ASME’s Nominees for the New Faces of Engineering Selected
Feb 24, 2015
Six ASME members and student members have been selected as finalists in this year’s DiscoverE New Faces of Engineering program, which annually highlights the important contributions early career engineers and engineering students are making to the profession and to society.
Society members Eduardo Barrientos, PhD, Jessica Isaacs, PhD, and Chelsey Simmons, PhD, were selected as ASME’s nominees in the New Faces of Engineering-Professional category, which recognizes the accomplishments of practicing engineers up to the age of 30. ASME student members Drew Haxton, Courtney Hesse and Angadbir Sabherwal, were selected as the Society’s nominees in the New Faces-College Edition program, which recognizes the achievements of third-, fourth- and fifth-year engineering students.
The finalists from ASME and the other societies participating in the 2015 DiscoverE New Faces of Engineering program were announced Feb. 19 during a webinar that was held in conjunction with Engineers Week. The official winners in each category will be announced April 2.
New Faces-Professional finalist Eduardo Barrientos is a senior researcher for the Vehicle Center of Sustainability Mobility at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Dr. Barrientos, who is originally from Venezuela, is an expert in the areas of hybrid vehicle technologies and the impact of alternative fuels on emissions and the environment. His volunteer activities have focused on conveying the importance of sustainability to his students, as well as promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM. The former chair of his student section at the Universidad Simon Bolivar of Venezuela, Barrientos currently holds a number of Society posts, including vice president of the Affinity Communities Operating Board, member of the ASME Energy Conversion and Storage Segment Leadership Team, and a member of the ASME Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Committee. Barrientos, the recipient of the prestigious ASME Charles T. Main and Old Guard Early Career Awards, received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad Simon Bolivar of Venezuela, and both a master’s degree and a PhD in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
ASME’s second professional nominee, Jessica Isaacs, PhD, is a visiting assistant professor at Widener University in West Chester, Pa. After receiving a bachelor'/s degree in mechanical engineering from Widener University, Dr. Isaacs continued her education at Drexel University, where she studied spine biomechanics and a received master'/s degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and mechanics. She then received a post-doctoral grant from the Fulbright Scholar Program, which provided her with the opportunity to travel to Tel Aviv University for a year to conduct research on progressive disease pathologies in the intervertebral disc and vertebral bodies leading to lower back pain, and assist in the development and characterization of a fiber-reinforced biocomposite system for medical applications. Isaacs, who recently published a paper in ASME'/s Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Widener University, and both a master’s and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Drexel University.
Chelsey Simmons, PhD, the Society’s third finalist for the 2015 New Faces-Professional program, is an assistant professor at the University of Florida, where she is dedicated to developing the next generation of biomedical tools and training the next generation of engineers. In addition to teaching and advising students, Dr. Simmons leads a team of 10 undergraduate and graduate students in interdisciplinary research and has given presentations throughout world on designing dynamic cell culture systems to improve the way biomedical research is performed. Simmons designed a stretchable, programmable dish that mimicked a beating heart, enabling more accurate cell biology and drug screening studies. Based on this patent, she co-founded a company to develop the innovation, which was named the CytoStim Flexor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Harvard University, and both a master’s degree and a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
ASME’s three finalists for the 2015 New Faces-College Edition were also announced during the Feb. 19 webinar. One of the nominees, Drew Haxton, is in his third year at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H. Haxton, who is majoring in mechanical engineering major and minoring in aeronautical engineering, is active in his school’s ASME and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics student chapter activities, which he finds have greatly enhanced his college experience. The ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, for instance, allows him to apply what he learned in class to a physical project, he said. A volunteer tutor for both grade school and university students, Haxton is also actively involved in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, an activity he believes is important because it helps reverse the stereotype that girls lack an aptitude for math and science. “I want to live in a world where that stereotype no longer exists,” he said in his application.
ASME’s second New Faces-College Edition nominee, Courtney Hesse, is an ASME student member in her third year at Rice University, majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in business. In her application, Hesse explained that she enjoys studying mechanical engineering “because of the huge variety of challenges that can be addressed by mechanical engineers. I have always been interested in tackling diverse and unique issues and our world will always need engineers to solve problems,” such as meeting the energy and food demands of the world’s increasing population. Hesse, an active member of her school’s ASME and Society of Women Engineers student sections, interned with the university’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen following her freshman year, and worked with a defense contractor after her sophomore year.
Angadbir Singh Sabherwal, a third-year student at Iowa State University, is the Society’s third finalist for the 2015 New Faces-College Edition program. Sabherwal, who hails from Chandigarh, India, is pursuing a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering with a minor in international studies. While studying at Iowa State, he has served as a teaching assistant a research assistant with a focus on biomedical engineering, as well as a resident assistant, which he said gave him the opportunity to mentor students and organize a number of volunteer initiatives. Sabherwal also served as an ambassador for the university’s Minds of Tomorrow program, which provided grants to K-12 schools to enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
To view profiles of the New Faces of Engineering finalists from each participating organization, visit http://discovere.org/our-programs/awards-and-recognition.