College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Student Awards 2020

The Mechanical and Aerospace Department has selected the following students for awards:


Madison Zainhofsky, PhD

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Madison Zainhofsky

"When calls went out to the MAE faculty to identify who we wanted to honor as our Outstanding Undergraduate Student from this year’s graduating class, the first name that came in was Maddie Z, and that was quickly echoed over and over again as other faculty weighed in. Comments focused on her excellent performance in courses and her work ethic, but also on the fact that she accomplished all that she did “with a smile”. She has also demonstrated great leadership in her Senior Design project team and has proven to be a gifted mentor and tutor in the MAE Excel Affiliate Center. Maddie is a treat to have in the program and an easy choice for Outstanding Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations, Maddie!" - Peter Gorder


Tankred Steinbach

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Undergraduate Researcher in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Tankred Steinbach

"Tankred Steinbach has been working on USAFA projects since summer of 2019. One project is CFD simulation on a helicopter landing on a warship, the other is regarding the interaction between wing and propellers. He really is a fast learner, within a few months, he has learned HPC Linux system, meshing tools, DOD CFD solver, and post-processing tools. He is now very proficient in simulating practical and complex aerodynamic problems. He is also a top soccer player at UCCS, won several athlete awards in the past three years. He will start his career at Lockheed this summer." - Hui Wan


Lluis Umbert

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Master of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Lluis Umbert

"Lluis is the last (and maybe best, but don't let that get out) in a line of amazing students coming to UCCS from the aerospace program in Barcelona's polytechnical school through the Balsells Graduate Fellowship program.  For years, I've had a perfect homework solution to distribute just by scanning in their work.   Amazing technical abilities and amazing people with a passion for engineering and life.   Lluis' thesis is publishable quality and his writing style and organization is superior to most of our English-speaking students.   It has been a pleasure working with him.  He'd be my top choice for a graduate student clone army." - Dr. Steve Tragesser



Fathia Arifi

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

PhD in Engineering – Mechanical Engineering Engineering 

Fathia Arifi

"Fathia has made steady and considerable progress and growth over the last several years as a PhD student and as a graduate research assistant.  She has shown remarkable persistence in overcoming numerous challenges that include being an international student and coping with language and cultural differences, raising a young family, and having to care for family in her home country of Libya, which has been beset by political instability and civil war.  To conduct her PhD research, she has demonstrated the ability to learn new topics that are beyond the scope of her formal coursework, such as optimal control theory, dynamical systems, and nonlinear solid mechanics.  She has also proven to be one of the best and most requested TAs in the department.  She is planning to defend her dissertation in Fall 2020." - Michael Calvisi


The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has selected the following students for awards:


 

Emily Moore

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Emily Moore

"Great engineers are not just great students, although that’s important.  Emily Moore is a great student—one of our best.  She uses her gifts wisely—working hard to learn new material, asking questions when she needs to understand details better, helping her peers learn the material, and helping her teachers teach the students following in her steps.  Emily’s curious, helpful and hard-working ethic coupled with her deep academic background will enable a great career in engineering."  - John Lindsey



 

Joshua Willis

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Joshua Willis

"It is my pleasure to present this “Outstanding Computer Engineering Student Award” to Josh Willis. Josh took two of my courses: “Advanced Digital Design Methodology” and “Embedded Systems Design”, in Fall 2019. He was one of the best students in both my classes. He managed to complete the required course work and the labs with minimum guidance. Josh is very inquisitive, studious, and a fast-learner. His performance throughout my courses was excellent. Josh will be graduating this Spring. However, he will be coming back to pursue graduate studies in embedded and digital systems in our department. His interest to pursue graduate studies in these areas heightened, after he took my courses. I believe Josh has the potential to be a very successful engineer. It would be a great pleasure to see him aspire to his personal and professional goals. I am looking forward to mentoring him during his graduate studies in our department." - Dr. Darshika G. Perera



 

Aloisio Henrique Kawakita de Souza

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Aloisio Henrique Kawakita de Souza

