News Release

Pratt Celebrates Class of 2013 Graduation

Duke University awarded degrees to 527 undergraduate and graduate engineering students on Sunday, May 12 in ceremonies that began with university-wide commencement exercises  at Wallace Wade Stadium and included Pratt School of Engineering celebrations at Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke Chapel.

A team of Duke engineers led by David Brady used one of the most powerful cameras ever developed to photograph the 2013 commencement ceremony. See the big picture and watch how they did it.

Melinda Gates delivered the University’s commencement address, while Pratt Dean Tom Katsouleas and Senior Class President Tejen Ajay Shah spoke at the undergraduate engineering school ceremonies. Associate Dean Bradley Fox addressed graduates of Pratt's professional master's programs. (See sidebar for videos of the ceremonies.)

Katsouleas awarded Bachelor of Science in Engineering diplomas to the Class of 2013, which comprised 297 students. He also presented diplomas to 109 Master's of Science and 58 PhD engineering graduates. Sixty-one Master of Engineering Management and 14 Master of Engineering degrees were also awarded on May 12 (total graduates of those programs for the academic year, including Fall 2012, were 150 and 35, respectively). 

Overall, Duke awarded degrees to 1,641 undergraduates and 2,215 graduate and professional students. An additional 1,212 students that graduated in September or December 2012 were also invited to participate in Sunday’s commencement.

Many Pratt graduates received special prizes or awards:

Jennifer Eugenia Villa--The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award

 The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award is presented annually by the Engineering Student Government to the member of the graduating class of the School who has achieved the highest scholastic average in all subjects, and who has shown diligence in pursuit of an engineering education. The award was initiated to honor the spirit of academic excellence and professional diligence demonstrated by the late Dean Walter J. Seeley. The ESG hopes that this award will serve as a symbol of the man and the ideals for which he stood.

Jake Anthony Sganga -- The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award

The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award is presented in recognition of Dr. Meier’s leader ship in establishing the North Carolina Gamma Chapter on January 10, 1948, and his continuous service until April 19, 1975, as Chapter Advisor. This award is given annually to the graduating Tau Beta Pi member who symbolized best the distinguished scholarship and exemplary character required for membership.

Jennifer Eugenia Villa--The da Vinci Award

The da Vinci Award is presented to the Biomedical Engineering student with the most outstanding academic record as determined by a faculty committee. The award commemorates the contribution of Leonardo da Vinci in laying the foundations of the mechanistic study of human life.

Jinchin Liu and Manoj Venkat Maddali --The Helmholtz Award

The Helmholtz Award is given to graduating seniors who present the best research projects as judged by the departmental faculty. The award commemorates the work of Hermann von Helmholtz in laying the foundation of Biomedical Engineering.

Dazhong Xuan -- The Theo C. Pilkington Memorial Award

The Theo C. Pilkington Memorial Award was established in 1993 by the Whitaker Foundation as an endowment award in memory of Dr. Theo C. Pilkington, founding chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. The recipient is selected at the end of the junior year and the award is given in recognition of outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.

James Morgan Dolan and Andrew David Jones--The ASCE Outstanding Senior Prize

The ASCE Outstanding Senior Prize is presented annually by the North Carolina Section of ASCE to a graduating civil engineering senior, or seniors, in recognition of an exceptional, positive impact on the student chapter of ASCE and scholastic record.

Grace Sea Anne Cambareri, Hunter Callum Douglas, and Kala Valli Viswanathan--The William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award

The William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award, established in 1979, is presented annually to seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence, interest, and enthusiasm in the study of environmental engineering.

Laura Gabriela Oteiza--The Aubrey E. Palmer Award

The Aubrey E. Palmer Award, established in 1980, is presented annually to a civil engineering senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. Selection is made by the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Kathryn Brunet Latham--The Eric I. Pas Award

The Eric I. Pas Award, established in 1998 in memory of Dr. Eric Pas, former Director of Undergraduate Studies in Civil and Environmental Engineering, is presented to the graduating civil engineering senior judged by the faculty to have conducted the most outstanding independent study project.

