2022 ECE Annual Award Winners

Nine students and faculty were recognized during the annual department ceremony

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northwestern Engineering recognized nine students and faculty during its annual department awards ceremony on May 31.

“It is always a pleasure to celebrate the accomplishments of our outstanding students and faculty,” said Randall Berry, John A. Dever Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering.


Trace Landreth received the outstanding graduating electrical engineering senior award. A member of the lab of Hooman Mohseni, AT&T Professor of Information Technology and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northwestern Engineering, Landreth’s research interests include optical interrogation techniques and photonic signal processing.

Jimmy Ruan received the outstanding graduating computer engineering senior award. Ruan is a graduate of the Genesys Works Chicago program.

PhD student Jun Hee Lee earned the best teaching assistant (TA) award. He is a member of the Center for Quantum Devices at Northwestern University, directed by Manijeh Razeghi, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northwestern Engineering. He has served as TA for the ELEC_ENG 223: Fundamentals of Solid State Engineering course and the ELEC_ENG 388: Nanotechnology course, helping to ensure that labs ran smoothly.

Simone Bianconi (PhD ’21) received the best electrical engineering PhD thesis award for “High-Sensitivity Infrared Phototransistors Based on Low-Dimensional Charge Confinement.” His research led to 11 publications in major scientific journals. He is currently a Microdevices Laboratory Postdoctoral Fellow at the NASA/California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bianconi was advised by Mohseni.

Zhilu Wang received the best computer engineering PhD thesis award for “Cross-Layer Design and Adaptation of Safety-Critical Cyber-Physical Systems.” Wang is advised by Qi Zhu, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and (by courtesy) computer science at Northwestern Engineering. Wang’s research focuses on real-time system synthesis under the weakly-hard paradigm and cross-layer co-design of real-time systems. Wang and Zhu won the Best Paper Award at the 2022 Design, Automation, and Test in Europe Conference.

Alan Sahakian, professor of electrical and computer engineering and (by courtesy) biomedical engineering and senior adviser to the dean at Northwestern Engineering, earned the best teacher award for his instruction of the ELEC_ENG 395, 495: Cardiovascular Instrumentation course. Student nominations highlighted his patience and attentiveness.

Winners of external awards were also recognized during the ceremony:

Thomas Douglas was awarded the 2022 Barry Goldwater Scholarship.

Nathaniel Coirier and Alexandra Day were both awarded the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.

Trace Landreth
Jimmy Ruan (l) and Randy Berry (r)
Jun Hee Lee (l) and Randy Berry (r)
Simone Bianconi
Randy Berry (l), Zhilu Wang (c), and Qi Zhu (r)
Alan Sahakian
Thomas Douglas
Nathaniel Coirier
Alexandra Day

McCormick News Article