Mechanical Engineering Student Award Winners

Fall 2021

Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

The Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduating Senior Award is given to one student each fall and spring that has displayed excellent academic ability, involvement in extracurricular activities, and/or a strong commitment to community service.

Sandrine Ricote

Sean Gilpatrick

During his time at Mines, Sean has excelled in his studies and also in his career pursuits. In the classroom, Sean demonstrated academic excellence by earning one of the highest GPAs in his graduating class and demonstrating strong leadership skills in group projects. For his Senior Design project, Sean and his team developed a low-cost, accessible rocket payload to make exciting STEM education projects available to more middle and high school students. The payload was demonstrated on a real sounding rocket launch and was used to create hands-on STEM experiences for middle and high school students. In the past semester, the payload was able to be used in a middle school physical science course.

Sean served the Mines community by working as a TA in the Thorson First Year Honors Program, where he taught students how to design projects using Computer Aided Drawing programs as a part of the Innovation and Discovery in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences (IDEAS) course sequence. Sean’s work in IDEAS helped first year students develop the foundational design skills they would need to excel in their later classes.

In the past year, Sean has begun his career journey by interning with Merrick and Company’s Nuclear Services and Technology group. Sean plans to join Merrick and Company full time after graduation where he will apply his considerable skills to designing solutions to improve the infrastructure of the future. The Mechanical Engineering Faculty is proud to have you represent our program. Congratulations Sean! 

The John Steele Commemorative Service Award

The John Steele Commemorative Service Award is given to one graduating senior each fall and spring that has displayed outstanding service to the Department of Mechanical Engineering during their time at Mines.

Antonio “Tony” Marquez

Tony arrived at Mines as a first-generation college student and a recipient of the Daniels Fund Scholarship in 2017. He almost immediately began giving back to the Mines community by becoming an ambassador between the scholarship’s sponsoring organization and his cohort of Daniel’s Scholars. As an ambassador, Tony organized service, social, and professional events to build community among his cohort and serve the surrounding community. Tony organized trips to prepare food at the Ronald McDonald House and to prepare food for shipment at the Food Bank of the Rockies.

Tony has also been active in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, where he served as a mentor to high school students and encourage under-represented students to pursue STEM education. Tony also volunteered with pre-collegiate students in the SUMMET and CHALLENGE programs where he helped students transition from high school to Mines during the summer.

While he was earning his degree and serving the Mines community, Tony also worked hard to develop himself as a professional. Tony completed internships at Brannan Sand and Gravel and Flatiron construction before joining Northrop Grumman, where his strong internship performance earned him a full-time position.

For his strong commitment to the Mines community and his accomplishments at Mines, the Mechanical Engineering Faculty is proud to present Tony with the Fall 2021 John Steele Service Award.

Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Student Athlete Award

The Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Student Athlete Award honors one student each fall and spring that has excelled in both academics and athletics. The winner of this award is a varsity athlete who competes at a high level, displays strong academic performance, and serves others in their community.

Heather Keniry

Heather arrived at Mines in the Fall of 2017 to study Mechanical Engineering and compete in Cross-Country and Track and Field. In the classroom, Heather has excelled in her studies, earning a place on the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Honor Roll and First Team All-Academic honors, and United States Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association All-Academic Honors. Heather also conducted undergraduate robotics research with Dr. Petruska in the M3 Robotics Lab. During her summers, Heather has completed internships at Skip-Line, and industrial automation company in her hometown of La Grande, Oregon that manufactures industrial control systems for road construction and painting equipment.

On the Cross-Country Team, Heather earned First Team all RMAC and USTFCCCA All-Region honors. Heather competed in the women’s 6000 m race, contributing to the Ore Diggers 4th place finish at the NCAA Division II National competition. In Track and Field, Heather focused on the 1500 m, where she holds the #10 all-time fastest time in Mines history. During Indoor Track and Field season, Heather helped the Mines Distance-medley relay team take 10th at the NCAA Championships and holds the #5 all-time fastest indoor 3,000 m time in the Mines record books.

Heather’s strong performance in the classroom and on Cross-country and Track teams demonstrate her hard work and dedication to both athletic excellence and academic pursuits. The Mechanical Engineering faculty are proud to name Heather as the Fall 2021 Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Student Athlete.

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award

The Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award is given to one graduating senior who is a well-rounded outstanding student, who displays significant engagement with the Mechanical Engineering Department, the broader campus of Mines and the community.

Sandrine Ricote

Jorgen Heilbron

Since arriving on campus in 2017, Jorgen has been actively involved in clubs and societies on campus. His involvement includes serving as Treasurer of the American Chemical Society, and membership in the Photography Club and ASME.

