College of Engineering and Computer Science

Civil and Environmental Engineering Students Participate in Sustainable Solutions and Steel Bridge Competition

Four civil and environmental engineering students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) won first place in the regional American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Sustainable Solutions Competition. The competition took place at the Upstate New York-Canada ASCE Student Symposium at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in mid-April, and the team consisted of Emma Liptrap ’24, Ananya Chandra ’24, Sam Livingston ’24, and Caitlin Spillane ’24. Liptrap served as team captain.  

The ASCE competition challenges students to understand and implement sustainable solutions and the primary goal of the team’s project was to reinvigorate a fictional city’s waterfront. They designed a community center, a mixed-use development, a commercial area, and a waterfront park with pedestrian pathways and a bus loop with accessibility throughout the site. The waterfront’s innovative design also utilized green infrastructure to manage stormwater and mitigate flooding. The design exceeds the “Superior” level of the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure’s ENVISION framework.  

Additionally, a group of seven civil and environmental engineering students participated in the Student Steel Bridge Competition at RPI and the student team consisted of Patrick Alberga ‘25, Henry Bievenue ‘24, Henry Long ‘25, Sumit Mistry ‘24, Maxwell Pozar ‘25, Aaron Shinn ‘25 and Arturo Venegas ‘25. Shinn served as team captain.  

Steel Bridge Competition

The Steel Bridge Competition challenges students to create a scaled-model steel bridge. The team designed, fabricated, and constructed a 150 lb. and 21-foot-long steel bridge in segments and assembled the segments into a fully functional bridge within a time limit. The bridge was then subjected to various geometry and loading tests during the competition. 

The Sustainable Solutions team has received an official invitation to compete at the 2024 ASCE Student Championships at Brigham Young University in June and is preparing for the national competition.

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Students Present Senior Capstone Design Projects

Biomedical and chemical engineering (BMCE) students presented their senior capstone design projects at the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC). The presentations consisted of seven biomedical engineering teams and three chemical engineering teams. Members of the BMCE Advisory Board, consisting of industrial and academic representatives, served as judges for the poster session. This senior design course challenges students to study real-world issues and develop a solution from concept to prototype.

Triple C+: An Adaptive Neck Orthotic

Develops a neck orthotic focused on comfort, adaptability, and safety for patients with neck muscle weakness.

Members: Colin Babick, Shaila Cuellar, Roxana Gomez, Brenna Henderson

Client: Sarah Seib

BiRed Breast Cancer Imaging Table

Aims to revolutionize breast cancer diagnosis by enhancing patient comfort and accessibility

Members: Jonathan Hernandez, AMathieu Barthelemy, Dominic Clinch, Jonathan Ngo, Alyssa Shelburne

Client: Dr. Satish Kandlikar, CEO of BiRed Imaging

Gait 2 Go: Gait Analysis Anytime Anywhere

Simplifies gait analysis for clinicians by eliminating the need for expensive labs and gait experts

Members: Jade Carter, Shane Corridore, Cait Mehl, Lukas Cook

Client: Dr. Rajin Shahriar, Pediatric Orthopedics, SUNY Upstate Medical University

Epic Airways: Parallel Path – An Alternative Method for Intubation

Develops a hybrid intubation device combining endotracheal tube and laryngeal mask to reduce procedure risks and costs

Members: Jonathan Hernandez, Adam Spadafora, Haven Wittmann, Julian Zorn

Clients: Keith McKenna and Eric Moses at Epic Airways Systems, Inc.

Temperacare: A Digital Cooling & Heating Pack

Creates a versatile therapeutic device providing both cooling and heating to aid

Members: Oumou Azika, Paige Bencivenga, Jillian Durand

Client: BZDesign, Inc.

Prognosis of Prostate Cancer Metastasis Risk Through qPCR

Focuses on improving the detection of a specific prostate cancer biomarker using optimized qPCR

Members: Anthony Watt, Emily Labour, Ethan Masters

Client: Dr. Leszek Kotula, Urology, SUNY Upstate Medical University

P.I.B.I. Check: A Portable Impedance Breast Imaging Device

Designs an accessible, low-cost device for early breast cancer detection based on tissue impedance

Members: Carly Ward, Elizabeth Su, Isabelle Lewis, Mia-Marie Fields, Anthony Acierto

Clients: Dr. Neb Duric and Dr. Jennifer Harvey, Imaging Sciences, University of Rochester


Bioprocess Plant Design for 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural Synthesis from Chlorella Vulgaris

Team Stokes: Trinity Coates, Arsh Shaikh, Sean O’Toole, Tomas Posada

Biodiesel Production via Heterogeneously Catalyzed Transesterification of Scenedesmus sp. Microalgal Oil

