Current Students
Undergraduate Student Awards
Hilliard Awards for Seniors

In 2007, the department created awards in honor of Professor John Hilliard that recognize outstanding achievements by our undergraduate students.

These awards are presented to graduating seniors in two categories: 

  • Undergraduate Research and Design
  • Leadership, Scholarship and Service


Undergraduate Research and Design

Theo Gao, for his project “Graphene-Nitrocelluose Inks for Printed Electronics” Faculty Advisor: Mark Hersam.
Theo plans to enter the Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford in fall 2016.

Undergraduate Leadership, Scholarship and Service

Norman Luu served as on the board (as secretary) of the Material Advantage Chapter for two years.  He has been an active participant in many outreach activities, acting as liaison between Material Advantage and the Materials Research Center, helping to recruit volunteers and coordinate events, as well as running demos.  He serves as an advocate to younger students of science and engineering careers at-large and Materials Science and Engineering in particular.  He also devotes time to helping his (former) high school debate team.  An outstanding researcher, he worked with the Hersam group on the development of graphene-functionalized cathode and anode materials for lithium ion battery applications.  He is completing a BS/MS at NU and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in sustainability and energy-related materials science research.


Undergraduate Research and Design

Leanne Friedrich, for her project “Microstructural and Compositional Control in Chiton Ocelli Lenses” Faculty Advisor: Derk Joester
Leanne was also awarded the 2015 Gotaas Award for her project.

Undergraduate Leadership, Scholarship and Service

Ryan DeBlock served as President and an executive board member of the Material Advantage Chapter, as well as participating as an active member of the MatSci club and SPLASH!NU outreach activities. He also served as a Career Ambassador for Northwestern Career Advancement.  As a co-op student, he completed internships at Baxter Healthcare, General Electric and NASA.  At NASA he worked on a project related to his senior thesis with Prof. Katherine Faber on molten calcium-­‐magnesium-­‐aluminosilicate (CMAS) engine deposits, and their influence on protective ceramic coatings for power generation applications.
Ryan was also awarded the 2015 Walter P. Murphy Co-Op Student of the Year Award.

Past awardees