Doctoral Distinctions

Two Purdue engineering students won the Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation doctoral dissertation award, which was established to encourage the development of promising graduate researchers in engineering.

Tengfei Zhang, of Jiangxi, China, and Arijit Raychowdhury, of Calcutta, India, were selected for the monetary prize. The prize money is intended as co-funding for the students' advanced studies and/or research, says Jay P. Gore, the Vincent P. Reilly Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Zhang's dissertation, titled "Detection and Mitigation of Contaminant Transport in Commercial Aircraft Cabins," is sponsored by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to improve airliner cabin security and environment. The research aims to develop defense technologies that protect passengers and crew on airplanes by detecting and mitigating possible air contamination. The core of the dissertation is to develop an inverse model that can tell when, where, and how chemical or biological agents have been released by terrorists.

Raychowdhury's research centers on the development of circuit and architectural techniques for nanotechnology and their implications for the high-performance and low-power computational needs of the future.

The Chorafas Foundation was created in 1992, and prizes are awarded to students at more than 20 universities around the world for exceptional doctoral research projects and to help stimulate research among young doctoral candidates. Candidates must be planning to graduate between May 2007 and August 2008. Their research should be in the advanced stages, according to the foundation's rules.

Dimitris N. Chorafas is an internationally recognized consultant who has advised financial institutions and industrial corporations on strategic planning, risk management, computer and communication systems, and internal controls since 1961.

The College of Engineering recognized nine other students with cash prizes and certificates for their dissertation proposals selected from nominations for the Chorafas competition. Shown here at the presentation: Back row: Nathaniel Pettis (Electrical and Computer Engineering); Yu-Sung Wu (Electrical and Computer Engineering); Jay Gore, then-associate dean for research and entrepreneurship; James C. Sisco (Top Dissertation Award recipient, Aeronautics and Astronautics); SilasLeavesley (Biomedical Engineering); Front row: Alok Joshi (Mechanical Engineering); Arijit Raychowdhury (Chorafas Award winner, Electrical and Computer Engineering); Tengfei Zhang (Chorafas Award winner, Mechanical Engineering); and Watcharapol Chayaprasert (Agricultural and Biological Engineering). Awardees not shown: Baratunde Cola (Mechanical Engineering); Jung Eun Oh (Civil Engineering); and Mahidhar Rayasam (Mechanical Engineering).

—Clyde Hughes