Breaking Bonds, LLC: Olivia Conlin, Emily Fittante, Cole Fluker

Purifying Contaminated Freshwater: Degradation of Per- and Polyfluoryl Alkyl Substances (PFAS) with Chemical Oxidation

Team No Crumbs: Karley Chambers, Samantha Esparza, Fabiana Perez

Engineering and Computer Science Views – Spring 2024

The College of Engineering and Computer Science Career & Internship Fair Spring 2024.
Mechanical engineering capstone teams testing their prototypes in the subsonic wind tunnel.
Guru Madhavan, senior director at the National Academy of Engineering, gives a guest lecture on cultural, ethical, and environmental responsibility in engineering.
Members of WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) celebrate the contributions of longtime members and leaders Professors Karin Ruhlandt, Shobha Bhatia, Suzanne Baldwin and Eleanor Maine.
Students present their work during Engineering and Computer Science Research Day 2024.
Members of AWE (Advancing Women Engineers) at their networking dinner and panel event.
Electrical and computer engineering students working on capstone projects in the renovated lab space.

Lifelong Learning: Paul Ossenbruggen ‘63 

Paul Ossenbruggen

When it comes to lifelong learning, there’s no better example than Paul Ossenbruggen ‘63. With several decades of experience as a professor, and an engineering career spanning over 40 years, he continues to publish new research papers to this day. However, the journey towards settling into his teaching role took some time. With so many different things he enjoyed learning, it made choosing a specific career difficult. 

“I never seem to settle in anything. Some people got involved with one thing and that’s what they do,” he says. “That’s not me – I jump around from one thing to the next.” 

Graduating from Brooklyn Tech High School in 1959, Ossenbruggen was uncertain about his career path. Though he began studying civil engineering at Syracuse University, he remained open to exploring other options. At one point, he even considered becoming an airline pilot. It was only during his internship at an energy technology company, Babcock and Wilcox, that he finally discovered his passion for nuclear engineering. 

“Babcock and Wilcox make huge boilers,” he says. “Even though I was a civil engineering student, I was getting more involved with nuclear engineering. It was challenging but interesting and I loved every second of it.” 

After completing his undergraduate studies at Syracuse in 1963, he continued pursuing his interest in nuclear engineering when working at General Dynamics Electric Boat, where he helped build nuclear submarines. Yet, a part of him wanted to continue learning and exploring other options. 

“I loved my job at Electric Boat. They designed and constructed the first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus,” he says. “But I felt there was so much more I wanted to learn so I decided to go to grad school at the University of Connecticut in 1967 and later Carnegie Mellon University for my Ph.D. in 1970. I like learning new things.” 

Initially planning to return to Electric Boat, Ossenbruggen became interested in higher education and decided to pursue teaching instead. He began teaching at Northeastern University in Boston, and later in 1975, he moved to the University of New Hampshire where he taught for 34 years. He also taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 2000-2003.

Teaching not only allowed him to mentor and guide students but also explore new engineering concepts, which he found fulfilling. During his tenure as a professor, he also wrote a textbook in 1984 titled “Systems Analysis for Civil Engineers.” The book combined the fundamentals of engineering economics and civil engineering systems and garnered critical acclaim at the time of its publication. It was also translated into Chinese.

“It was a cutting-edge book. Civil engineers didn’t usually write this kind of textbook,” he says. “And one of the great things about it is that it’s still being read to this day.” 

Nowadays, Ossenbruggen has settled down, returning to Syracuse where he sees a bright future for the University and the city. He’s been particularly excited about Micron’s plans to invest an estimated $100 billion into Central New York as well as the community grid in downtown Syracuse.

“I’m excited to be in Syracuse now to see this transformation happen. Micron is going make a big difference,” he says. “I’ve been to every meeting, and it looks promising to me. This area turned into a rust belt but hopefully, it’ll become stainless steel.” 

Ossenbruggen also looks forward to the Operations Research and System Analytics Master’s Program, which he believes will bring immersive learning to the college’s forefront and fuel students’ passion for learning and discovery. 

“I’ve been interested in operations research since I was a grad student at Carnegie Mellon. It had just got off the ground when I was completing my Ph.D. I even proposed a similar course while I was at the University of New Hampshire.  

“I’m glad ECS is committed to introducing this program. It’s interdisciplinary, which I like very much. The course selection is great and offers a nice variety of courses that can be tailored to meet a student’s interests. Syracuse University is in a great position.”  

