Accomplished faculty, staff, and students were honored Wednesday evening at the annual Chancellor’s Honors Banquet, the university’s largest recognition event of the year. The Chancellor’s Honors Banquet is held each spring to recognize students, faculty, staff and friends of the University of Tennessee for their extraordinary achievements.
EECS Professor Dr. Benjamin Blalock received one of the evening’s top faculty awards, the Alexander Prize. Several other EECS faculty members and students were awardees, as well.
Campus Honors- EECS Faculty Members
2017 Alexander Prize- Dr. Benjamin Blalock
Benjamin J. Blalock, the Blalock-Kennedy-Pierce Professor of Analog Electronics in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received the Alexander Prize.
Blalock directs the Integrated Circuits and Systems Laboratory and focuses on analog circuitry for extreme environments. He and his research students, working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have designed a microchip that controls robotic movement in the Mars rover Curiosity. He does similar work with the Exploration Technology Development Program, a NASA-funded team of universities and companies developing circuitry that can operate reliably on the moon. He is developing space-based avionic systems for exploring ocean worlds in the outer solar system and improving power modules for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Blalock, who is a UT alumnus, is a supporter of student scholarship programs and of the first Big Orange STEM Symposium to promote UT’s Tickle College of Engineering to high school students.
The Alexander Prize is named for former UT president and US Senator Lamar Alexander and his wife, Honey.
2017 Research and Creative Achievement- Dr. Hairong Qi
Hairong Qi, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Gonzalez Family Professor in Image Processing, studies advanced imaging and collaborative processing. She pioneered the application of mobile-agent-based paradigms for supporting collaborative processing in distributed environments. Qi’s instincts, leadership, and knowledge have allowed her to identify and lead highly sought-after opportunities in interdisciplinary studies. Her recent work in fast rock sample selection for NASA’s Mars rover and in nuclear source identification and tracking shows her aptitude for transferring her knowledge in image processing to tackle key issues in demanding environments. She is a productive teacher and researcher who in the past five years alone has attracted over $3 million in external funding, graduated eight PhD students, and published 23 refereed journal papers with the high h-index score of 38. She has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, best paper awards at two international conferences, and the Highest Impact Paper award from the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.
2017 Research and Creative Achievement—Professional Promise- Dr. Wei Gao
Although he has been part of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for only a little more than four years, Assistant Professor Wei Gao has already established himself in the area of mobile computing and wireless networking systems—in particular the Internet of Things, wearable computing, and virtual reality. Gao’s research has attracted more than $2.5 million in external research funding from multiple government agencies, including the National Science Foundation. His work goes beyond civilian applications, however. The US Army Research Office currently supports two of his projects to develop adaptive mobile communications systems for the military. His long-term collaborations with other Army research agencies may help to fundamentally transform the way US troops access information in the battlefield. Gao has published more than 60 articles, most of them in top-tier journals. He also finds time to chair and serve on various committees of international research organizations.
Student Awards- EECS student awardees
2017 Extraordinary Academic Achievement
Extraordinary Academic Achievement honors are awarded to undergraduates who exhibit extraordinary scholarship.
- Sunay Bhat
2017 Extraordinary Professional Promise
Extraordinary Professional Promise honors are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate professional promise in teaching, research or other contributions.
- Mst Shamim Ara Shawkat
- Cheng Cheng
- Hantao Cui
- Yong Li
- Liu Liu
- Haoyang Lu
- Yiwei Ma
- Ifana Mahbub
- Sabikun Nahar
- Ying Qu
- Farhan Quaiyum
- Alireza Rahimpour
- Lingyun Ren
- Samira Shamsir
- Aysha Siddique Shanta
- Yang Song
- Wenxuan Yao
- Zhifei Zhang
- Jiecheng Zhao
2017 Scholar Athlete Awards
Scholar Athlete Awards honor students who excel exceptionally in both scholarship and athletics.
- Sunay Bhat
2017 Top Collegiate Scholar Awards
The Top Collegiate Scholar Awards honor undergraduates who exhibit extraordinary scholarship.
- Richard Austin McEver