October 12, 2023

Purdue ECE honors 2023 Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineers

The OECE award was established by Purdue ECE in 1992 to honor the professional contributions of top graduates, and to thank them for the recognition their achievements bring to both Purdue and to the School.
Group photos of honorees at the 2023 OECE awards. They are standing in front of the Purdue ECE branded back drop. From left: Matt Folk, Barrett Robinson, Nic Radford, Arijit Raychowdhury, Sohail Naqvi, Kristen Daihes, Shawn Williams, and ECE alumni Dave Beering.
From left: Matthew D. Folk, Barrett Robinson, Nicolaus Radford, Arijit Raychowdury, Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Kristen Daihes, Shawn D. Williams, and ECE alumni David Beering. (Purdue University photo/Christine Petkov)

The Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineer honored six alumni during the 31st annual Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer (OECE) awards ceremony, including a posthumous recognition for the first woman to graduate from Purdue ECE. The OECE award was established by Purdue ECE in 1992 to honor the professional contributions of top graduates, and to thank them for the recognition their achievements bring to both Purdue and to the School.

The 2023 Class of OECEs includes:

Kristen Daihes (BSEE ’96) – Kristen Daihes is the Global Vice President of Supply Chain for the Mars Wrigley business unit within Mars. is leading an investment program to digitize and transform the supply chain within Mars. 

Matthew D. Folk (BSEE ’91) – Matt Folk is President and CEO of the Purdue for Life Foundation, and serves as Vice President of University Development and Alumni Engagement, reporting directly to the Purdue president. Previously, he was President and CEO of Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC), a large sales and marketing firm, representing many semiconductor and electromechanical components.

Dr S. Sohail H. Naqvi (BSEE ’84, MSEE ’86, PhD EE ’88) - Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi is the CEO of Knowledge Streams, which provides streamlined opportunities for youth to be gainfully employed in critical economic sectors. Before that, he was the founding Rector of the University of Central Asia and served as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), spearheading the institution's transition into the top-ranked research university in Pakistan.

Nicolaus Radford (BSEE ’00, MSECE ’12) - Nicolaus Radford is the Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Nauticus Robotics, Inc., which is on a mission to become the most impactful ocean robotics company through the deployment of autonomous maritime systems. Previously, Radford spent 14 years at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and led many robotics efforts focused on future spaceflight missions and experimentation on the International Space Station.

Arijit Raychowdhury (PhD ECE ’07) - Arijit Raychowdhury is the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Georgia Tech. His significant contributions to the semiconductor industry include the design of the world’s first adaptive echo-cancellation network for integrated DSLs at Texas Instruments, and several foundational technologies in memory and logic design at Intel that have been widely used in the industry. 

Josephine Webb (BSEE ’40) - Josephine Webb earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1940, she was the first woman to do so. She is considered a pioneer by the Society of Women Engineers, where she holds the status of Fellow. Webb obtained patents for oil circuit breaker contact design, known colloquially as "switchgear," an eighteen-inch, full newspaper-size fax machine with exceptional resolution for that time 1946). Born June 21st, 1918, in Niagara Falls, New York, Mrs. Webb passed away on May 4, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. She was 98.

Also recognized at the OECE awards ceremony were Purdue ECE faculty and staff award winners, including:

The ECEGSA Outstanding Mentor Award was presented to Dallas Morisette, Research Assistant Professor in ECE. This honor recognizes a faculty member who does an outstanding job of mentoring their MS and Ph.D. students.

The Motorola Teaching Award was presented to Milind Kulkarni, Interim Head and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The recipient is the faculty member receiving the highest number of votes from senior ECE students.

The Wilfred "Duke" Hesselberth Award for Teaching Excellence was presented to Maryam Al Othman and Milind Kulkarni. The award recognizes teaching excellence. Winners are determined based upon course/instructor evaluations during the previous four semesters.

The 2023 Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Teacher Award was presented to professors David Janes and Thomas Roth. The annual award honors a junior faculty member(s) who has excelled in teaching and inspiring students in the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

Lynn Hegewald, Senior Master's Program Manager for Purdue ECE, was the recipient of the inaugural ECE Staff Award of Excellence. The award was established to recognize, encourage, and promote exceptional staff contributions to the School.

Photos from the event are in our Flickr album.