Engineering’s ‘hidden heroes’ on show

Dean of Engineering, Professor Mark Hoffman, guest speaker Monique Alfris and MC Selena Griffith.

Download photos from the night here.

UNSW Engineering’s Hidden Heroes were celebrated at the Dean’s Awards at Leighton Hall last night.

The awards honour the top 100 undergraduate students in UNSW Engineering, based on academic results from 2016, and six students who received Student Service Awards. The night’s theme was Hidden Heroes, recognising that often our top performing students go unnoticed before they become groundbreaking researchers or social entrepreneurs.

Talking about UNSW Engineering’s slogan, “Innovation In Action”, Dean of Engineering Professor Mark Hoffman told the audience that the University already produces “true leaders”; UNSW graduates lead more of Australia’s largest listed companies than those from any other university. “UNSW Engineering isn’t just a great place to learn and build the foundation of a rewarding and fulfilling career in engineering,” Hoffman said. “It’s also a place where the future is being made – ‘innovation in action’.”  

As a testament to the Dean’s remarks, guest speaker and alumna Monique Alfris explained how she is making a difference. Alfris co-founded Pollinate Energy, a UN award-winning social business that brings affordable clean-energy technologies to India’s urban poor. She gave an inspiring speech about her experiences in helping improve the livelihoods of the poor in India’s city slums, and how her UNSW Engineering degree has allowed her to make a genuine impact and improve the world.

Renewable Energy Engineering and Science student Shira Samocha with Monique Alfris.

One student who particularly enjoyed Alfris’s speech was Renewable Energy Engineering and Science student Shira Samocha, who is passionate about entrepreneurship, development and the global transition to renewable energy. She described Alfris’s remarks as “awe-inspiring”. Shira was also humbled to have been awarded a Dean’s Award on the evening for her outstanding academic achievements. Shira said passion for her study area is the driving force behind her accomplishments. “I think doing well at University is so much easier when you’re working towards something you’re truly passionate about,” she said. “Getting this award is a humbling reminder that choosing to study what you love actually pays off!”

Another of UNSW’s hidden heroes recognised on the evening was Nisha Pradhan, who received a prestigious Student Service Award for her “exceptional participation and leadership” in UNSW’s student-led projects and societies. Nisha also played a pivotal role in the 2016 Power of Engineering day, which brought 150 young women on campus to experience engineering. “Giving back is really important to me,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’m getting more than just a University degree but that I’m making a contribution to others around me.”

Master of Ceremonies Selena Griffith, Scientia Experience Manager at UNSW Engineering and Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Social Impact, also addressed the audience. Griffith and everyone else at the event, celebrating some of Australia’s best and brightest students, would have been optimistic about the future of engineering. The Dean captured this sentiment in his closing remarks: “Don’t be surprised to discover one day that tonight’s award-winners are our heroes of the future”.

Congratulations to all Dean’s Award recipients.

Student Service Awards

Individual Awards

Nisha Pradhan

Ankita Singh

Stephanie McArthur

Team Award

Lashan Ranasinghe

Kelly Chen

Kieren Pugh

Dean’s Awards - top 100 students

Biomedical Engineering

Adam Larkin

Zac Li

Jason Sengmany

Jason Xiang

Jacky Yu

Chemical Engineering

Toby Funston

Thomas Hanh

Jane Harding

Lucas Kento Haywood

Jonathan Hopkins

Mitchell Kokotovic

Hongzhe Li

Alan Shenfield

Ernest Tse

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Ming En Chin

Josiah Fajardo

Roy Fu

Jefry Halim

Jianan Jiang

Jason Ko

Jason Lam

Monica Laut

Kevin Luu

David Morgan

Daniel Christian Setioso

Dan Su

Clinton NgoTran

Athe Vigneswaran

Charlie Zeng

Computer Science & Engineering

Wei Hong Chen

Michael Chen

Adrian Goldwaser

James Houlahan

Ishraq Huda

Kenny Ghin Sie Lau

Joshua Lau

Glenn Rian McGuire

Kevin Ni

Adley Phu

Minjie Shen

Damian Sofrevski

Matt Stark

Austin Tankiang

Jessica Theodosius

Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications

Chris Joshi Adambukulam

Yun Xin Chen

Nors Cheng

Isha Deodhar

Max Fisher

James Gray

William Green

Liam Hayes

Colin Lam

Gyanjit Mahapatra

Michael Manansala

Hayden Ooi

Daniel Parker

Xinyi Tang

Ning Jian Teh

Victor Ka-WingTse

Mihir Wagle

Victoria Xu

Hang Zhou

Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Moustafa Ali

Scott Bennett

Jake Bradbury

Kang Wei Chan

William Chen

Nanway Chen

Yeo Cheon

Lachlan Emerson

Sanjiv Gunasekera

Yiwei Han

Mitchell Kazmierczak

Briscoe Kerferd

Rafael Lawrence

Sophia Lin

Mike Liu

Gabriel Low

Runyu Lu

Luke Millstead

Samim Erez Ozyurteri

Harsh Patel

Raymond Su

Eddie Tan

Nathan Teoh

Miguel Vila

Matthew Vong

Declan Walsh

Andrew Whitham

Linda Wong

Calvin Zhou

Petroleum Engineering

Zainal Aqil

Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering

Aidan Alexander

Annabelle Evans

Zac Inglis

Blake Kirby

Leslie Lay

Kevin Hon-Kit Leung

Ben Madafiglio

Shira Samocha


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