Ugonna Ohiri Named 2016 Julian Abele Student of the Year

Ugonna Ohiri, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Nan Jokerst and Chris Dwyer and president of the Engineering Graduate Student Council, has been named this year’s Abele Student of the Year for the Pratt School of Engineering. The award will be presented on stage at the Julian Abele Awards Ceremony on April 16th, 2016, at the Treyburn Country Club.

The award is sponsored by the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, The Black Student Alliance and the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. It is given to one student of a diverse background from each of the graduate and professional schools at Duke each year who has excelled through academic achievement, community service and student organization involvement. Award winners also embrace diversity through learning and service to the community and are not only passionate about self-development, but also dedicated to the growth of their peers.

“We were very pleased to nominate Ugonna for the Abele award in recognition of his many contributions to Duke and the Pratt School of Engineering,” said George Truskey, interim dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. “All of us here at Pratt are proud to congratulate him on this outstanding achievement.”

Ohiri’s research focuses on using thin-film photodetectors and low-power integrated circuits to design a molecular-scale network on-chip. If successful, these networks will lead to the design of cheaper yet smaller and faster microchips.

In addition to being the president of the Engineering Graduate Student Council, Ohiri is involved in the Bouchet Society and the Black Graduate Professional Association. He is also a recruiter for the National Society of Black Engineers, which goes to regional and national conferences to recruit students to intern or to go into graduate school at Duke.

“Receiving the Abele award is a tremendous honor,” said Ohiri. “I am even more excited to complete my final EGSC term with a bang!”