February 24, 2006

Engineering students, faculty honored

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Engineering paid tribute to its student and faculty achievers at a banquet and awards ceremony held Thursday, Feb. 23, in the University's Student Center.

Matthew S. Solverson, manager of advanced development programs for General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems in Marion, started the evening off with a speech titled, "Sharing the Engineering Experience." A 1986 graduate of the college and a Carbondale resident, Solverson oversees the development of high-tech, "smart" munitions, a program with anticipated annual sales of more than $100 million.

Students Teresa W. Abney of Braidwood (495 N. Center St.), Aaron W. Anderson of Murphysboro (417 Winters Lane), Jared T. Burde of Carbondale (2016 Norwood Drive), Christopher D. Kiser of,Murphysboro (1723 Stave Mill Road) and Jodi L. Kostecki of Nashville (1460 County Highway 17) each received $100 awards for academic excellence, based on grade-point averages and leadership abilities.

Tomasz Wiltowski, associate professor of mechanical engineering and energy processes, won both the Thomas B. Jefferson Award as the college's outstanding teacher and the Kenneth E. Tempelmeyer award as its outstanding researcher. J. Kent Hsiao, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, won the Juh Wah Chen Award for outstanding faculty research paper.

Each of those awards carried a $500 prize, with the honorees' names added to commemorative plaques that hang in the Engineering Building.

The college also recognized departmental teaching excellence. Paul Y. Chugh, professor of mining and mineral resources engineering; Morteza Daneshdoost, professor of electrical and computer engineering; Sanjeev Kumar, professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Tomas Velasco, associate professor of technology each received $500 awards for the quality of instruction they provide.

Here are more details on the student winners.

• Abney, a junior in mechanical engineering, received the David L. Eddingfield award for academic excellence shown by women in engineering. The daughter of Charles A. and Christine Abney, she belongs to the Society of Women Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.

• Anderson, a senior in industrial technology, won the Leon Dunning award given for academic excellence in technology. The son of Reed A. and Tina Anderson, he belongs to Alpha Phi Omega and the Boy Scouts of America.

• Burde, a senior in electrical engineering, received the Herman J. Stoever award recognizing academic excellence in engineering. The son of John and Bev Burde, he belongs to the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and the American Physical Society.

• Kiser, a senior in both mining and civil engineering, won the college's designation as outstanding senior. The son of Ronald and Clara Kiser, he is president of the Saluki Miners, the student chapter of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. He also belongs to the student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Phi Kappa Phi and is a member of the Engineering Student Council.

• Kostecki, a senior in civil engineering, also won designation as the top engineering senior. The daughter of Raymond J. and Yvette M. Kostecki, she is president of the Engineering Student Council, vice president of the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, secretary of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi.

Shaping high-quality undergraduate programs and recognizing faculty excellence are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.