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2021 awards honor AE students, faculty, and staff for excellence


Debra Levey Larson

award recipientsThe Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recognizes faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students with awards for scholastic achievement and other contributions.*


Faculty and Staff Departmental Awards:

Andres Goza      Andres J. Goza -- AIAA Teacher of the Year

Scott Dalbey



Scott A. Dalbey -- Staff Member of the Year




Courtney McLearin


Courtney C. McLearin -- Staff Member of the Year





Undergraduate Student Departmental Awards:

Jacob Hawkins

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Scholastic Achievement Award, awarded to the senior graduating with the highest GPA—
Jacob R. Hawkins, Plainfield, Illinois


Dale Margerum Memorial Award, presented to the undergraduate who exemplifies outstanding leadership qualities by participation in departmental extracurricular activities—
Courtney M. Leverenz, Oak Lawn, Illinois


Maggie D. Bathgate

H. Everett Sutter Passion for Flying Scholarship, presented to a junior-level Aerospace Engineering student who exhibits a passion for flying—
Maggie D. Bathgate, Carbondale, Illinois


Komol Patel

H.S. Stillwell Memorial Scholarship, presented in memory of Professor H.S. Stillwell, founder and head of the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering from its inception in 1944 until his death in 1976. The scholarship is presented to an undergraduate student in recognition of scholastic achievement and extracurricular activities—
Komol P. Patel, Mundelein, Illinois  


Marta Cortinovis

H.S. Stillwell Problem Solving Scholarship was established by a generous alumnus as a tribute to H.S. Stillwell and the role he played as a mentor to students. It is given to a junior-level or first-semester senior majoring in aerospace engineering who exhibits exemplary problem-solving skills—
Marta Cortinovis, Chicago, Illinois     


David Robbins

Robert W. McCloy Memorial Award, presented in memory of Prof. R.W. McCloy, who served on the faculty from 1945 to 1977, and was the first faculty member hired in the new Department of Aeronautical Engineering. He was known for his research and teaching in propulsion and for his pioneering work in jet propulsion. The award is presented to a junior or first-semester senior student in recognition of outstanding academic performance—
David C. Robbins, Carterville, Illinois


Walter Gulumian

Lee H. Sentman Memorial Scholarship, presented to an aerospace engineering student in recognition of excellent academic performance—
Walter Gulumian, Bartlett, Illinois


Brian Borcean

Michael W. Miller Aerospace Engineering Innovation Award, was established to promote entrepreneurial ideas in the area of aerospace innovation—
Brian T. Borcean,
Palatine, Illinois


Harry Zhao

Roger A. Strehlow Memorial Award, presented to an undergraduate student in recognition of outstanding academic performance—
Harry Zhao, Peoria, Illinois


Kirk Shen Leck

Robert Lee Chandler and Carole Leslie Chandler Memorial Scholarship Fund, presented to an undergraduate student in recognition of outstanding academic performance—
Kirk Shen Leck, Singapore


Graduate Student Departmental Awards:

Renato Bichara Vieira  

Faculty Outstanding Graduate Student Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the department’s teaching and/or research missions—
Renato Bichara Vieira         


Yue Cui                

 AE Alumni Advisory Board Fellowship, presented annually to a graduate student in recognition of outstanding research, academic performance and research accomplishments—
Yue Cui 


Ryne Beeson

Kenneth Lee Herrick Memorial Award, given to an AE graduate student based on outstanding academic and research performance in the AE department—
Ryne T. Beeson 


Christopher R. Colletti

The Preston A. Henne Aerodynamics Fellowship, established to fund a graduate student in the area of aerodynamics—
Christopher R. Colletti


Additional Undergraduate Student Awards and Recognitions

Shivani S. Ganesh, Bettendorf, Iowa
Illinois Space Grant Consortium Scholarship

Marta Cortinovis
Goldwater Scholarship

Jaden Gilley, Glenview, Illinois
Winnetka Club Scholarship

Harriet Hunt, Chicago, Illinois
Brooke Owens Fellowship

Courtney M. Leverenz, Oak Lawn, Illinois
Knights of St. Patrick

Rohan C. Ramesh, Saratoga, California
Illinois Space Grant Consortium 2021 Scholarship

Justin L. Roskamp, Sutter, Illinois
Wilbur L. Walker Memorial Scholarship
Robert M. Stephens Engineering Scholarship
Illinois Space Grant Consortium Scholarship

Emily J. Williams, Plainfield, Illinois
Knights of St. Patrick

Engineering Visionary Scholarship Recipients
Sarah N. Erne, Schaumburg, Illinois
Athena M. Gesite, Northbrook, Illinois
Isabel M. Mata, Bloomington, Illinois
Tatiana K. Michel Villalobos, Naperville, Illinois
Sophia I. Pieta, Lombard, Illinois
Alexa P. English, Deerfield, Illinois

