2022 Outstanding Faculty, Excellence in Teaching and Other Faculty Award Recipients

Each year, the UC Davis College of Engineering recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in research and teaching. Honorees for the college-wide Outstanding Faculty Awards are nominated by their departments and selected by the college’s faculty awards committee. In addition, the college honors faculty members selected by their departments to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Four faculty members will receive outstanding faculty awards honoring their exceptional accomplishments, and six will be recognized with departmental teaching awards during the Celebration of Faculty Excellence on September 28 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Shields Library Courtyard. The event will also celebrate all faculty who received major awards and recognition in the past academic year and welcome new faculty who have recently joined the college. 

Outstanding Faculty Awards

marc facciotti

Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award
Marc FacciottiBiomedical Engineering

Marc Facciotti teaches courses in synthetic biology and introductory biology. He is recognized for his record of innovating hands-on learning opportunities, redesigning curricula to increase student success and equity, and mentorship of undergraduates. Facciotti founded the BioInnovation Laboratory, one of the first educational biomaker lab facilities in the country, where he teaches project-based classes and mentors student groups. His cross-disciplinary biodesign course, co-taught with design and biology faculty, takes students to the annual Biodesign Challenge competition. He is faculty mentor to both the student-run BioInnovation Group and the highly successful UC Davis iGEM team, which participates in an annual international biotechnology and synthetic biology competition.

Facciotti is also deeply engaged in curriculum design aimed at advancing equitable teaching and learning. He developed more than 80 new modules to replace the textbook for BIS 2A, a large-lecture prerequisite course he regularly teaches, and has a leadership role in the scholarship of teaching and learning community. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 2008 after earning his Ph.D. in biophysics at UC Berkeley and his B.S. in biochemistry at UC Davis.

roopali kukreja

Outstanding Junior Faculty Award
Roopali Kukreja, Materials Science and Engineering

Since joining UC Davis in 2016, Roopali Kukreja has made significant contributions to the field of functional materials. Kukreja’s groundbreaking work on ultrafast dynamics in quantum materials has been recognized with highly prestigious early career awards from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

In addition to her outstanding research record, Kukreja is known as a dedicated mentor to graduate and undergraduate students and is active in organizations including Graduate Students of Color, AvenueE and the UC Davis MESA Center. She has served as her department’s graduate program chair.

Kukreja earned her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Stanford University in 2014 and completed postdoctoral work at UC San Diego before joining the faculty at UC Davis. She earned her B.Tech in metallurgical engineering and materials science from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2008.

john owens

Outstanding Mid-Career Research Faculty Award
John Owens, Electrical and Computer Engineering

John Owens is the Child Family Professor of Engineering and Entrepreneurship. His broad research interest is in computer systems that use innovative hardware and software working together to solve challenging engineering problems. A top expert in the field of parallel computing, he is currently focused on the intersection of hardware and software for graphics processing units, or GPUs. Owens was named a fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2021 for his work expanding the scope of GPU capabilities.

In addition to his significant record of research, Owens is recognized as an exceptional teacher and mentor, as well as an entrepreneurial engineer who has built relationships with leading industry partners. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 2003 after earning his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford University and his B.S. in electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

saif islam

Outstanding Senior Research Faculty Award
Saif Islam, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Saif Islam is recognized as a world-class researcher whose innovations in nanotechnologies have transformed the landscape of optical communication and device manufacturing. He holds 42 patents, whose broad-ranging applications include nano- and opto-electronics, ultra-fast data communication, quantum sensing, computing, disease sensing and prevention, and energy harvesting and storage. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Optical Society of America (OSA), International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Islam has been at UC Davis since 2004. He has received numerous awards for both research and teaching, including the UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award. He is the Director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute at UC Davis. He earned his Ph.D. (2001) and M.S. (1999) in electrical engineering from UCLA, and his B.Sc. in physics from Middle East Technical University and M.Sc. in physics from Bilkent University, both in Ankara, Turkey.

