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More than 550 New Engineering Degrees Awarded

Duke University awarded degrees to more than 550 undergraduate and graduate engineering students this spring in ceremonies that began with university-wide ceremonies at Wallace Wade Stadium and Pratt School of Engineering-specific sites at Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke Chapel.

Pratt Dean Tom Katsouleas bestowed Bachelor of Science in Engineering diplomas to 264 students. During later ceremonies, he also awarded diplomas to 135 Master of Engineering Management students. In addition, 86 Masters of Science and 66 Doctor of Philosophy degrees were awarded.

“Those of you who have used your engineering skills to bring water to the thirsty in Uganda, to invent and to build devices for the disabled here in North Carolina, or to connect school children to schools with a bridge in Honduras – you know from experience why the world needs more engineers,” Katsouleas said.

“Because seven billion dreams around the planet need doing!  By choosing this path, you have accepted the challenge.  Congratulations on completing the most rigorous course of study at Duke University.  You are Duke engineers!”

He went on to tell undergraduates, “Now that you have your degree in electrical engineering or mechanical or civil or biomedical engineering, let me suggest that you NOT tell people that is what kind of engineer you are.  If someone asks you what kind of engineer you are, tell them you are the kind that makes the world more sustainable, tell them you are the kind of engineer that makes people healthier, the kind that makes the world more secure, the kind that makes the world more joyful.  Tell them that's what engineers do.”

To the graduate students, Katsouleas said:

“The world is desperate for innovative approaches to a host of seemingly unsolvable problems. No matter your expertise, you are the future. The world needs you to design systems solutions to protect nuclear plants from earthquakes and tsunamis, to prevent the catastrophic results of tornadoes and floods, and to prevent deep-sea oil platforms from blowing out.

“The world needs you to form new business ventures with novel approaches to treating disease or remediating environmental toxins,” he continued. “The world needs you to solve the seemingly impossible task of creating a green and sustainable world while reducing man’s harmful impact on nature and dependence on fossil fuels. The world needs you in academia ensure a long line of well-prepared engineers.

The list is endless, so take your pick.”

Overall, Duke awarded degrees to about 1,582 undergraduates and 1,995 graduate and professional students. An additional 944 students who graduated in September or December 2010 were also invited to participate. Among those honored were the first 23 students to receive medical degrees from the Duke-NUS medical school in Singapore, which was established in 2005.

"Do not be afraid to fail," John Chambers, the chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, told the graduates in the commencement address. Chambers studied engineering at Duke for one year in 1967 before transferring to West Virginia University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in business and a law degree. "Have the courage to take risks."

Chambers said a great education, proficiency with the Internet and social media such as Facebook are driving forces in the world today. Describing the lessons he has learned within his company and by working with world leaders, Chambers urged the graduates to listen carefully, learn constantly, embrace change and help others.

Pratt graduates received special prizes or awards:

The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award

(Presented annually by the Engineering Student Government to the members of the graduating class of the School who have achieved the highest scholastic average in all subjects, and who have shown diligence in pursuit of an engineering education. The award was initiated to honor the spirit of academic excellence and professional diligence demonstrated by the late Dean Walter J. Seeley.)
Harold Au
Nicholas Brian Bottenus
Aaron Noel Lam

The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award

(Presented in recognition of Meier’s leader ship in establishing the North Carolina Gamma Chapter in 1948, and his continuous service until 1975 as chapter advisor. This award is given annually to the graduating Tau Beta Pi members who symbolized best the distinguished scholarship and exemplary character required for membership.
Justin Mark Haseltine
Niruban Maheswaranathan

The Pratt School of Engineering Student Service Award

(Established in 1978, this award is given to graduating seniors who, by contributions of time, effort, and spirit, have significantly benefited the community of the School of Engineering.
Trisha Kathryn Lowe
Maura Hannan Mulroy

The da Vinci Award

(Presented to the Biomedical Engineering students with the most outstanding academic records as determined by a faculty committee.)
Nicholas Brian Bottenus
Aaron Noel Lam

Helmholtz Award

(Given to a graduating senior who presents the best research project as judged by the departmental faculty. The award commemorates the work of Hermann von Helmholtz in laying the foundation of Biomedical Engineering.)
Steven Joseph Bolger

