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Engineering students were recognized at the Texas A&M University College of Engineering Student Awards banquet, receiving the Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award and the College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering
Engineering students were recognized at the Texas A&M University College of Engineering Student Awards banquet on Nov. 4.

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 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.

2021 Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award

Jainita Chauhan
Industrial and Systems Engineering
In fall 2019, Jainita Chauhan was one of two students selected to represent Texas A&M at the Global Grand Challenges Summit in London. That same year, she also partook in a study abroad in Peru and a volunteer trip with Global Engineering Brigades to Honduras. During COVID-imposed isolation, she led a research study in the Applied Cognitive Ergonomics Lab to improve response efforts among incident management teams battling the severities of the virus. In addition to her undergraduate research, she published a conference proceeding and presented the work at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society International Annual Meeting in Baltimore in October 2021. Chauhan currently serves as a global ambassador for the Halliburton Global Programs Office and president of Alpha Pi Mu in the Wm Michael Barnes ‘64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Michael Garner
Electrical Engineering
During his time at Texas A&M, Michael Garner has demonstrated a record of outstanding academic performance. He is an ultrafast fiber laser researcher with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is working toward completing an undergraduate thesis as an optical
wireless communications researcher at Texas A&M. In addition to these pursuits, Garner enjoys serving and mentoring others through leadership. He serves as the commanding officer of Squadron 11 in the Corps of Cadets and as an operations group commander in the Air Force ROTC Detachment. Garner will commission in May 2022 as an Air Force officer, where he plans to use his knowledge and skills to benefit the service and the national interest.

Noble Knight Gutierrez
Mechanical Engineering
Noble Gutierrez completed the University Honors, Engineering Honors, National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholar, Undergraduate Research Scholar-Thesis, National Science Foundation Texas A&M Innovation Corps Site Fellow, ExxonMobil Hispanic Heritage Foundation LOFT-STEM Fellow and College of Engineering Reciprocal Exchange programs with a near-perfect GPA. His 2020 Invent for the Planet team earned first place at Texas A&M and second place internationally, and his Aggies Invent-Special Operations Command team won first place at Texas A&M. Gutierrez is a recipient of the Craig C. Brown Outstanding Senior Engineering Award, 2020 K.R. Ramamani Undergraduate Thesis Award, 2019 and 2020 Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Dean’s Excellence Award Finalist for the College of Engineering and Dean’s Honor Roll.

Tanner Hoke
Computer Science
Apart from working toward a double major in computer science and applied math, Tanner Hoke has spent his time at Texas A&M serving others and promoting learning among students. He volunteered as a leader in Youth Impact, an organization focused on partnering with parents of under-resourced youth in the Bryan-College Station area, and is the founder and president of the Aggie Competitive Programming Club. In addition to growing the competitive programming community locally, he is a member of the Texas A&M International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) team. His team recently qualified for the 2022 ICPC World Finals, which will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently researching linear algebraic graph algorithms via sparse matrices with Dr. Tim Davis in the computer science department.

Ryan Lotz
Aerospace Engineering
Outside of aerospace coursework, Ryan Lotz found a passion for international service and student development through Engineers Without Borders. He serves as vice president of development, where he oversees recruitment, fundraising and communication. Even during COVID-19-related challenges, Lotz focused on growing the organization in a creative way. Earlier in his college career, he helped students transition to college as an impact counselor. He also conducted undergraduate research in an aerospace lab, co-authoring two conference papers in smart materials. He was involved in other student organizations as a delegate for the MSC Abbott Family Leadership Conference, a member of MSC Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow and a Texas A&M National Scholar Ambassador.

Ruby Ross
Biomedical Engineering
Ruby Ross joined Engineers Without Borders (EWB) her freshman year and has helped the organization grow from 20 to over 100 members, increase its financial stability with grants and an endowment, and serve more than 12,000 people worldwide. Under her leadership as president, the organization was awarded Texas A&M Student Organization of the Year and EWB-USA Premiere Chapter. She is also active in leadership at the Wesley Foundation, where she serves as publicity chair. In the summer of 2021, Ross worked at iBio, a plant-based pharmaceutical company, as a project management intern, where she oversaw contract development and manufacturing organization projects, communication on the supply team and helped lay the groundwork for the new oncology branch. These experiences have led Ross to find her passion in project management, which she plans to pursue after graduation.