Get to Know Our New Graduate and Global Career Advisor Britton Inglehart

Britton Inglehart

From teaching in South Korea to academic advising in the U.S. Army, Britton Inglehart brings diverse experiences to his new role as the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Graduate and Global Career Advisor. In this Q&A session, Inglehart discusses his responsibilities, his vision for the future, and advice to students on how to make the most of their college experience. 

I’m from Wellesley Island, New York, which is about an hour and a half north of here and right on the Canadian border. The area is nice, but career opportunities are not unless you’re in the trades. My eyes were always on what else is out in the world. High school and college opened up my eyes to the world around me. I started learning Japanese, became an ESL tutor and this started my career. 

I went abroad to teach in South Korea and China, leaving in 2008 and returning in 2019. Then, I worked for the US Army Education Center as an academic advisor, which is how I got into higher education. I just finished my master’s at Nazareth College and came here to Syracuse to wrap it all up into one neat, nice bow. This position fits all my experience into one role.  

This is a brand-new position so I’m building it up as I go. Currently, the main focus has been helping my students build their resumes, really diving into what they need. However, I always emphasize to them that resumes are only part of what they need to be successful.   

Another big thing I’m working on with students is networking, branching out, and being open to finding roles and professionals online to connect. I’ll show them how to combine Handshake, LinkedIn, and Indeed to build up their confidence, know what they’re looking for, and go in with a broader scope.  

I’m really excited about building up a database for international students. Some international students are having a hard time finding employment. Helping them out with CPT and OPT, getting in touch with employers about visa sponsorship, and guiding students to find the right people to go to are priorities. 

My favorite part is the one-on-one with students. It’s one of the reasons I decided to get into higher education. Teaching was great, and I loved it but sometimes it’s hard to help everyone. With this role, I can see a lot more progression and growth. It’s very rewarding to see this in students. [Students repeatedly come back to my office] and this shows me that the discussions I’m having with them are beneficial.  

Don’t stress about the future right now. It’s okay to think and start planning but don’t let that prospect get in the way. In rowing, one of my favorite pastimes, you’re always looking at where you were. You don’t know what’s ahead. It’s more important to figure out what you’re doing currently and how to do that well so that the future is ready. Get your resumes ready, pass your classes, and build experience.  

I like to go to the gym, and I enjoy rowing. I’m hoping to join Cazenovia’s team so that I can utilize this area for that. I also read and write. I’m currently working on a fiction series influenced by D&D (Dungeons and Dragons). Not sure if it will ever get anywhere, but it’s something I like to do.

I also play video games. I’m big into the Final Fantasy series, which I grew up with. I also like Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, Legend of Zelda and Myst.  

AIAA at Syracuse University is Reaching New Heights

“How do we bring people from different majors together to create a collective community?” This question led the Syracuse chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) to explore new ways to forge relationships with the broader campus community. As the student organization welcomes new E-board members, they seek to strengthen bonds within the group’s membership and create a welcoming environment for all to join.  

“People in engineering typically meet other engineers – architects stay in Slocum Hall, engineers stay in Link Hall,” says vice president Theodore Todorov ’26. “We’re looking for ways to form new connections and bring people together.”  

Founded in 1963, the AIAA aims to shape the future of aerospace through ingenuity and innovation while supporting aerospace professionals to succeed in their careers. The Syracuse University chapter of AIAA contributes to this mission by hosting review sessions. These sessions cover primary engineering and higher-level aerospace courses, and club members can request specific topics to study. 

As a first-year student, Todorov loved being part of the club since he got to interact with other like-minded individuals. However, he noticed some aerospace engineering students he knew didn’t attend these meetings. Though the club was also open to non-engineering students, they also weren’t coming to meetings. When appointed as the club’s vice president, Todorov started thinking about ways to encourage more aerospace engineering and non-engineering students to join the club. 

“We wanted to branch out more,” he says. “We thought ‘How can we change that? How can we make our club more social?’”   

Breaking away from their usual meeting agenda, the club hosted an ice cream social to allow students to connect and relax. To their surprise, several students showed up, eager to mingle and fill their stomachs. This positive response prompted the e-Board to continue hosting more social events that allowed students to have fun. 

After the successful ice cream social, the AIAA has decided to host bigger social events in the future. They plan to organize the STEM Olympics, which will involve a campus-wide scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt would feature clues related to different programs such as biology, chemistry, and engineering. This event will also have prizes, and yard games and will take place before midterms so that students can unwind before their exams.  

“The idea is when people go to make their teams, they would select people from other majors or programs to have a better chance at solving clues,” says Todorov. “This is one of the best ways we can have students from different majors meet.”  

Todorov has been playing a leading role in organizing this event, in addition to assisting with review sessions and other duties related to the vice-president position. The e-Board has much more planned and is eagerly looking forward to students seeing what’s in store. They envision a bright future for the Syracuse chapter of the AIAA, not only as support for the future of aerospace engineering but also as a social club where people can connect. 

