Carnegie Mellon University

Collage of graduate students who won commencement awards

May 26, 2021

Congratulations to Our Graduate Student CEE Commencement Award Winners

Congratulations to Our Graduate Student CEE Commencement Award Winners

Paul P. Christiano Distinguished Service Award

Tania Lopez Cantu has served the CEE community as the president of the EWRI student chapter. Additionally, she has served as a mentor, providing guidance in developing technical skills and non-technical/professional development skills to new PhD students. 

Vasikan Vijayashanthar was recognized for his service on the CEE DEI committee where he led efforts for the CEE Spotlight series and has been generous with his time as a student ambassador for various DEI activities.

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

TA Team 12-703: Janel Chua, Kevin Logrande, and Kiana Naghib Zadeh provided a great deal of support to students during the hybrid format of the academic term. The team afforded flexibility to accommodate students in vastly different time zones. The team also developed coding sessions that benefitted the students by providing hands-on problem-solving experience and increasing their confidence in coding.

Marissa Webber’s role as a TA for 12-200 demonstrated her skill in developing materials for course projects as well as providing hands-on guidance for students. Her experience and background in environmental engineering was especially valuable in creating novel environmental projects for the course.  In a challenging semester, she provided exemplary support and service to students as well as the other TAs and faculty. 

Mao Yisheng Outstanding Dissertation Award

Yuchuan Lai’s dissertation, Use of Historical Data to Assess and Forecast Regional Climate Change and Implications for Engineering Applications, makes an important contribution to the use of data and models from climate science for application in civil and environmental engineering. His research looked to improve the use of city-level temperature and precipitation climate information in civil and environmental engineering by assessing historical regional changes, developing data-driven forecasting techniques based on historical records, and applying climate projections from an engineering perspective. As a result of his research, Lai is first author on six papers and has presented his research at several conferences.