"Aloisio began his study at UCCS in 2015 as an undergraduate having recently arrived in the U.S. from his home country of Brazil.  He quickly gained the attention of the engineering faculty through his exceptional academic performance.  Aloisio independently designed and conducted a complex program of experimentation as a senior undergraduate to investigate the thermal behavior of lithium ion batteries.  His interest in battery research brought him back to UCCS to pursue a masters in 2016 where he studied under the mentorship of Profs. Trimboli and Plett to develop a novel predictive control methodology for advanced management of lithium ion batteries.  Exhibiting an exceptional enthusiasm for learning and a rare gift for deep understanding, Aloisio produced numerous papers along the way, two of which were published prior to completion of his masters program.  Aloisio’s comprehensive research culminated with an impactful thesis that will make important and lasting contributions to the automotive industry." - Scott Trimboli



 

Dubari Borah

Electrical and Computer Engineering

PhD in Electrical Engineering

Dubari Borah

"Dubari Borah joined  UCCS ECE department in 2017 to pursue Ph.D.. Her dissertation is on " Differential Multiband Adaptive Filters for RF front end" directed by Professor T.S. Kalkur. Her dissertation has resulted in 3 journal papers and 4 refereed conference publications. She was a graduate teaching assistant for 2 years and well appreciated by ECE students and faculty. She is  president of UCCS student branch of IEEE and responsible in organizing activities. She was also selected for "Student Achievement" campus award for the year 2019-2020. She has accepted job offer from Qualcom Inc, San Diego., CA." - Dr. Kalkur


The Computer Science Department has selected the following students for awards:


 

Mathew Pollard

Computer Science

Bachelor of Innovation in Computer Science

Mathew Pollard

"Mathew has been an exemplary BI in CS student. Not only did he master his computer science courses well enough to graduate with honors, he also showed that he could work with and lead a multi-disciplinary team of students design and delivering quality software that adds significant value for a client. In his INOV4010 class, he led a team where he was the only CS major to design and deliver a new short-answer scoring system for a Colorado Springs client, Braintz, that is transforming how video-based education is used. An example of reaching across to other fields, Mathew was able to get an education major on the team to not only provide feedback on content but to help in UI design and feedback. He led the game's majors in the complex linear algebra needed for latent semantic analysis, all while assisting them in learning a new language (python) and new tools/environment." - Terry Boult



 

Thayer Shepherd

Computer Science

Bachelor of Innovation in Computer Science Security

Thayer Shepherd

"Thayer Shepherd has been an excellent BI in Security students showing both substantial advances in software and cybersecurity skills while working with multi-teams. His performance on a particular client project doing web dev was so exceptional the client talks about it every time I see them, even years later. That is the kind of impact we hope to see our students make in our community." - Terry Boult



 

Sam Layton

Computer Science

Bachelor of Innovation in Game Design and Development

Sam Layton

"Sam Layton has done an incredible job as a GDD student. He has consistently excelled in the course work in the program, and this semester he developed one of the best capstone games in the history of that course. He has also been a TA for Dr. Chamillard for several years, and he's done a great job in that role, helping GDD students in the first few years of the degree learn how to start becoming game developers." - Dr. Tim Chamillard



 

Brandon Collins

Computer Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Brandon Collins

"Brandon Collins has been an outstanding student in the BSCS program at UCCS; he mastered his classes, served as president of the UCCS ping-pong club, and worked as a PASS leader in the math department. On top of this, he has been active in computer science research since 2018, and his first research paper is scheduled to be published this summer on the topic of how to prevent adversaries from manipulating social networks. Brandon has an uncommon combination of creativity and self-motivation that serves him well in pursuit of his goals. He is always quick with an insightful question and works with dedication. We are pleased that Brandon plans to continue his studies and research in graduate school at UCCS!" - Phillip Brown



 

Andreas Solvacek

Computer Science

Master of Science in Computer Science

Andreas Solvacek

"Andreas Slovacek is graduating from the Master of Science in Computer Science program at UCCS. He is also a scholar in the inaugural Colorado-Washington Security Scholars Program (CWSSP) and the first to graduate from the scholarship program. Always with a positive can-do attitude, Andreas has been tremendous in working with and helping his peers and contributing to the programs he was a part of. He also researches in cybersecurity, wireless, and cyber-physical systems and uses software-defined radios for his research. Andreas has a bright future and a career ahead of him, and we look forward to his continued success beyond UCCS. Congratulations, Andreas!" - Sang-Yoon Chang