“I saw potential for the club when I joined my freshman year and I believed AIAA could be so much more,” Todorov says. “We want to make a big impact and are excited to see where it will go next.”

Looking to join or partner with AIAA? Click here to get connected!  

Reach out to aiaa@syr.edu or tdtodoro@syr.edu for more information about AIAA review sessions and events

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Younes Radi Appointed as Senior Member and Associate Editor of IEEE

Younes Radi in his lab

Younes Radi, assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer science, has been recognized as a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to research in applied electromagnetics and microwave engineering. He has also been chosen as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation. 

The IEEE is a global organization devoted to advancing technology for humanity’s benefit. Senior Membership is awarded to members who have made a significant impact within their fields. Only 10% of the IEEE’s more than 400,000 members hold this grade, which requires extensive experience, professional maturity, and documented achievements of significance.  

Radi’s research focuses on the physics of fields and waves, with emphasis on tailoring electromagnetic wave-matter interaction. He has made significant scientific contributions on a broad range of topics in theoretical and applied electromagnetics, optics, and photonics, including artificial electronic and photonic materials, RF/microwave circuits, antennas, and propagation. His papers have been published in several high-impact journals including Nature Physics, Nature Communications, National Science Foundation, and IEEE family journals. 

In addition to his Senior Membership and becoming an Associate Editor at IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Radi has also been chosen by the University as one of the two faculty to compete in the 2024 Moore Inventor Fellows Program. These recent achievements reflect Radi’s focused efforts to re-establish Syracuse University as a renowned center of electromagnetics and microwave engineering research. 

Professor Younes Radi and his research group

“Syracuse University has a rich history in applied electromagnetics and microwave engineering and was one of the leading universities in the world in this field,” says Radi. “I’ve been to many places in Europe and the US and have never seen a city like Syracuse where you can find so many high-end companies in applied electromagnetics and microwave engineering. This creates a great platform to bridge the research in my team with the local industry.   

“I am extremely grateful to the department, college, and also the office of VPR for their amazing support in establishing a state-of-the-art RF and mm-Wave laboratory, which we have named ‘RadLab.’ This facility will pave the way for new collaborations with local industry and position Syracuse as a highly active hub for advanced research in applied electromagnetics and microwave engineering.” 

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Professor Mary Beth Monroe Receives Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials

Assistant professor in biomedical and chemical engineering Mary Beth Monroe has received the Young Investigator Award from the Society For Biomaterials. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in biomaterials research. 

The Society For Biomaterials is a group of multidisciplinary professionals from various fields including academia, healthcare, government, and business. They aim to advance biomaterial science and education to improve professional standards for human health while promoting excellence in biomaterial science, engineering, and technology. 

Monroe’s research is focused on engineering new biomaterials to address clinical needs in wound healing. Seeking to make significant strides in polymer chemistry to facilitate safer, more efficient medical devices, her biomaterials lab conducts basic and applied research to produce and analyze polymeric biomaterials that enhance healing outcomes.

“Dr. Monroe is off to a fantastic start as a junior faculty member, and she brings tremendous creativity, energy, and enthusiasm to her research lab, teaching, mentorship activities, and service efforts. We expect her to continue to lead in these areas and to excel as a biomaterials scholar as she inspires those around her to lead as well,” says the SFB BioInterfaces Special Interest Group Awards Committee, Ashley Brown, Benjamin Keselowsky, and Christopher Siedlecki.  

“I have been engaged with SFB since my first semester of graduate school,” says Monroe. “It is a huge honor to be recognized by this scientific society that has had such a huge impact on my career by providing me with mentors, collaborators, and an outlet for scientific inquiry over the past 10+ years.” 

Mary Beth Monroe and Students in the Laboratory

New-Fashioned Sustainability

Fast fashion may seem affordable, but its true cost goes beyond the price tags on clothing. The industry’s unsustainable, unethical practices have negatively impacted the environment and its current lack of government regulations has allowed these practices to run rampant around the globe. Despite the dominance of cheap, quick clothing production among modern retailers, Syracuse University biomedical engineering alumna Alexis Peña ’16, and her colleague, Lauren Blake, are determined to revolutionize the textile industry with their start-up, Good Fibes. 

“Since summer 2022, Lauren and I have embarked on understanding the fashion industry ecosystem to provide innovative solutions for the current challenges,” says Peña. “At Good Fibes, we’re developing methods for biomanufacturing natural textile fibers using biological building blocks. Our mission is to enable a circular textile economy through material innovation.” 

