Dodge Engineering Awards

Recognizing the 2020 John and Horace Dodge Engineering Award winners

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icon of a calendarDecember 10, 2020

icon of a pencilBy Arina Bokas

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In spring 2020, SECS recognized its outstanding students and faculty members with the prestigious John and Horace Dodge Engineering Awards, given for sustained exceptional performance in academics, teaching, research and service. Three graduating students and three members of the Engineering and Computer Science faculty were designated as this year’s award recipients.

Student Awards

Alyssa Lalko, mechanical engineering major, was named the recipient of the Award for Exceptional Achievement, which is given to the graduating senior in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, who, in the judgment of the faculty, has achieved the highest level of academic excellence. In addition to maintaining a 3.99 GPA, Alyssa participated in a multitude of enriching academic experiences. After her very first year at SECS, she obtained a product engineering internship at BAE Industries. In the following year, she participated in the Applied Research Experience for Electrical and Computer Engineers (ApREECE) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program to build a gas-electric hybrid drone. Alyssa also spent three months in Colorado as an undergraduate laboratory intern at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. During this summer research program, she created an Excel-based mathematical model to facilitate the development of thermal diodes. Alyssa was a member of Tau Beta Pi and the Society of Women Engineers as well as an undergraduate research assistant in the Embedded Systems Research Laboratory. Alyssa’s future plans include obtaining a doctoral degree and pursuing a career in academia.

Arsha Ali, electrical and computer engineering senior, received the Award for Academic Achievement for having demonstrated an outstanding level of academic performance. Prior to her graduation, Arsha completed two summer internships at an automotive supplier and a summer research program. She worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Embedded System Research Laboratory, studying driver takeover performance in highly-automated vehicles. Arsha was a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the League of Engineers and Computer Scientists, and the Honors College Student Association; she also served as the president of OU’s Aerial Systems Club. Arsha credits OU with helping her gain confidence. “I was shown how problems that may initially seem very challenging can be broken down and addressed in smaller steps. Now, when I am faced with a challenging project, I am confident that I can tackle the problem and produce results,” she says.

Emma Atkinson, electrical engineering graduate, was recognized with the Award for Service, given to the senior who has rendered the greatest service to the school. She is currently studying for her master's degree in systems/mechatronics engineering, while working at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as a fuel economy development and benchmarking engineer. Prior to her graduation, Emma was a member of Tau Beta Pi and served as the president of the League of Engineers and Computer Scientists. Emma’s dedication to service also includes years of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan.

Outstanding Faculty Awards
Tenure-track SECS faculty with at least four years of employment within SECS were eligible for three awards: the Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching, the Outstanding Faculty Award in Research and the Outstanding Faculty Award in Service.

The Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching: Dr. Daniel Llamocca, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Since joining OU in Fall 2014, Dr. Llamocca has published numerous educational conference papers and co-authored a textbook, Introduction to Analog & Digital Circuits, currently in use at OU. He has received multiple educational grants to introduce or update ECE teaching labs, the most recent of which is Phase II: “Embedded Real Time Programming with the Intel Atom® Platform” from Intel Corporation. Dr. Llamocca also serves as a Senior Personnel for the ongoing NSF sponsored IREECE REU program at OU, supervising undergraduate students during an intensive summer 10-week undergraduate research experience. In addition, from June 2018 through May 2019, he employed students as undergraduate research assistants to work on the implementation of a “Space Wire Router." Dr. Llamocca has co-authored a number of undergraduate student research papers and posters.

The Outstanding Faculty Award in Research: Dr. Sergey Golovashchenko, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Golovashchenko joined the SECS faculty as an associate professor in August 2014 and was promoted to full professor in 2019. He is known as a prolific writer, whose research arsenal includes 47 English-language journal papers, 23 Russian journal papers, 59 refereed English-language conference papers, 45 technical reports, 123 conference presentations, 124 seminar presentations and 49 patents. Dr. Golovashchenko is chairing eight Ph.D. and M.S. committees and supervising 14 independent studies or research projects at OU. From 2014 to 2019, the scientist funded 27 external proposals, totaling $1,605,165, with an additional $123,000 received since January 2020. These investments enabled Dr. Golovashchenko to open and maintain a number of SECS laboratories — the Sheet Metal Forming Lab, the Die Material Testing Lab, the Die Restraining Forces and Friction Testing Lab and the Pulsed Forming and Joining Lab. In 2020, Dr. Golovashchenko was named the recipient of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) Research Partner Award, which is given to external collaborators, who bring the depth and resources of their organizations, expanding USCAR’s circle of collaboration.

The Outstanding Faculty Award in ServiceDr. Khalid Mirza, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Mirza joined SECS in 2011 as a visiting assistant professor with a vision to set up an industrial robotics program with the school. Since then, Dr. Mirza has launched the Industrial Robotics elective, revised the Robotic Systems and Control course, and developed the Machine Vision elective course, with a third course to be added soon. He has established the Industrial Robotics Lab, furnished with state-of-art industrial robots and equipment. During this time, Dr. Mirza has also been actively involved in a variety of student projects, research and outreach activities. He worked with Nabtesco Motion Control to fund the Robotics and Automation Innovation project and became a faculty adviser for the Makers at OU student organization. As a member of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Academic Alliance, Dr. Mirza developed a workshop for high school girls to get them interested in engineering. Since 2018, he has been a faculty lead for the OU Immersive VR Experience senior design project. Currently, Dr. Mirza is involved with the OU team and external companies to run an autonomous shuttle at OU campus and is leading the effort to create an Augmented Reality Center. According to Dr. Mirza, his most important service to the school was the creation of the Industry Advisory Board for Robotics and Automation (IAB-RA).

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