Excellence in Teaching Awards

Stavros Vougioukas

Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Stavros Vougioukas

Stavros Vougioukas teaches courses in engineering design, bio-instrumentation and control, and agricultural robotics and automation for specialty crops. He is the undergraduate faculty advisor for the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. In his lectures and labs, Vougioukas promotes active collaborative learning while also paying attention to individual students’ needs. Students work in groups - and interact directly with the instructor - to uncover and address gaps and misconceptions in knowledge, solve problems, explore novel designs and develop team-based skills. Professor Vougioukas joined the UC Davis faculty in 2012. He earned his Ph.D. in Robotics and Automation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at SUNY-Buffalo, and his Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Aristotle University in Greece, where he later served on the faculty before coming to UC Davis. He is a Fulbright scholar and IEEE Senior member, and has published and presented over 100 journal and conference papers in agricultural robotics and automation. He is currently leading several research projects focusing on harvesting and labor-saving technologies with funding from USDA-NIFA, grower commodity boards, and industry.

marc facciotti

Biomedical Engineering
Marc Facciotti

Marc Facciotti teaches courses in synthetic and introductory biology. He is recognized for his record of innovating hands-on learning opportunities, redesigning curricula to increase student success and equity, and mentorship of undergraduates. Professor Facciotti founded the BioInnovation Laboratory, one of the first educational biomaker lab facilities in the country, where he teaches project-based classes and mentors student groups. His cross-disciplinary biodesign course, co-taught with design and biology faculty, takes students to the annual Biodesign Challenge competition. He is faculty mentor to both the student-run BioInnovation Group and the highly successful UC Davis iGEM team, which participates in an annual international biotechnology and synthetic biology competition. Facciotti is also deeply engaged in curriculum design aimed at advancing equitable teaching and learning. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 2008 after earning his PhD in biophysics at UC Berkeley and his BS in biochemistry at UC Davis.

Glaucia Prado

Chemical Engineering
Glaucia Prado

In her first year at UC Davis, Glaucia Prado has piloted a new undergraduate course in food engineering that shows students how to apply chemical engineering concepts to food systems and teaching them the nuances of the industry. Prado began her career in food engineering, a popular field in her native Brazil, before earning a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Alberta. A first-generation college graduate, Prado has a strong interest in advancing women and low-income students in engineering. She is researching what causes engineering students from underrepresented groups to leave their programs and how faculty and institutions can remove these barriers. She is also interested in inclusive teaching and students’ wellness. Her favorite things in the world are teaching, traveling, food, history, and helping others to pursue their dreams.

Katerina Ziotopoulou

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Katerina Ziotopoulou

Katerina Ziotopoulou teaches undergraduate and graduate courses that span a range of topics on soil mechanics, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and civil infrastructure. An active mentor, she was a 2018-19 Wakeham Fellow, developing ways to build and sustain networks for international, first-generation graduate students. She has mentored students in AvenueE and NSF-CAMP, co-launched two Slack workspaces to maintain active channels of communication with civil engineering students and instructors during the pandemic, and taught the inaugural Aggie Success course held during orientation in 2020 and 2021. In addition, she has given workshops and presentations on topics from managing imposter syndrome for first-time researchers to discussing academia vs. industry for women engineers. Ziotopoulou earned her Ph.D. at UC Davis in 2014 and her five-year diploma in Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 2007.

marina radulaski

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Marina Radulaski

Marina Radulaski leads the Quantum Nanophotonics Laboratory. Radulaski is a recipient of the Google Research Scholar Award in Quantum Computing (2022), NSF CAREER Award (2021), OneQuantum Leading Female Scientist Award (2021), and was selected for Optica Senior Membership (2022), the Pauli Center for Theoretical Study Visiting Researcher program (2021), the Rising Stars in EECS cohort (2017), and Scientific American’s 30-Under-30 Up and Coming Physicists (2012). She obtained a Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University as a Gabilan Fellow, followed by the position as a Stanford Nano- and Quantum Science and Engineering Postdoctoral Fellow. Her academic training includes two undergraduate degrees, in theoretical physics and computer science, from the University of Belgrade and the Union University in Serbia.