The biotech startup aims to produce lab-grown fibers through cellular agriculture and use engineered molecules to create renewable, biodegradable, and non-toxic fibers. They hope this will offer alternatives to synthetic fibers such as polyester, which currently make up over 50% of clothing material. Synthetic fibers can also take hundreds of years to degrade and shed microplastics and chemical pollutants into the environment.  

Though fibers like cotton, silk, or wool are natural fibers, their production processes don’t align with sustainability goals or meet the industry’s needs. Cotton processing demands extensive amounts of water and silk production requires a considerable amount of energy. Wool products may also contain harsh chemicals and dyes that make them less biodegradable.   

Natural materials can also be unpredictable in supply due to weather, humidity, animal diet, or plant soil, which can cause variations in harvest seasons and batch-to-batch quality. Additionally, the industry faces challenges related to performance criteria and variability in quality, which ultimately leads to a reliance on synthetic fibers. 

Good Fibes’ bioengineered fibers solve these issues by providing environmentally conscious production and better-quality materials compared to current synthetic textiles.

“The lack of reliable alternatives to synthetic fibers is a major pain point in the textile industry. Our bioengineered fibers not only provide an alternative to petroleum-based fibers but also address limitations of cotton, silk, and wool by having year-round production and tunable properties such as elasticity, tensile strength, and dye affinity” says Peña.  

Peña and Blake recently completed their Ph. Ds in May 2023 at Johns Hopkins University. The co-founders also taught a course called “Future Fashion Innovation” to material scientists and engineering undergraduates at Hopkins during intersession and adapted the course into a webinar for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine alumni during Earth Week in 2023. 

Peña and Blake presenting their final pitch for Chain Reaction Innovations (Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory)

Additionally, Good Fibes has been selected as a participant in a lab-embedded entrepreneurship program (LEEP), Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) program at Argonne National Laboratory. The CRI program is designed to support entrepreneurs and their innovative research with a focus on clean energy.  

“Fashion should allow people to feel good about their clothing but also feel good about what happens to their clothing after they wear it,” says Peña. “We believe this can truly innovate the textile industry and bring a much-needed change to fashion’s monolithic infrastructure.” 

Jae Oh and Michelle Blum Named as Associate Deans for the College of Engineering and Computer Science

The College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) has named Jae C. Oh as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Academic Initiatives and Michelle Blum as Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Oh is the David G. Edelstein Professor for Broadening Participation in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and served as the Chair of EECS for the last six years. He’s also been recognized with the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Society of Applied Intelligence. He’s dedicated his efforts toward helping organize ECS resources to achieve the goals that pertain to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and seeks to broaden participation throughout the College, especially in the Ph.D. program.

“I feel deeply honored to serve the faculty, staff, and students at ECS in my new role. I want to thank all the EECS faculty and staff for their support during my six-year tenure as the EECS Chair. I am grateful to have the same supportive ECS community in my new role, which will require me to work closely with Dean Smith and the entire faculty and staff of ECS,” says Oh.

Blum serves as an associate teaching professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and has been a leader of ECS through her service as Undergraduate Program Director for Mechanical Engineering, and Dean’s Faculty Fellow for Assessment. She recently won the 2023 ASEE St. Lawrence Section Outstanding Teaching Award and works to help transform the educational and student support mission of the college. Supporting career initiatives and success programs, she seeks to find innovative ways to continue optimizing the student experience at ECS.

“As I step into the role of Associate Dean for Student Affairs in ECS, I am dedicated to being a service leader. I will make it my priority to foster a positive and inclusive college culture and ensure that all students have access to the resources they need to succeed,” says Blum.

Nature-Inspired Research

Anupam Pandey

Apple snails are one of the most invasive species on our planet. Consuming several plants that provide food and habitats for various wildlife, and disrupting entire ecosystems, these snails have earned a permanent ban from the United States, only allowed in the country for research. Along with the damage they leave in their slow path of destruction, these shelled creatures also possess an ability that’s unique to their species. 

By wiggling its flexible foot underwater, an apple snail can create a flow that brings floating food particles to itself, a process biologists refer to as “pedal foot collection.” Fascinated by the snail’s unique ability, this would inspire the latest research of a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, Anupam Pandey, whose findings were published in the high-impact science journal Nature Communications

“One of my research interests is understanding how soft, highly deformable, solid materials interact with adjacent liquid flow,” Pandey says. “Organisms that live underwater exploit this interaction for locomotion and feeding. Apple snails have evolved to leverage their proximity to the water-air interface to transport or pump liquids.”  

To understand the process behind pedal foot collection, Pandey designed a robot the size of a centimeter that oscillates rhythmically and mimicked the apple snail’s motion. He then placed the robot underwater in a tank and sprinkled Styrofoam particles on the surface to see if it could collect it, discovering that the robot functioned similarly to a pump.