John Richard Jamieson III--The David Randall Fuller Prize

The David Randall Fuller Prize for Achievement in Electrical and Computer Engineering is presented annually to the graduating senior who has shown the most improvement in academic performance over the first three years.

William Joseph Scheideler--The George Sherrerd III Memorial Award

The George Sherrerd III Memorial Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering is awarded annually to the senior in electrical and computer engineering who, in the opinion of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty, has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects and simultaneously has rendered significant service to the School of Engineering and the University at large. The award was estab lished in 1958 by the parents of George Sherrerd III, a graduate of the Class of 1955, to recognize outstanding undergraduate scholarship.

Likun Xi--The Charles Ernest Seager Memorial Award

The Charles Ernest Seager Memorial Award recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate research project and presentation as judged by the faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering as part of the Graduation with Distinction presentation session. The award was established in 1958 by the widow and friends of Charles Ernest Seager, a graduate of the Class of 1955.

Chen Zhao--The Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award

The Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, established in 1997 by former students and colleagues of Charles Vail, a graduate of the class of 1937, professor from 1939-1967, and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1956-1964, recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Constandi John Shami--The Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award

The Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award in memory of T.C. Heyward, Sr. is presented annually by Pi Tau Sigma to an outstanding senior in Mechanical Engineering at Duke University. Selection is based on academic excellence, engineering ability, and leadership, and is chosen by a committee of the engineering faculty.

Christine De Vries Dalton and Jake Evan Greenstein--The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Faculty Award

The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Faculty Award is presented annually in recognition of academic excellence to the graduating Mechanical Engineering seniors who have attained the highest level of scholastic achievement as determined by the faculty.

Emmanuel Gocheco Lim--The Raymond C. Gaugler Award

The Raymond C. Gaugler Award in Materials Science and Engineering is awarded to the senior who has made the most progress at Duke in developing competence in materials science or materials engineering. The basis for selection is the student’s scholastic record, research or design projects completed at Duke, and interest in a materials-related career. The award has been established by Patricia S. Pearsall in memory of her grandfather, Mr. Raymond C. Gaugler, who was president of the American Cyanamid Company prior to his death in 1952.

Students Graduating with Departmental Distinction Awards:

 Biomedical Engineering

 *Jennifer Marie Arnold, *Halei Collette Benefield, *Timothy Andrew Carlon, Albert S. Chang, Jack Chen, Janghwan Cho, Hyun Koo Chung, *Stephanie Odette Dudzinski, Joseph Mina Elsakr, Daniel Jack Frush, Caitlin Marie Guenther, Gill Ryang Kang, Min Sung Kim, Sophia Yoona Kim,Hersh Ketan Lakdawala, Jonathan Li, Jinchin Liu, Manoj Venkat Maddali, Michael Joseph Madigan, Michael John Maranzano, *Rahul K Nayak, Pichet Praveschotinunt, Juan Diego San Juan, *Evan Alexander Seidel, *Jake Anthony Sganga, Tejen Ajay Shah, Joseph Thomas Sharick, Sarek Alexander Shen, **Kevin Shia, Margret Diane Smith, Tiffany Tseng, Jennifer Eugenia Villa, Jennifer Min Wang, *Tianxiang Xiong, Steven Karl Yarmoska, *Sophia Natalie Ziemian

 *The Howard G. Clark Award

 ** Edward D. Light “Ned” Memorial Award

Civil Engineering

Grace Sea Anne Cambareri, Hunter Callum Douglas, Christine Elizabeth Larson, Kathryn Brunet Latham, Kala Valli Viswanathan

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ash-girl Chapfuwa, Alexander Timothy Mariakakis, Likun Xi

Mechanical Engineering

Christine De Vries Dalton, Jake Evan Greenstein, Jeremy David Hockman, Joseph Anthony Lauer Jr., Emmanuel Gocheco Lim, Constandi John Shami, Mukarram Ahmad Tahir, Adam John Williams

Graduation Videos

In the Media

Oct 20, 2014
The White House Blog
Oct 8, 2014
BBC Future
Oct 7, 2014
Engineering.com