Jorgen was actively engaged in the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship program from 2019-2021. He worked in Prof. Jason Porter’s lab developing battery diagnostic capabilities and contributed to research on the stability and performance of electrolytes for lithium ion batteries. Jorgen was then able to leverage this experience into an internship with Tesla, where he focuses on improving battery performance.

Prof. Porter had this to say about Jorgen: “Jorgen is an outstanding student (he was in my Spring 2021 Heat Transfer course) and finished top of the class. He has been an invaluable resource in my lab, helping push forward diagnostics that are changing the way researchers can study the internal behavior of new battery technologies. His exceptional talent is evidenced by his ongoing internship with Tesla.”

In recognition of Jorgen’s outstanding accomplishments, The Mechanical Engineering Faculty are pleased to present Jorgen with the Emeritus Faculty Exemplary Undergraduate Student Award.

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Graduate Award

The Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Graduate Award is given to one graduate who is a well-rounded outstanding student, who displays significant engagement with the Mechanical Engineering Department, the broader campus of Mines and the community.

Claire

Rachel Godard

Rachel arrived at Mines in 2017 as an undergraduate student before deciding to pursue her Master’s degree in 2021. As an undergrad, Rachel completed internships with the Bureau of Reclamation, where she worked on projects including replacing valves for the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Designing fish passages, and water treatment systems for Leadville. During her internship, Rachel was able to co-lead two research projects studying the durability of coatings that resulted in publications.

As a graduate student, Rachel also worked for Spectrum Orthotics and Prosthetics where she assisted with fitting devices to users to ensure the users had the best experience possible with their device.

This past semester, Rachel has been a TA for the Manufacturing Process class where she worked with Prof. Routson. Prof. Routson had this to say about Rachel: “Rachel is a grader for my course. She is incredibly hard working and self-motivated. She does anything that is asked of her, and she does it proficiently and quickly. She has been a fantastic asset for the class and I will be sad to no longer have her help next semester.”

For her strong work as a graduate student at Mines, the Mechanical Engineering Faculty are pleased to present Rachel with the Emeritus Faculty Exemplary Graduate Student Award.

Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Dissertation Award

 

Claire

Sen Liu

Dr. Liu arrived at Mines in 2017 after completing his Master’s Degree at Wuhan University. Dr. Liu pursued his PhD while working under Prof. Xiaoli Zhang. His research focused on applying Machine Learning techniques to better understand advanced manufacturing processes. His work resulted in 3 published journal articles, four articles currently undergoing peer review, and one further article in revision for publication. Two of Sen’s published articles appear in journals with impact factors greater than 10. 

Prof. Zhang had this to say about Sen’s accomplishments: “The impacts of Sen’s research work are two-fold, the research societal importance and significantly advances the field of Machine Learning informed design. Sen’s research was funded by US DOD-OEA defense manufacturing industry resilience program, to address the fundamental challenges of application of data-driven AI informatics in the industrial manufacturing fields. The methods developed will benefit a broader range of material fields and enable high-throughput materials design and manufacturing. His results highlight the possibility or potential that a large fraction of manual labor work will be assisted with an intelligent automation system. The application of ML/AI in industrial areas will forge a better society where the companies produce products with improved quality, high efficiency, reduced operating costs and leading to a working relationship between human and machines.

Since graduating with his PhD in August, Dr. Liu has moved on to a post-doctoral position at Stanford University’s Synchrotron Radiation Light Source to continue his research into controlling manufacturing processes and developing new materials. The Mechanical Engineering Faculty is proud of Dr. Liu and his accomplishments and is pleased to award him with the Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Past Award Winners

Spring 2021
Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

Tyler Pritchard

The John Steele Commemorative Service Award

Connor Smith

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award

Taylor Duffy

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Graduate Award

Oluwaseun (Seun) Ogunmodede

Mechanical Engineering E-Days Engineer

Taryn Tucker

Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Student Athlete Award

Chaney Brugman

Fall 2020
Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

Gracie Cole

The John Steele Commemorative Service Award

Shelby Ryan

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award

Ryan Frederickson

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Graduate Award

Jasmin Honegger

Spring 2020
Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

Bradley Jesteadt

The John Steele Commemorative Service Award

Jacqueline Pierce

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award

Juno Padilla

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Graduate Award

Sajith Wijesuriya

Mechanical Engineering E-Days Engineer

Claire Teklitz

Fall 2019
Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

Ira Weyand

The John Steele Commemorative Service Award

Dylan McClain

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Undergraduate Award

Shona Hansen

Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Faculty Graduate Award

Peter Weddle