“We found that our bio-inspired robot was able to drag particles from distances that are five times its size. But more interestingly, we found an optimal speed at which pumping maximizes,” explains Pandey. “This optimal speed seemed to depend on robot geometry as well as the properties of the liquid it’s submerged in. Combining experiments and modeling, we predicted the optimal conditions under which the robot pumps the most liquid.”  

In addition to understanding the role speed and liquid play in how the robot collects small objects and pumps liquid, Pandey also tracked the pattern of Styrofoam particle movement through long exposure photography, which he color-coded to make it easier to see how the particles moved.

While the small, oscillating robots have the potential for numerous applications, one notable benefit is as a collection device. Pandey believes that they could help address issues involving the collection of microplastics in oceans, which tend to remain at the water’s surface due to their small size.  

Most plastic collection devices create strong disturbances at the water surface and cause microparticles to mix in the water. These microplastics travel to other water bodies, causing more plastic pollution which harms plants and animals and inevitably ends up in our food chain. However, devices like the undulating robot operate near the water’s surface with minimal interference and could potentially provide a solution to this problem. 

“What’s great about this research is how interdisciplinary it is. Biologists may be interested in this, and it has several potential applications in engineering liquid flows at small scales, sensing and actuation of floating objects or even microplastics in water bodies,” Pandey says. “It will not only advance understanding of liquid transport near surfaces but lay the groundwork for future research as well.” 

National Society of Black Engineers at Syracuse University: Building a Better Future

Under the leadership of Brianna Gillfillian ‘24, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at Syracuse University has experienced a resurgence. By organizing interactive events to bolster participation, NSBE has rebuilt a community of aspiring engineers post-pandemic. It may come as a surprise that Gillfillian never planned on becoming president. However, when she saw the leadership struggle to keep the organization together, she knew she had to do something. 

“I saw ways we could impact numbers and participation,” Gilfillian says. “I wanted to be a part of the change that brought NSBE back to where they were before the pandemic. I thought I might as well give it a shot.” 

Founded in 1974 at Purdue University, NSBE is an organization dedicated to developing culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically and positively impact the community. The organization is open to all students and welcomes both engineering and non-engineering students. “Historically, the club was used to provide a space for Black engineers, who take up less than 4% of the industry,” Gillfillian says. “NSBE has been on a mission to increase the percentage of Black engineers over time.” 

As Gillfillian attended meetings during her freshman year, she felt a sense of belonging to the club. It provided a safe space where older engineering students supported and mentored her, guiding her on her engineering journey. She would eventually serve as the membership and mentorship chair in her sophomore year, and in her junior year, she became the president of the club, a position she still holds to this day. With a hardworking e-board, Gilfillian wanted to restore the University’s NSBE chapter back to its former glory.  

The pandemic impacted the club as they suffered from low participation, and Gillfillian knew the organization had to take action fast. She and the e-board organized interactive events such as NSBE Junior, a high school student outreach program aimed at inspiring young engineers to pursue STEM. NSBE Junior also provided volunteer opportunities for Syracuse students by allowing them to work with high schoolers, making it great for members passionate about teaching and working with the local youth. 

“NSBE also has weekly study sessions called ‘I-Study.’ It’s basically tutoring with club members where students can ask us for help in academic areas they may struggle in,” Gillfillian says. “We also have a mentorship program that pairs younger students with older students so they can have a point of contact as they navigate the college.”  

One of their biggest events, and also Gillfillian’s favorite, is the Black Excellence Gala, an event that commemorates student leaders and academic excellence. For the gala, they collaborate with the Black Honor Society and present awards to recognize the efforts of individuals within the student body. Students apply, get interviewed and the NSBE executive board votes on which student receives an award.  

“To spice things up, we also have a People’s Choice Award where people are allowed to nominate Black-owned businesses, Black organizations and Black letter Greek organizations for different awards to acknowledge businesses or organizations doing well outside of academia,” Gillfillian says. 

The student organization also participates in NSBE’s national and regional conferences, as well as AfroTech, the largest Black tech conference that attracts over 20,000 Black tech innovators for career and networking opportunities. However, a certain level of commitment to NSBE is required to attend these conferences. This is one way the leadership ensures that people who attend these conferences are genuinely involved with the group. 

“Every single student who had the opportunity to attend AfroTech’s conference last year was able to secure both full-time jobs and summer internships,” Gillfillian says. “It’s great for students to advance their careers and grow professionally.”  