Peter Simmons
Mechanical Engineering
Peter Simmons serves as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and one of his duties is to represent student-athlete interests to the Texas A&M athletic department, the SEC and the NCAA. He is currently coordinating and executing the largest student-athlete
run can drive in the nation, AggiesCan, which raised 57,000 meals for the Brazos Valley Food Bank. Additionally, he serves as the student-athlete representative for on-campus organizations such as Aggie Commitment and the Student Leadership Group. Academically, Simmons has worked with the Mixed Interactive Design Lab, where he developed a prototype for vibro-tactile feedback for aiding computer-human design with 3D printing pens. He has also researched the effectiveness of portable sensors for pedestrians and bicyclists in measuring air pollution.

Vivie Tran
Chemical Engineering
Vivie Tran has maintained a 4.0 GPA as a member of both the University and Engineering Honors programs. She has also conducted undergraduate research with both the biology and chemical engineering departments. Tran has interned for a range of companies, including ProLytX, Olin and BP. She is an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and has mentored younger Aggies in her roles as a fellow for the Engineering Community of Scholars and as a general engineering and chemical engineering peer tutor. Tran has also been recognized for several honors, including President’s Endowed Scholar, BP Scholar, Axalta Bright Futures Scholar, Transocean Scholar, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholar, and is a recipient of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers Scholarship, CHI St. Joseph’s Auxiliary Scholarship and Sophomore Gathright Dean’s Excellence Award.

Gabriel Zolton
Chemical Engineering
Gabriel Zolton embodies excellence in all his endeavors. Though he will be graduating with degrees in chemical engineering and English, his passion for learning extends well beyond the classroom. Zolton has conducted research on nanocomposites, 3D printing and electrospinning. He has also written a creative works research thesis on radicalization and technologically catalyzed change, which he developed for the Undergraduate Research Scholars program and the Aggie Creative Collective alongside his work-in-progress fantasy novel. Zolton serves as a peer mentor and leader within University Honors and as a Texas A&M National Scholar Ambassador. He received several different scholarships — including being named a Brown Scholar and a University Scholar. Zolton had internships with Albemarle and Altria and study abroad experiences in both Egypt and Italy.

2021 College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Shadi Shariatnia
Outstanding Doctoral Award Mechanical Engineering
Shadi Shariatnia started her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M in summer 2018. Her research is focused on engineering the bottom-up fabrication of nanostructures that are created through evaporation-induced self-assembly of colloidal droplets. She has developed a novel atomization system for targeted delivery of functional multimaterial systems on unconventional substrates. Her work has numerous applications in advanced manufacturing, functional coatings, 3D printing and electronics. Shariatnia has published seven journal articles and eight conference papers from her doctoral research. Prior to starting her Ph.D., she co-founded a medical device startup called Ictero Medical, which provides the first minimally invasive and definitive treatment for high-risk patients with gallstone disease. Shariatnia obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Ferdowsi University in Iran in 2014 and the University of Houston in 2016, respectively. Shariatnia will join Amazon as a product design engineer after graduating from Texas A&M.

Kay Yee
Outstanding Master’s Award Nuclear Engineering
Kay Yee is a Master of Science student in the Department of Nuclear Engineering with a specialization in nuclear materials. She graduated from Texas A&M with her Bachelor of Science in nuclear engineering in 2019. Yee started working in the Fuel Cycles and Materials Laboratory under Dr. Sean McDeavitt as an undergraduate technician in the summer of 2018. She is now a graduate assistant researcher there, conducting research on the production of prototypic fuel for the ANEEL thorium dioxide uranium dioxide fuel concept. She is also an active member of the Navigators student ministry on campus and likes to bake and spend time with her dogs. Yee is looking to graduate next spring and get a job to further work on nuclear fuel and materials.

The College of Engineering also recognized the following newly endowed scholarships:

Becky and Regnald “Reggie” Boles ’83 Dean’s Scholar Award

Betsy ’77 and Mike Carrell ’75 Endowed Scholarship

Carolyn and Edwin Moerbe Endowed Mechanical Engineering Scholarship

Carolyn Wolfman-Estrada ’12 Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Thomas L. Frey Jr. ’85 Endowed Scholarship

Engineers without Borders Endowment

Ginger and Pat O’Brien ’57 Memorial Dean’s Scholars Award

Katharine ’10 and Blaine Larson ’09 Family Scholarship

Kathryn and Thomas “T.A.” Smith ’66 Endowed Engineering Scholarship

Laura E. and Gary C. Timmermann ’77 Endowed Scholarship

Linda and Joe R. Fowler ’68 Engineering Scholarship

Marshall Endowed Engineering Scholarship

Sheryl and James H. “Jim” Prestidge Jr. ’80 Endowed Scholarship

Stephanie ’00 & Donald “Murph” Murphy ’97 AEGIS Endowed Scholarship