Engineering Visionary Scholarships are supported by the following:
- Rodney L. Burton Aerospace Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund
- Craig and Annette Bolt Aerospace Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund
- Class of 1977 Aerospace Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund
- Lembeck/Carmichael Aerospace Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund
- Scott R. White Aerospace Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund
- Gisinger Aerospace Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund

Additional Graduate Student Fellowships and Recognitions:

Beatty Fellowship – for graduate student support
Lee R. Alacoque
Bryan Cline
Franco Sebastiam Cubas Pastor
Sreevishnu Oruganti
Corey M. Parrott
Grayson K. Schaer
Chinmay S. Upadhye
Michael Worthington

Mavis Future Faculty Scholars program
Lee R. Alacoque
Holly Dinkel
German Gabriel Saltar-Rivera
Blaine Vollmer

Mavis Future Faculty Fellows program
Anurag Bhattacharyya
Nakul Nuwal
Matthew C. Paliwoda
Nil Alpesh Parihk

U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need
Hussein T. Al-Rashdan
Nicholas A. Anderson
Moises Angulor Enriquez
Collin Foster

Alen E. Golpashin
Matthew P. Jouffray
Rupal Nigam
Matthew C. Paliwoda
Peter J. Piatek
Henry X. Varona
Jimmy Williams
Toyofumi Yamauchi
Nicholas J. Zuiker

GEM - National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. Fellowship
Vanessa G. Awate
Moises Angulo Enriquez
, associate
Elizabeth Torres de Jesus, associate

SLOAN Fellowship
Vanessa G. Awate
German Gabriel Saltar-Rivera

Stillwell Fellowship
Vanessa G. Awate
Holly Dinkel
Matthew D. Koll
Nathaniel Skolnik

Noel C. Brindise
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Aadhy Sundarajan Parthasarathy
Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Victor Araujo Azevedo
NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Fellowship

Sriramya Bhamidipati
Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Bryan Cline
2020 Air Force Research Laboratory Outstanding Phillips Space Scholar Award

Or Dantsker
AIAA Flight Testing Technical Committee

Holly Dinkel
Fellow in the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum Space Working Group
Illinois Space Grant Consortium Fellowship

Destiny M. Fawley
Illinois Distinguished Fellowship
NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship

Tove E. Kopperstad
Support for Under-Represented Groups in Engineering Fellowship

Linyi “Tiger” Hou
AIAA David and Catherine Thompson Space Technology Scholarship
Grainger College of Engineering Yee Fellowship

Nakul Nuwal
Honorable mention for Outstanding Student Paper at the International Conference on Plasma Sciences

Matthew C. Paliwoda
Graduate Scholarship, Directed Energy Professional Society

German Gabriel Saltar-Rivera
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program

Farhad Nawaz Savvas Sadiq Ali
Best Poster for the 16th Coordinated Sciences Laboratory Student Conference

Bryson Sullivan
Preston A. Henne Fellowship

Blaine Vollmer
Carver Fellowship

Maitreyee Sharma Priyadarshini
People’s Choice Award for the Graduate College’s Research Live Competition

Elizabeth Torres de Jesus
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship


Faculty Awards and Recognitions:

Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students - Spring 2020:
Daniel J. Bodony
J. Craig Dutton
Andres J. Goza
Michael F. Lembeck
Jason M. Merret
Melkior Ornik
Zachary R. Putnam
oshua L. Rovey
Brian S. Woodard

 Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students -Fall 2020:
Phillip J. Ansell
Daniel J. Bodony
Ioannis Chasiotis
Gregory S. Elliott
Theresa Saxton-Fox
Brian S. Woodard

Phillip J. Ansell
2021 Penn State College of Engineering Young Alumni Achievement Award

 Daniel J. Bodony
Blue Waters Professorship
Campus Distinguished Promotion Award
Promotion to Full Professor

David L. Carroll
2021 AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Award

Ioannis Chasiotis
Caterpillar Professor of Engineering: The Caterpillar Professorship is intended as a recognition of demonstrated excellence in research, teaching and service.

Fellow of the Society for Experimental Mechanics: In recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of experimental mechanics, and service to that field through the Society.

Kobayashi Award: In recognition of “distinguished contributions to experimental solid mechanics”, awarded at the International Conference on Computational & Experimental Engineering and Sciences.

Harry H. Hilton
Vebleo Scientist Award
Listed in the Marquis Who's Who

Negar Mehr
2020 Best Dissertation Award from the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society

*Although we strive for a complete list, sincere apologies to anyone whose name or award was accidentally misspelled or inadvertently left out of this year's announcement.