 



 

Guillem Tirado

Computer Science

Master of Science in Computer Science

Guillem Tirado

"Guillem is part of Balsells UCCS scholars who joined UCCS. His MS Thesis involves using drones for identifying parking lot spots. I am most fortunate to work with students who can take ideas and run with it. His thesis implements novel drone navigation technique involving Neural Networks to identify empty parking spots and guide parking customer to those spots interactively. Technically solid and merging the best from several disciplines: VR, Image processing, ANNs, mobile devices is not an easy task yet the speed with which tecnology was implemented is outstanding including the GMI portfolio. MSCS(GMI) program, therefore, is proud to nominate Guillem to CS Faculty as their outstanding student." -  SK Semwal



 

Lida Fallahian

Computer Science

Master of Engineering in Software Engineering

Lida Fallahian

"Lida is an exceptional student who graduated with a MESE in December 2019. During her time in the program, she also worked full time as a software engineer, and she happily brought her knowledge and experience from work to the classroom, which stimulated many conversations. Lida did research in the analysis and visualization of user ratings in iOS and Android application datasets. She also completed a portfolio reflecting on her software engineering experiences in the workplace. Her enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and perseverance will carry her far." - Kristen Walcott



 

Shaoqi Wang

Computer Science

PhD in Computer Science

Shaoqi Wang

"Shaoqi Wang joined PhD in Computer Science degree program in Fall 2015. His PhD research was conducted in Distributed, Sustainable and Cloud Computing Systems (DISCO) Lab. His thesis, entitled "Toward Scalable Distributed Machine Learning on Data-Parallel Clusters", designs and develops novel  synchronization, parameter server framework optimization,  and multi-GPU scheduling approaches, which optimize the popular data-parallel computing frameworks to achieve scalable distributed machine learning. The approaches are implemented in several open-source distributed machine/deep learning  frameworks. His research outcomes were presented and published in AAAI 2009, IEEE INFOCOM 2019, IEEE IPDPS 2018, ACM HPDC 2019, ACM Middleware 2018-19, ACM SoCC 2019, and IEEE Trans. on Parallel and Distributed Systems 2019. As a senior PhD candidate, he also helps and co-mentors junior graduate students in the lab." - Xiaobo "Charles" Zhou



 

Oluwatobi Akanbi

Computer Science

PhD in Security

Oluwatobi Akanbi

"Oluwatobi Akanbi joined PhD in Security degree program in Fall 2016. His PhD research was conducted in Distributed, Sustainable and Cloud Computing Systems (DISCO) Lab. His thesis, entitled "A Novel Network Orchestration Layer for SDN: Fine-Grain Control and Security", introduces a novel logical layer to the existing Software-Defined Networking (SDN) architecture and makes significant contributions in fine-grained and secure control of resource management that drives the current architecture to high-performance standards with core network application abstractions. The abstraction of such functionality reduces the complexity of the control plane and simplifies the development and integration of core network applications previously enabled via middleboxes. His research outcomes were presented and published in IEEE LCN 2018 & 2019, IEEE CCNC 2019, and IEEE Access 2019. He is the president of UCCS Lions Cybersecurity Club and the national society of leadership and success (NSLS), Colorado Spring chapter." - Xiaobo "Charles" Zhou



The Data Analytics and Systems Engineering program has selected the following students for awards:


 

Bryce George

Data Analytics and Systems Engineering

Outstanding Student in Data Analytics and Systems Engineering

Bryce George

“It is an honor to recognize Bryce George as the winner of the “Outstanding DASE Student Award.”  When Bryce was a Freshman in “Introduction to Programming,” I was struck by his diligence, intelligence and humility.  Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming better acquainted with Bryce on campus and in additional classes.  My initial impression was correct: Bryce has distinguished himself as an intelligent, motivated, and dedicated student.  This semester, I’ve been impressed with Bryce’s calm demeanor, agile intellect and ability to help other students understand difficult concepts.  He has provided excellent insight and recommendations for improving the nascent DASE curriculum.  Although still an undergraduate, Bryce has started his career in engineering, working as a Software Engineer at Eclypses Incorporated.  We can be confident that Bryce will continue to impress those around him at work and in his future studies." - Bill Michaels