Gillfillian is a highly involved college community member, holding four positions within student organizations and 10 leadership roles that are University-wide. Despite the busy schedule that comes with being a student organization president and a member of groups like the Kappa Lambda Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., she manages to balance her various roles and wouldn’t trade her role for anything else. Additionally, she greatly values the sense of community that the student organization provides. “I love the family-like structure. We’re a very tight-knit group and everyone is chill and close. We call ourselves NSBabes – it’s always a good time.”  

With NSBE Junior, the Black Excellence Gala, and AfroTech, among other events, the organization is thriving more than ever. Even as Gillfillian graduates from the University next year, she believes the club will continue to be a safe space that motivates future innovators.  

“NSBE is the best club to be. It’s great for ambitious young Black engineers and creates a lot of opportunities. People have gotten jobs, internships, made friends, developed their professional skills, and had a lot of fun while doing it.” 

Looking to join or partner with NSBE? Click here to get connected!

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Qinru Qiu Recognized as IEEE Fellow

Qinru Qiu

Electrical engineering and computer science professor, Qinru Qiu, has been recognized as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for her impactful contributions to the modeling and optimization of energy-efficient computing systems.  

IEEE is a global organization that is committed to advancing technology for the betterment of humanity. With over 409,000 members in more than 160 countries, less than 0.1% of voting members are chosen for elevation to this member grade each year.  

Qiu’s research interest focuses on improving the energy efficiency of computing, from runtime power and thermal management of computer systems, and energy harvesting real-time embedded systems, to her recent works in brain-inspired hardware and software for neuromorphic computing.  The goal of her research is to provide machine intelligence to today’s computing platforms to achieve autonomous resource management with energy and thermal awareness and explore emerging computing paradigms.  

“Professor Qiu has been leading the research community to seek solutions for highly energy-efficient machine intelligence through adopting biologically inspired models and processing mechanisms,” says nominator Diana Marculescu. “Her ground-breaking research has enabled a completely new computing paradigm, which leverages the unique property of different types of spike coding to replace the numerical calculation with simple logic operations, resulting in significant energy reduction.” 

“I am excited and thankful for the recognition and truly grateful for all the support that I have received,” says Qiu. “I look forward to continuing my work in developing and promoting techniques to improve the energy efficiency of emerging computing systems.” 

Celebrating Karen Davis’s Impact and Legacy  

Karen Davis

Karen Davis’s ’83, G’90 desire to create a welcoming environment for all has permeated every corner of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). Building the college’s career services from the ground up and becoming the Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence, her impact has been cemented into the college’s foundation. As she prepares to step down from her role, she leaves a lasting legacy that champions inclusion, community, and empowerment, inspiring hundreds of students to dream big and pursue their goals.  

“People ask me, ‘What do you do?’” Davis says. “I tell them ‘Break barriers and build bridges.’”   

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Davis loved the close, tight-knit community her neighborhood fostered, but wanted to see what was beyond her home borough. Her parents were rooted in their jobs and had no intentions of moving from the Bronx. “You did what you did, and you stayed where you were. That’s what my parents did. But I wanted to see what else was out there.” 

This desire to see the world led her to attend Syracuse University during her undergraduate years. While she attended the University, she also worked full-time to support herself. Davis later realized that this experience was how she would connect with other students with similar backgrounds in her future role. 

“There are students who come from where I come from. They are the first and only members of their family to pursue higher education. My experience allowed me to understand their mentality and when you get a sense of connection, these students can trust you.” 

When Davis completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at Syracuse University, she received a job at UTC Carrier Corporation. With a background in computer science and programming languages, she would start in IT but eventually transition into HR where she oversaw diversity, equity, inclusion, and recruiting. This paved the way for her future career at Syracuse University.  

After working at UTC for 15 years, Davis accepted the position of Director of Career Services at Syracuse and utilized her expertise from her previous work experience to build the program. She introduced the VMock resume platform to the University, expanded the career team by recruiting new staff, organized the first ECS career fair, and leveraged her network to provide students with job opportunities at companies like General Electric. 

“When I was in career services, I used to call myself a matchmaker,” Davis says. “I would find the talent and the opportunity to make a match.”  

Davis also assisted Senior Talent Acquisition Manager, Sharon Cole, on the CNY Works Program which aimed to provide inner-city youth with development skills to build future careers. During the summer, they had about 90 teens working in offices across campus, and they continued to lead this program for about 10 years. 

“I wanted them to gain real experience and skills which could lead to new opportunities,” Davis says. “That’s what being involved with the community is. We are an extension of the community.” 

Serving as Director of Career Services for 14 years, Davis would eventually become the Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence, where she also made a significant impact. Infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion into every aspect of the college, including education, research, and staffing, the Office of Inclusive Excellence also led student retention programs as well as training and education for faculty, staff and students. Davis also encouraged others to recognize that promoting inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. 

