anyone who had ever attended the university. This continued when he chose his major, as he was part of the first-ever materials science and engineering undergraduate cohort, which offered him many unique opportunities to establish and strengthen a program for future students to enjoy.

In addition to being a valuable asset in getting the new materials science and engineering undergraduate program off to a great start, Balog continued to maintain an exemplary GPA and received numerous scholarships and other accolades, including the inaugural Abraham Clearfield Scholarship and being named a Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Scholar and President's Endowed Scholar. He also served as a student ambassador, not only in the department but also as an Engineering Honors ambassador for the college and a Texas A&M National Scholar Ambassador.

Josiah Coad
College Station, Texas
Computer Science and Engineering 

Coad considers himself a pioneer who has been involved in a spectrum of impactful activities across Texas A&M while maintaining a near 4.0 GPA. Driven by curiosity and a desire to make a lasting contribution, Coad has applied himself both inside the classroom and out, with internships at Microsoft, the Central Intelligence Agency, Facebook and Carnegie Mellon. During this time, he published a paper on sketch recognition and was granted an international patent. Coad attended the University of Oxford during study abroad and is pursuing three majors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering while participating in the Engineering Honors and University Honors programs.

While at Texas A&M, Coad created a consulting firm that has been hired by Fortune 1000 clients and is the founder of the TAMU Datathon, which garnered international acclaim as the first event of its kind, bringing in over 2,000 applications from 110 schools internationally in over 100 majors. Other honors include taking first place in an L.A. Bike Share Data Science Competition and the Walmart Computer Vision Competition. He also is an ambassador with the Texas A&M Foundation’s Maroon Coats, is a technical advisor for the Texas A&M Data Analytics Club and is a National Association of Engineers Grand Challenge Scholar.

Kiersten Potter
College Station, Texas
Chemical Engineering 

Chemical engineering major Potter is honing her leadership skills at Texas A&M by serving as president of the Student Engineers’ Council (SEC), where she helped start a self-directed internship program as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program helped engineering students whose summer internship plans were sidelined by the pandemic. Those who know Potter note her leadership skills and what a strong team player she is.  

Potter was chosen as a member of the Zachry Leadership Program, the Bain Texas Women’s Leadership Summit and the Mays Business School’s Business Fellows Class XXXVIII. In addition to SEC, she is a member of the Texas A&M Foundation’s Maroon Coats, Horizons Consulting Group, Fish Aides Freshman Leadership Organization and took part in the AggiE_Challenge.

Michael Sporkin
Katy, Texas
Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Describing himself as “restlessly curious,” Sporkin has made an indelible mark in his academic pursuits. He has maintained a GPA of 4.0 throughout his undergraduate years, worked as an intern for the Boeing company and has conducted research on wireless transmission using visible light. He can also build his own electric guitar. In addition to his academic excellence, Sporkin has shown tremendous leadership through his role as a student ambassador for his department and as a Texas A&M Foundation Maroon Coat. He has also served as a member of the Zachry Leadership Program and is the president of the Century Men’s Society.

Sporkin is also the recipient of several awards, including the Buck Weirus Spirit award and Mays 2019 Texas A&M Case challenge award.

Zachary Williams
Houston, Texas
Electrical and Computer Engineering

For Williams, leadership roles come naturally. During his school years, he served as a Boy Scout and attained the highest rank of Eagle Scout. When enrolled at Texas A&M, he continued his commitment to leadership by serving in the Corps of Cadets, once again rising in rank from first sergeant to commanding officer. On the academic front, Williams has been an outstanding student, securing a GPA of 4.0 on all of his courses. Furthermore, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he still strived to be productive. One of his achievements includes developing an astrophotography camera that can take high-resolution movies of the night sky.

Williams is also the recipient of several recognition honors, including an Aggie Band Hallmark Award and a Most Outstanding Cadet in the Aggie Band. He is also been on the Dean’s Honor Roll for eight consecutive semesters. 

Jon Williamson
College Station, Texas
Mechanical engineering and computer science and engineering 

Williamson is considered an inspiring individual who is determined to succeed no matter the obstacles. He will graduate with two bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science during 4.5 years of study. Williamson has shown academic excellence in these fields throughout rigorous course loads and was named a University Scholar, a Texas A&M President's Endowed Scholar and an Association of Former Students Scholar, among others.

While a member of the Memorial Student Center’s Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow, Williamson won an excellence award as an executive overseeing TEDxTAMU. He also was a member of the Texas A&M Chamber Orchestra for four years and was first chair in the Texas A&M Philharmonic Orchestra. He performed undergraduate research on autonomous vehicles and had three internships in three different industries at Boston Consulting Group, Rolls Royce and BHP.