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May 2023 Five10 Report


Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, and Friends of the School of Engineering,

The first five weeks of the spring quarter have passed by quickly, with seniors hard at work completing their capstone projects and our staff and faculty preparing for the upcoming 53rd Annual Senior Design Conference. I’m excited to see the creative and innovative projects our students have been working so diligently on!

I welcome you to read below about our faculty who just received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award, our inaugural M.S. Robotics and Automation student, a record-breaking Day of Giving, and more!

Wishing you all the best for the remaining quarter,


Elaine P. Scott, Ph.D.
School of Engineering

School News

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The 53rd Annual Senior Design Conference is just around the corner! If you're in the neighborhood, drop by the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation to catch the presentations live on May 11 at 2 p.m. You can log in to the web portal to watch online for those who cannot make it to campus. This year, we're excited to feature 18 sessions showcasing an impressive range of capstone projects, from an Android app designed to assist prediction of kidney disease severity to an assistive interactive guided-tour robot and much more! We hope you will join us for this signature event at the School of Engineering.

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Day of Giving was a resounding success for the School of Engineering, which emerged as the top academic unit in terms of funds raised and secured the third position overall. The School of Engineering also received the highest number of individual gifts, with a record-breaking 420. In addition to these accomplishments, the School of Engineering stepped up to the plate and met all eight challenges. This achievement was a testament to the exceptional commitment and generosity of the School's supporters.

Faculty News

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Maryam Khanbaghi (Electrical and Computer Engineering) has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for a project aimed at developing a framework to address challenges associated with power system flexibility. Maryam's research seeks to create a controllable reconfigurable power system that can reduce the impact of natural disasters and the randomness of renewable energy sources like solar and wind. The project will introduce a coordinated approach for transitioning to an agile grid and develop a model-based supervisory algorithm. The project's intellectual merits include a framework for managing a modernized electric grid that is agile, reconfigurable, clean, and resilient. Its broader impacts include attracting the next generation of engineers to the power and energy field and increasing awareness of renewable energies' impact and utilization among underserved communities. Congratulations, Maryam!

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Maya Ackerman (Computer Science and Engineering) was recognized as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence by The Silicon Valley Podcast. This list recognizes women making a significant impact in their respective fields. The honorees are influential entrepreneurs, venture capitalists with a global reach, leaders of non-profit organizations, and champions of Environmental, Social, and Governance causes. You can see the complete list here. Congratulations, Maya!

Student News

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Michael Aboh '23 (M.S. Robotics and Automation) is the first student to be admitted into and graduating from the M.S. in Robotics and Automation program. Professor Chris Kitts and the Robotic Systems Lab initially caught his attention through a YouTube video, which ultimately led to his decision to enroll at Santa Clara. Michael is also actively involved in the development of autonomous agricultural robots, known as "agbots," designed to address the issue of rural youth migration from Nigeria to urban areas. His primary goal is to enhance productivity and efficiency in smaller-scale farms. Under the guidance of Professor Chris Kitts, Michael is currently developing collaborative capabilities for SCU's agbots. Read more here. 

Alumni News

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Kamak Ebadi Ph.D. '20 (Electrical and Computer Engineering) has joined the Sampling and Catching (SNC) team for Mars 2020 spaceflight operations, in addition to his current role on the human landing system spacecraft for NASA's Artemis program. The SNC team is responsible for collecting rock and soil samples from the Martian surface that will be returned to Earth. Kamak is a robotics technologist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Their current research is focused on high-precision orbital mapping and terrain relative navigation for guided descent and precision landing on the moon in support of NASA's Artemis program. Congratulations, Kamak!

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Kyle Pietrzyk '16, M.S.'18 (Mechanical Engineering) has won and accepted the prestigious Lawrence Fellowship from Lawrence Livermore National Lab. The Fellowship is a highly competitive postdoctoral position open to all technical disciplines. Kyle is a Ph.D. student in the Stanford University Multiscale Physics in Energy Systems Group. Congratulations, Kyle! Read more here.

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