April 19, 2024

Purdue ECE honors outstanding students at 2024 Undergrad Excellence Awards

These students help with classes as undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs), are integral parts of research groups, embark on incredible design projects, and perform all manner of service to the department through student societies and other volunteer groups.
4 students pose for a photo with Professor Thottethodi. They are standing in front of the ECE branded step and repeat.
Members of the HE-NES (Hardware-Emulated NES) team receive their Senior Design Award from ECE’s Associate Head of Teaching and Learning, Mithuna S. Thottethodi (far left) Team members are (l to r): Eric Rodenkirch, Antonio Butera, Grant Daniel, and Aidan Prendergast

Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is recognizing the efforts of undergraduate students who help out in all facets of departmental life, with annual ECE Undergrad Excellence Awards. These students help with classes as undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs), are integral parts of research groups, embark on incredible design projects, and perform all manner of service to the department through student societies and other volunteer groups.

Dave & Marsha Meyer Undergraduate Teaching Awards

UTAs are a vital component of the teaching mission at Purdue. ECE has roughly 300 undergraduates who help out in classes as teaching assistants. They hold office hours, help design and grade assignments, and generally keep our classes running smoothly. The Dave & Marsha Meyer Undergraduate Teaching Awards recognize the top UTAs each semester who demonstrate exemplary performance and go above and beyond in their pursuit of excellence.

Sreevickrant "Vickrant" Sreekanth: For taking a lead role as UTA for ECE 46100 in redesigning and porting the project autograder from Java to Python.

Zoe Drechsler: For taking on time-sensitive responsibilities above and beyond the UTA role in ECE 20001.

Arpita Rattan: For leadership in the TA training program and for mentoring junior UTAs in ECE 20007.

Yashar Nishaburi: For helping students above and beyond the regular office hours, and for being among the most appreciated UTAs as measured in the performance surveys.

Mihir Bhandarkar: For his proactive initiative in motivating students to take on mini-projects in ECE 36200 and for providing design review support to the project teams.

Justin Hatter: For his exceptional dedication in answering student questions on Piazza, his proactive involvement in lecture assignments, and his excellent execution of lab TA responsibilities.

UTA Honorable Mentions

Jacob Michael Chappell: For his dedication to helping students in ECE 33700 and contributing to the course development effort to improve the students' ASIC design experience.

Elizabeth Grace Riegle: For her initiative in developing team quizzes as part of ECE 20001 active learning exercises and for her effort above and beyond the normal UTA responsibilities.

Undergraduate Research Awards

Purdue ECE runs the largest research program of any School at Purdue, and undergraduates play key roles in our research agenda. These students design and run experiments, write papers, present results, and support our top 10-nationwide program. The Undergraduate Research Awards recognize the top undergraduate researchers, as measured by drive and accomplishment.

Adam Piaseczny: For his work on evaluating the impact of adversarial node placement in decentralized federated learning networks

Kyle Robinson: For his work on preventing supply chain vulnerabilities in Java.

URA Honorable Mentions

Shubham Saluja Kumar Agarwal: For his work on the design of a high precision frequency counter as part of a battery sensing system.

Zachary Au: For his work towards enabling simulation of large-scale multi-robot teams in dynamic missions and environments. 

Undergraduate Service Award

Through organizations such as the ECE Student Society and HKN, Purdue undergraduates provide camaraderie, advice, tutoring, mentoring, and coffee and donuts to the ECE community. The Undergraduate Service Award recognizes students who have performed extraordinary service to the School over the year.

Aidan Prendergast: For his years of service to ECE by serving as an ECE Ambassador, Undergraduate TA for ECE 33700 and the STARS summer program, and for always doing far more than is ever expected.

Senior Design Awards

Senior Design is a required capstone experience which allows students to apply the knowledge they have gained from their ECE courses to a semester or year-long project. Through this project, students gain hands-on experience, enhance their written and oral technical communication skills, and develop their team work abilities. The Senior Design Awards recognize teams that achieved excellence with their projects.

Atlas Sentinel: Ben Taylor, Adi Bhatnagar, Faaiz Memon, and Ali Shah

For their design and implementation of a single-properller drone which substitutes expensive mechanical components with sophisticated control algorithms.

Magnetohydrodynamic Watercraft: Joshua Hanback, Gergo Petruska, Michael Ferconio, and Lance Li

For their design and implementation of a remote-controlled cargo ship with an innovative magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion system.

Smart Air Hockey Table: Alan A. Chung Ma, William V. Dobert, Trevor A. Moorman, and Benjamin C. Owen

For their design of a smart air hockey table with a matrix of RGB LEDs under the playing surface that react to the position of the puck and pushers.

Hardware Emulated NES: Antonio P. Butera. Grant A. Daniel, Aidan Prendergast, and Eric Rodenkirch

For their design and implementation of a FPGA-based hardware emulation of the original NES platform, released by Nintendo to US markets in 1985. 

Software: Pranav Chintareddy, Prateek Jannu, and Brock Jacob Holman

For their design and implementation of a single-shot (low cost) AI-based image generation service

Photos from the 2024 Undergrad Excellence Awards can be found here.