2023 Graduate Student Excellence Awards
The College of Engineering is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Graduate Student Excellence Awards: Isabella Loureiro Muller Costa, Peifen Lyu, Patrick Cunningham and Tanner Finney.
2023 is the third year of the annual awards recognizing the outstanding achievements of the College of Engineering’s masters and Ph.D. students in research, service, safety, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Recipients receive a $500 award and will have their names added to a permanent display in the Kemper Hall lobby. These students will be honored by a ceremony in late spring quarter.
More information on the students and awards is below.
Excellence in Graduate Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Isabella Loureiro Muller Costa, Materials Science and Engineering
This award recognizes a graduate student who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.
Isabella is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering focused on the mechanics of nanocrystalline ceramics. She serves as the Region I Graduate Representative for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and heads a committee of graduate students to improve graduate student involvement. She led an initiative with funding from the American Ceramic Society to use materials science classroom kits in a series of activities designed to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM that was implemented in a small town in Brazil in February 2022.
Excellence in Graduate Student Research
Peifen Lyu, Materials Science and Engineering
This award recognizes a graduate student who has made significant contributions to their field of research or discipline.
Peifen is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering who has received eight honors related to her research and academic performance. She was a recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Poster Prize at the inaugural CHMS Research Symposium and won the 2022 College of Engineering Summer Graduate Student Researcher Award. Peifen has five publications and has presented her research at five scientific meetings. As an independent researcher, she leads both the experimental and computational components of her Ph.D. project, which is at the forefront of sustainable photonics, aimed at advancing the knowledge of biodegradable optical materials from the macro to the nanoscale.
Excellence in Graduate Student Safety
Tanner Finney, Chemical Engineering
Tanner is a member of the Kuhl Lab and has been instrumental in its efficient and safe operation. As the lab’s safety coordinator, he is responsible for rewriting and implementing its standard operating procedures. Tanner also organizes regular lab cleaning days and works closely with the department safety coordinator to address any issues in the lab and Bainer Hall. He oversaw the formation of a safety subcommittee of the CHMS Graduate Student Organization and also organized a team to build and place Corsi-Rosenthal boxes inside Bainer Hall.
Excellence in Graduate Student Service & Leadership
Patrick Cunningham, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Among Patrick’s roles with the College of Engineering, he is a technical advisor for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s American Society for Civil Engineers' Concrete Canoe undergraduate competition, a graduate student representative on the university’s Chief Information Officer’s Strategic Advisory Committee, a contributor to the campus’ Fossil Free Pathway Plan, and serves as a graduate student representative for the Student Technology Governance Committee. Patrick is currently in Germany studying under a Fulbright scholarship.