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Standout ECE students and faculty honored at Engineering Awards Banquet

Corey Matzat, Stephanie Cahail, Nicholas Smith and Liyang Rui of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department pose with Department Chair Chi-Ren Shyu.

Corey Matzat, Stephanie Cahail, Nicholas Smith and Liyang Rui of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department pose with Department Chair Chi-Ren Shyu after earning Outstanding Student Awards at the Engineering Awards Banquet on March 13. Photos by Shane Epping.

The following faculty members and students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department were honored at the annual Engineering Awards Banquet, held on March 13 as part of Engineers’ Week:

Junior Faculty Excellence in Research Award: Michela Becchi, assistant professor
Special Academic Appointment Award: Grant Scott, assistant research professor

Outstanding Junior: Corey Matzat of  Nixa, Mo.
Outstanding Senior: Stephanie Cahail of Camdenton, Mo.
Outstanding Master’s: Nicholas Smith of Plano, Texas
Outstanding Doctorate: Liyang Rui of Tianjin, China

Michela Becchi shakes hands with Dean Robert Schwartz.

Michela Becchi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Junior Faculty Excellence in Research Award from Dean Robert Schwartz at the Engineering Awards Banquet on March 13.

Becchi, also an adjunct in the Computer Science Department, recently earned a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, Award for her work on compiler and runtime support for many-core processors. Additionally, she has brought in eight total grants, including three as primary investigator. Her research funding in the last four years has totaled nearly $2 million, and she’s published 30 total papers, including seven journal papers.

Michela’s papers have garnered a pair of best paper awards at the ACM International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing in 2011 and 2012 and a best student paper award at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing in 2012. Her papers have been cited nearly 1,200 times, and seven of her research projects have received funding from the NSF.

Grant Scott poses with Dean Robert Schwartz.

Grant Scott, assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering, received his Special Academic Appointment Award from Dean Robert Schwartz at the Engineering Awards Banquet on March 13.

Scott has been active in both research and teaching in the Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments since his days as a doctoral candidate. Since earning his Ph.D. in 2008, he’s been a co-principal investigator alongside Naka Endowed Professor and Center for Geospatial Intelligence Director Curt Davis on three projects funded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and a principal investigator on a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) entitled “GPU-accelerated DBMS for Terrain Geolocation with Human Perspective View Verification.”

Scott currently holds four patents and has another pending, and he’s been involved with the production of eight journal publications and 15 conference publications. And, since earning his doctorate, Scott has taught five courses at MU, including Parallel Programming for High-Performance Computing, which he conceptualized and developed in 2012 and which earned approval as a regular course in 2014.