2021-22 Outstanding Alumnus and Student Awards of Excellence

Event Date: February 21, 2022
It is with great pleasure to present our 2021 recipient of the Engineering Education Outstanding Alumni Award, Umesh Patel, PhD, a graduate of the former Division of Interdisciplinary Engineering (now part of the School of Engineering Education).

Related: Pre-recorded introduction shared at the event (YouTube)

The Engineering Education Outstanding Alumni Award is presented to alumni/ae who have achieved singular accomplishments in their fields, whose successful careers are role models for our students, and whose achievements set an example for all the School’s alumni. In future years, the award will recognize alumni who have interdisciplinary engineering degrees, multidisciplinary engineering degrees, or engineering education doctoral degrees, reflecting all academic degrees the School offers.

Our 2021 honoree, Umesh Patel, is such an inspiration. He has distinguished himself as an innovative global leader in the medical device and regenerative medicine industry. In doing so, he has displayed the ingenuity and pursuit of excellence that epitomizes the Purdue engineer.

Meet Our Honoree

Umesh Patel, PhD

1986 Interdisciplinary Engineering, Genetic Engineering
2021 IDE Outstanding Alumni Award

As president of Cook Biotech Incorporated, Umesh provides executive leadership and strategic direction to the organization that has global talent spanning the areas of research, development, marketing, regulatory and manufacturing in the field of regenerative medicine. Cook Biotech is a medical products company that commercializes products that are used to repair and heal tissue defects. These products have been used in treatments for more than 6 million patients worldwide.

Umesh joined Cook Biotech in 1995 as its second employee and was responsible for operations and the development of manufacturing processes to produce extracellular matrix (ECM) medical devices. Prior to becoming president of Cook Biotech, Umesh also served as vice president of product development and engineering.

Mike Hiles and Umesh Patel
Photo Credit - Cook Biotech: Michael Hiles and Umesh Patel, circa 1995 with the first piece of SIS produced at Cook Biotech

Umesh holds more than 50 U.S. patents and is author of more than 14 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as a guest faculty lecturer on biomedical engineering topics and leadership at several universities. He serves on several boards and committees including Purdue’s Weldon School of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, Purdue Foundry Investment Fund, Indiana Center for Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) External Advisory Committee, and Greater Lafayette Commerce. He is also a mentor for the MatchBOX Coworking Studio Spark program for minority-owned businesses.

As a student and post-doc, Umesh conducted research at Purdue University’s Biomedical Engineering Center in the areas of cardiac output, impedance cardiography, hyperthermia, telemedicine, and ECM materials. Umesh earned a Doctorate degree in industrial engineering at Purdue University. His Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary engineering are also from Purdue University.

Related: June 2, 2022 - Chance encounter reveals Purdue engineers’ remarkable connection

Student Awards of Excellence

Outstanding Senior Achievement

Ashley Grooms, MDE Acoustical Engineering, Mathematics Minor

Logan Noster, MDE Visual Design Engineering, Product Lifecycle Management Minor

Chloe Otis, MDE Visual Design Engineering, Product Lifecycle Management Minor

Outstanding Junior Achievement

Rachel Gander, MDE Engineering Management, Sustainable Engineering and Organizational Leadership Minors

Ziming (Mason) Zhao, IDES Engineering Science Studies and Computer Science (Double Major), Mathematics Minor

Outstanding Sophomore Achievement

Saya Ueki, MDE Visual Design Engineering, Product Lifecycle Management Minor, Collaborative Leadership Certificate

Outstanding Service Awards

Shepherd Dick, MDE Theatre Engineering, Theatre Design and Production and Philosophy Minors

Claudia Johnson, IDES Engineering Science Studies, Medical Humanities Certificate

Donald A. Loren Scholarship

Ashley Grooms, MDE Acoustical Engineering, Mathematics Minor

Ryan Zihenni, MDE Engineering Management, Business Economics Minor

IDE 301 Golden Globe Winners

Aliyah Ahmad and Elisabeth Casetti

Last Updated: June 2, 2022