Theo C. Pilkington Memorial Award

(Established in 1993 by the Whitaker Foundation as an endowment award in memory of  Theo C. Pilkington, founding chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke. The recipient is selected at the end of the junior year and the award is given in recognition of outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.)
Kathleen C Apibunyopas

ASCE Outstanding Senior Prize

(Presented annually by the North Carolina Section of ASCE to a graduating civil engineering senior, or seniors, in recognition of an exceptional, positive impact on the student chapter of ASCE and scholastic record.)
Trisha Kathryn Lowe
Anna Katherine Sleeter

William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award

(Established in 1979, this award is presented annually to seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence, interest, and enthusiasm in the study of environmental engineering.
Trisha Kathryn Lowe
Andrew Joseph Wood

Aubrey E. Palmer Award

(Established in 1980, this award is presented annually to a civil engineering senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. Selection is made by the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.)
Andrew Joseph Wood

Eric I. Pas Award

(This award was established in 1998 in memory of Dr. Eric Pas, former Director of Undergraduate Studies in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and is presented to graduating civil engineering seniors judged by the faculty to have conducted the most outstanding independent study project.)
Andrew Joseph Harris
Matthew Marsh Wander

David Randall Fuller Prize for Achievement in Electrical and Computer Engineering

(Presented annually to the graduating senior who has shown the most improvement in academic performance over the first three years.)
Ralph Nathan

George Sherrerd III Memorial Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering

(Awarded annually to the senior in electrical and computer engineering who, in the opinion of the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty, has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects and simultaneously has rendered significant service to the school of engineering and the university at large. The award was established in 1958 by the parents of George Sherrerd III, a graduate of the Class of 1955, to recognize outstanding undergraduate scholarship.
Corinne Elizabeth Horn

Charles Ernest Seager Memorial Award

(Recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate research projects and presentations as judged by the faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering as part of the Graduation with Distinction presentation session. The award was established in 1958 by the widow and friends of Charles Ernest Seager, a graduate of the Class of 1955.)
Sabrina Grace Liao
Eric Niles
Liberty Thorne

Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award

(Established in 1997 by former students and colleagues of Charles Vail, a graduate of the class of 1937, professor from 1939-1967, and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1956-1964, recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Corinne Elizabeth Horn

Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award

(In memory of T.C. Heyward, Sr. this award is presented annually by Pi Tau Sigma to the outstanding seniors in Mechanical Engineering.. Selection is based on academic excellence, engineering ability, and leadership, and is made by a committee of the engineering faculty.
Harold Au
Laura Katherine Manson
Daniel Li-En Wong

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Faculty Award

(Presented annually in recognition of academic excellence to the graduating mechanical engineering senior who has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement as determined by the faculty.
Jared Alexander Dunnmon

Students Graduating With Departmental Distinction Awards

Biomedical Engineering

Zachary Mitchell Abzug, Pamela Anderson, Steven Joseph Bolger, Nicholas Brian Bottenus, Anna Mary Brown, Joshua Youngil Choi, Yasser Jamal El-Abd, Zhichao Han, Nabila Haque, Audry Kang, Meng Kang, Aaron Noel Lam, Francesco LaRocca, Calvin Lee, Samantha Lynn Lipman, Niruban Maheswaranathan, Maura Hannan Mulroy, Nicholas Ting Xun Ong, Alessondra Tyler Speidel, Sonia Suda, Swetha Jaya Sundar, Michele Louise Torosis,  Patrick Kelvin Wang, and Shengnan Xiang.

Civil Engineering

Andrew Joseph Harris and Matthew Marsh Wander.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Hon Lung Chu, Corinne Elizabeth Horn, Gyushik Jang, Sabrina Grace Liao, Ralph Nathan, Tanmay Kuppili Prakash, Eunsu Ryu, Karthik Iyengar Seetharam, Shih-kai Shen, and Eric Niles Liberty Thorne.

Mechanical Engineering

Samuel Tucker Browne, Adam Wilford Caccavale, Jared Alexander Dunnmon,  Lauren Alexandra Kottis, Jeffrey Steven Kreutter, Shuojie Li, Laura Katherine Manson, Eng Seng Ng, and Kristina Teresa Rotolo.