jeremy mason

Materials Science and Engineering
Jeremy Mason

Jeremy Mason teaches courses on computational materials, mechanical behavior of materials, and “How Things Work,” an introduction to the physical principles that enable technology encountered in everyday life intended to help students learn what the world looks like from the perspective of an engineer. Known for his enthusiasm for hands-on learning, Mason teaches a first-year seminar called “Davis Likes Bikes,” which uses unclaimed, impounded campus bicycles to teach students about materials, components and scientific inquiry. Mason earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering and his BS in Physics, both from MIT. He has been a Lawrence Fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and taught at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul as well as Brown University and Ohio State before coming to UC Davis in 2017.

nesrin sarigul-klijn

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Nesrin Sarigul-Klijn

Nesrin Sarigul-Klijn is the founding director of five research labs on campus including DynaaTECCSMARTLABTNCCSpaceED, and iPGS. She serves as a consultant for various aerospace companies. Sarigul-Klijn is known for her engaged mentorship of graduate students and hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduates. She is the faculty advisor to Eclipse Rocketry, the Robotics Club, and the award-winning Aerobrick flight vehicle design team. In addition to her regular teaching load, she has also created and taught first-year seminars in Flight Testing & Simulation; Space Flight; Mechanical & Biomedical Aspects of the Human Spine; and Renewable Energy & Climate. Before coming to UC Davis in 1989, she was an assistant professor at The Ohio State University. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona. Her publications record of over 200 referenced technical works also includes 4 books and 5 patents. Sarigul-Klijn has always been interested in finding new ways to educate future generations at a research institution by leveraging the advanced research findings she is involved with.

Major Faculty Awards, Fellowships or Appointments in 2021-2022

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

  • Bryan Jenkins, Named ASABE CA-NV Section Engineer of the Year
  • Isaya Kisekka, ASABE Netafim Award for Advancements in Microirrigation
  • Zhongli Pan, 2022 ASABE International Food Engineering Award
  • Alireza Pourreza, Elected to the Club of Bologna

Biomedical Engineering

  • Simon Cherry, SNMMI Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Emilie Roncali, SNMMI Tracy Lynn Faber Memorial Award

Chemical Engineering 

  • Bruce Gates, Elected NAI Fellow
  • Karen McDonald, 2022 Daniel I.C. Wang Award from ACS BIOT & AlChE/SBE

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Heather Bischel, NSF CAREER Award
  • John Harvey, ASCE James Laurie Prize
  • Miguel Jaller, 2021-22 UC Davis Public Scholarship Faculty Fellow
  • Alejandro Martinez, 2022 ASCE Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award
  • Sabbie Miller, NSF CAREER Award
  • Daniel Sperling, Elected to National Academy of Engineers (NAE)

Computer Science

  • Prem Devanbu, Alexander von Humboldt Research Award; ICSE Most Influential Paper Award
  • Raissa D'Souza, 2022 Outstanding Service Award of the Network Science Society
  • Jason Lowe-Power, NSF CAREER Award; Google Research Scholar Program Award
  • Cindy Rubio-Gonzalez, UC Davis Chancellor's Fellowship for Diversity and Inclusion

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Anh-Vu Pham, Elected IEEE Fellow
  • Marina Radulaski, Women in Quantum - Leading Female Researcher Award, Google Research Scholar Program Award, Recognized as Optica Senior Member

Materials Science and Engineering

  • Seung-Sae Hong, NSF CAREER Award
  • Roopali Kukreja, NSF CAREER Award
  • Marina Leite, Elected IEEE Senior Member

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

  • David Horsley, Elected IEEE Fellow
  • Seongkyu Lee, Elected AIAA Associate Fellow
  • Xinfan Lin, Elected IEEE Senior Member
  • Ben Shaw, Elected AIAA Associate Fellow

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