We wish that we could be together at our annual celebration, but until that is possible, let's cheer each other on from around the state, the country, and the world.
Alumni Award Winners
Some of our happiest moments come from seeing the successes of our graduates as they make their way in the world. Each year we present awards to alumni of our programs in celebration of their career success, industry leadership, and continued engagement with the department, college, and university. We are announcing the recipients our next round of awards now, but we have asked the awardees to return to campus next year for the 2021 Awards Banquet to receive their awards in person.
Richard L. Gordon Distinguished Achievement Award in Mineral Economics and Energy Business and Finance
2020 Awardee: Dr. Linda K. Trocki (M.S. Geochemistry 1983, Ph.D. Mineral Economics 1986), retired Vice President for R&D at Bechtel Corporation
This award has been established to honor the memory of Dr. Richard Gordon, an energy economist and Penn State professor who served with distinction, great productivity, and professionalism, and it recognizes achievements and leadership that enhance the mineral economics and energy business professions.
Distinguished Achievement Award in Energy Engineering and Fuel Science
2020 Awardee: Dr. James D. Freihaut (Ph.D. Fuel Science 1980), Professor, Architectural Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University
This award was established to recognize our alumni for their leadership and professionalism in all matters connected with the energy industry.
Distinguished Achievement Award in Environmental Systems Engineering and Geo-Environmental Engineering
2020 Awardee: Ms. Kelly L. Hamilton (B.S. Geo-Environmental Engineering 1999), Environmental Manager at NRG Energy, Inc.
This award was established to recognize our alumni for their leadership and professionalism in all matters connected with the energy environmental and safety industries.
Robert Stefanko Distinguished Achievement Award in Mineral Engineering
2020 Awardee: Dr. Sukumar Bandopadhyay (M.S. 1979 and Ph.D. 1982 Mining Engineering), Director of Mining Analytics, International
This award was established in 1992 to honor the memory of Robert Stefanko (’48, ’57, ’61), a professor who served with distinction, great productivity, and professionalism and provided lasting benefits to his alma mater, and it recognizes achievements and leadership that enhance the mineral engineering profession.
C. Drew Stahl Distinguished Achievement Award in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering
2020 Awardee: Mr. Jonathan M. Benesch (B.S. Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering 1980), Retired Technical Advisor, ExxonMobil
This award was established in 1998 to recognize Penn State Petroleum and Natural Gas engineers who are acknowledged for their leadership and professionalism in all matters connected with the petroleum industry, as Dr. Stahl was during his illustrious career in industry and at Penn State.
Staff Award Winner
Each day in the department we rely on the outstanding efforts of the members of our staff to keep our gears turning. As a whole they are tireless, dedicated, and resilient. And even though every one them deserves our thanks, each year we select one staff member to acknowledge for exceptional work.
EME Outstanding Staff Award
2020 Awardee: Rachel Conaway, Alumni Relations and Stewardship Officer
Rachel has worked in the department long enough (almost fifteen years now) that she has gotten involved in many different projects and roles. She serves as our special events coordinator organizing activities large and small. She awards our scholarship and keeps in touch with our donors and friends. And she lends a hand with a multitude of other day-to-day projects that keep our department moving. Undoubtedly, you’ve received an email or two from her recently yourself. We thank Rachel for all that she does.
Student Award Winners
Our students are our pride and joy. They challenge us and inspire us every day. Following are the awards celebrating some of this year’s superlative work by EME students.
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards
These awards are presented to EME graduate students who were nominated by faculty, peers, and students from the classes they instruct in recognition of superior teaching assistance. We typically award up to four Outstanding TA Awards and one TA of the Year Award from the pool of nominated students each year based on the number of nominations received and the strength of the individual nomination statements.
2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Sidharth Agrawal, EME Ph.D. student, base option
Sid was nominated for his work in ENVSE 480, Environmental Systems Engineering Process Design, over the past two years.
2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Ziyan Li, EME Ph.D. student, base option
Ziyan was nominated for her work in ENVSE 408, Contaminant Hydrology, and PNG 451, Drilling Laboratory.
2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Jonathan Sant'Anna Garcez Nobrega, EME Ph.D. student, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering option
Jonathan was nominated for his work in PNG 430, Reservoir Modeling and PNG 492, Petroleum Capstone Design.
2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Yiming Zhang, EME Ph.D. student, base option
Yiming was nominated for his work in MNPR 301, Elements of Mineral Processing; MNPR 401, Mineral Process Engineering Design; and MNPR 413 Mineral Processing Laboratory.
2020 Teaching Assistant of the Year Award: Sheng Zhi, EME Ph.D. student, base option
Sheng received many nominations for his work in EME 303, Fluid Mechanics, and EGEE 411, Energy Science and Engineering Laboratory.
Undergraduate and Graduate Student Merit Awards
Student Merit Awards are presented to individuals who have been chosen by their program faculty members as our most talented and dedicated students based on their academic performance, industry engagement, or leadership qualities. These students will receive an imprinted Nittany Lion statue as soon as the award manufacturers are able to re-open and produce the statues for us to mail to them.
Chosen by the faculty in Energy Business and Finance:
Junior Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Emanuel Aldebot
Senior Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Brady Luffy
Graduate Merit Award winner in the Energy Management and Policy option: Cody B. Hohl
Chosen by the faculty in Energy Engineering:
Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Rawan Abu-Zaineh
Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Nisha R. Labroo
Graduate Merit Award winner: Ziyan Li
Chosen by the faculty in Environmental Systems Engineering:
Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Alex Kubala
Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Jiawei Liu
Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Xiaoqing Ye
Chosen by the faculty in Mining Engineering:
Junior Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Harmonie K. Ngamuyeka
Senior Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Kiazoa M. Joao
Graduate Merit Award winner in the Mining and Mineral Process Engineering option: Behzad Vaziri Hassas
Chosen by the faculty in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering:
Junior Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Garrett Moyer
Senior Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Timothy M. Lang
Senior Undergraduate Merit Award winner: Saeed A.A. Aloqili
Graduate Merit Award winner in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering option: Fengyuan Zhang
The Old Timers Club Award
2020 Awardee: Brandon A. Matejik, Mining Engineering senior
Each year the Old Timers Club presents their Watchman Award to an outstanding senior in the Mining Engineering program.
The Careers in Coal (Ci-Coal) Award
2020 Awardee: Jose Quiala, Mining Engineering senior
Each year the Careers in Coal society presents a miners flame safety lamp to an outstanding senior in the Mining Engineering program.
TO THOSE WHO ARE GRADUATING:
It has been a privilege for the department’s faculty and staff to play a role in your Penn State education. We are confident that you will have successful professional careers and know that you will uphold the tradition of excellence established by your predecessors. You are about to join a loyal and supportive alumni group, and we hope that you will maintain your ties with the department, the college, and Penn State so that we can share in the joy that will accompany your achievements.
AND A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR ALUMNI, DONORS, AND FRIENDS:
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our alumni and friends for supporting Penn State and the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. Without such support we would not be able to recognize and reward outstanding performance by the faculty, staff, and students. In difficult times like these, we rely on the funding and opportunities that you provide to our students more than ever.
WE ARE… proud, and grateful, and thankful for each and everyone one of our community members.