“It’s our collective responsibility to foster an inclusive culture. From admissions to marketing, we must ensure it’s everyone’s mission to consider the needs of all students.”  

One of Davis’s favorite aspects of her job has been the students, as she has been able to inspire and empower them to make a difference in their own lives and communities.  

“Karen played an instrumental role during my development at SU,” says Asia Terry ‘12. “She encouraged me to step forward, to come out of my comfort zone, and to reach higher than I thought I could. I’m so grateful to have met Karen and for her presence in my formative years.” 

“Karen was an important figure in my DEI journey since I was a freshman at Syracuse University,” says Shazif Shaikh ‘19. “She’s synonymous with warmth, compassion, kindness, and supportive in my world. She cares about the well-being and success of the people around her with actions taken to uplift them. I have been uplifted by Karen and have sought to do for others what she has done for me.”  

As Davis makes her exit from the University, she believes Career Services and the Office of Inclusive Excellence will continue what she started and foster an environment where students, faculty and staff feel welcome and heard.  

“It’s always been about impact. Students are the reason we’re here,” she says. “If you get the right message and it reaches the right people, it will grow. When you see it grow, that’s how you know that you’ve had a deep impact.” 

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Yuzhe Tang Receives Grant to Protect Ethereum Security

Yuzhe Tang

Yuzhe Tang, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and his research team have been awarded a grant by the Ethereum Foundation for research to advance the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem. This grant will support Tang and his Ph.D. students in designing, developing, and evaluating the security hardening code to protect the Ethereum network stack.

Ethereum is a network made up of several communities and toolsets that allow users to communicate or make transactions with digital money. Since the network is decentralized, users are in complete control of their data and what’s being shared, so they don’t need to give up any personal information – all users need to access Ethereum is an internet connection.

Denial of service security is critically important to the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem, and the research will explore ways to protect the Ethereum network from cyberattacks, involving systematic vulnerability discovery using applied formal methods. As cyber criminals attack networks like Ethereum and security concerns grow, Tang believes this research could have a lasting impact on the current landscape of cybersecurity and blockchain platforms.

“With this grant, we can help solve some of the most critical problems in the real world. We expect to continue developing code merged into Ethereum codebase,” Tang says. “I am most excited about making real-world impacts out of the research works from my group.”

Career Focused: Engineering and Computer Science Class of 2022 Reporting High Placement Rate

The starting salaries for graduates receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) has grown steadily for the last six years.

The average starting salary for the class of 2022 was $76,679. A total increase of $17,000 since 2016.

The placement rate for the class of 2022 was 93%. More than half of all graduates have started their careers and 33% are pursuing an advanced degree.

The ECS Career Services team provides students with support to reach their professional goals. They help students build their network with connections to industry leaders and alumni through information sessions, company tabling, career fairs, on-campus interviewing and more. Additional support through workshops, seminars, and drop-in advising ensures students have access to development opportunities that give them an edge in today’s job market.


Class of 2022 Top 25 Employers

  • Applied Materials
  • Boston Scientific
  • Brainlab
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Burns & McDonnell
  • Carrier
  • Deloitte
  • General Dynamics, Electric Boat
  • IBM
  • Kimley-Horn
  • L3Harris Technologies
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Meta
  • Morningstar, Inc.
  • National Grid Pfizer, Inc.
  • Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies Company (RTX)
  • Qualcomm
  • SRC, Inc
  • The Boeing Company
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Turner Construction Company
  • Weston & Sampson
  • Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
  • WSP

Class of 2022 Graduate Schools

  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Clarkson University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • SUNY Binghamton
  • SUNY Stony Brook
  • Syracuse University
  • University North Carolina, Wilmington
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Southern California

Data reflects information on 281 of 312 undergraduate degree recipients in 2022, representing a 90% knowledge rate.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Kevin Du Receives “Test of Time” Award from the Computer Security Applications Conference

Electrical engineering and computer science Professor Kevin Du was awarded the Test of Time award at the 2021 Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) for his paper “Privacy-Preserving Cooperative Statistical Analysis” that was originally published in 2001.

“This paper provided a new way to conduct joint computation while protecting data privacy. There were a lot of follow-ups on this approach,” said Du. “Many young researchers told me that they ‘grew up’ reading my papers in this field.”

This is the second time Du has won a Test of Time award. He previously won one in 2013 at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security for a paper titled “A Pairwise Pre-Distribution Scheme for Wireless Sensor Networks” he published with Professor Jing Deng, Professor Yunghsiang S. Han and Distinguished Professor Pramod Varshney in 2003.