Bioengineering Celebrates Undergraduate Excellence

The A. James Clark School of Engineering held their annual Undergraduate Honors and Awards ceremony on April 29th. This year, 9 students from the Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BIOE) were honored with departmental and college awards.

This year's event was held in the Stamp Student Union, where a total of 79 undergraduates received an award from Maryland Engineering to showcase their dedication to excellence in college. Amongst them, five students were recognized with Dean’s Awards, including one bioengineering undergraduate.


Hannah Lee
A. James Clark School of Engineering International Leader Award
Women in Engineering Mentorship Award

Hannah, a senior majoring in bioengineering with a minor in sustainability studies, has made significant contributions to global engineering activities. She is an alumna of the Women in Engineering Flexus Living and Learning Program and QUEST Honors Program. Her leadership roles in various organizations, She is actively engaged in various organizations, including Clark Ambassadors, Maryland Images, Alpha Omega Epsilon, and the Women in Engineering Sheila Rohra WIE Connect Peer Mentoring Program showcasing her dedication to empowering future engineers. After graduation, Hannah will embark on a career in Dallas, TX, where she will apply her skills in biodiagnostics systems at Abbott.


Smriti Thomas
Outstanding Engineering Co-op/Intern Award

Smriti Thomas is a senior bioengineering student who took on an internship at the Washington, DC-based US Naval Research Laboratory. Smriti's performance goes beyond just being excellent as she created a new standard for NRL interns. Her initiative and proactivity is showcased as in just a few sessions, she demonstrated her remarkable technical proficiency and ability to understand the intricate HPLC apparatus. Smriti also takes responsibility for her work, troubleshoots autonomously, anticipates needs, and does more than just follow directions. While her self-directed approach frees up team members for other crucial responsibilities, her careful preparation of samples and buffers guarantees seamless operation. She is entrusted with handling intricate procedures that call on her expertise, sound judgment, and multitasking skills. Smriti is anticipated to become a co-author on several publications from this highly visible project


Chelsea Neumann
Women in Engineering Service Award

Chelsea Neumann, a junior bioengineering student specializing in biomechanics and biomaterials, is a dedicated advocate for women in engineering. As a teaching assistant for the Flexus & Virtus Living and Learning Program and a Flexus alumna, Chelsea works tirelessly to empower and support female engineers. Her efforts extend beyond the classroom, as she actively updates the Flexus & Virtus curriculum to reflect current social justice issues and engages high school students in engineering research through the Research, Instruction, and Service in Engineering Summer Program. Chelsea's leadership as the vice president of competitions for the Biomedical Engineering Society and her role as the graphic design lead for The Catalyst demonstrate her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within the engineering community.


Wilhelm Smith
Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering Director's Award

Wilhelm Smith, a sophomore bioengineering student and member of the QUEST Program, exemplifies a commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the engineering community. His participation in the First Year Research Experience (FIRE) Honors program and member of the first cohort in the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program showcase his dedication to academic excellence and research. Wilhelm's focus on developing the Keyscope, an affordable, low-cost, and durable laparoscope for healthcare in low and middle-income countries, reflects his passion for addressing global health disparities. Wilhelm's role as a program assistant at the Center for Minorities in Engineering (CMSE) for their Bridge Program highlights his commitment to supporting underrepresented minorities in engineering, furthering a culture of equity and opportunity for all.


Autumn Hengen
Outstanding BIOE Senior Award

Autumn Hengen is a senior bioengineering student who has consistently demonstrated exceptional aptitude, drive, and intelligence, placing her among the top 1% of mentored undergraduate students. Autumn actively promotes diversity and inclusion within the engineering community. Engaged in outreach activities, she advocates for increased diversity and participation in engineering through programs like the UMD Women in Engineering initiative. As a summer program leader and research liaison for incoming first-year engineers in the Clark Scholars Program, Autumn shares her experiences and empowers others to recognize their potential. Autumn is additionally part of the UMD's student-led newspaper, The Diamondback, under the role of Photo Editor. Her research in the lab, focusing on the role of Aquaporin 5 (AQP5) in cell migration and invasion, has led to significant contributions to the field, including co-authorship on a published manuscript and the submission of additional manuscripts for publication.


Lucas Frankle
Outstanding BIOE Senior Award

Lucas Frankle is a 4.0 senior bioengineering student with a minor in global engineering leadership. He is an ambassador for the Clark School, a member of the ODK Leadership Honors Society, and enrolled in the University Honors Program. Lucas was a contributing author on three publications, researching the molecular products of fluorescent chemical activation. He studied abroad for one semester in Madrid, Spain, and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity over the spring break. He has been admitted to Siemens Healthineers' leadership development rotating program, where he will work in medical imaging device R&D.


Matthew Ensign
Outstanding BIOE Junior Award

Matthew Ensign is a 4.0 junior bioengineering student. As part of the Bioengineering Honors Program, he is working in the Maisel Lab to build cell-penetrating peptide-conjugated nanoparticles. He is also a member of the Integrated Life Sciences Honors Program. He serves as The Catalyst's director of operations in addition to being Alpha Eta Mu Beta's vice president of academic affairs. A teaching fellow for Biomedical Electronics, Matthew is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the Clark School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and Omicron Delta Kappa.


Udit Gupta
BIOE Outstanding Research Award

Udit Gupta is a senior bioengineering student and has been actively engaged in research within Dr. Kimberly Stroka's lab, focusing on evaluating the impact of matrix stiffness on the stiffness of the brain endothelial cell-cell interface. His involvement extends to participation in the Integrated Life Sciences program, where he further hones his expertise in interdisciplinary approaches. Udit has also contributed to the academic community as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow, imparting knowledge in courses such as Biostatistics and Biomedical Electronics and Instrumentation. With aspirations to delve deeper into bioengineering, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. following his graduation, eager to continue his exploration of research and innovation in the field.


Miguel Martinez
BIOE Outstanding Service Award

Miguel Martinez is a senior biocomputational engineering student, retired U.S. Air Force veteran, and a distinguished Kendall Scholar. His journey from an aircraft mechanic in the military to academia highlights a dedication to lifelong learning and community support. Accepting into Clemson University's Bioengineering Ph.D. program, Miguel is set to harness artificial intelligence and machine learning in cancer research, aiming to make significant contributions to medical science and patient care.

Published May 2, 2024