News Release

Jacobs School of Engineering 2024 Award of Excellence Recipients


June 14, 2024-- The Jacobs School of Engineering will honor the undergraduate class of 2024 at its annual Ring Ceremony on Friday, June 14. During the ceremony, graduating engineering and computer science students will receive their class ring, and recite together the Jacobs School of Engineering oath, vowing to practice engineering with integrity and high ethical standards.

Six students were selected from among their peers to receive an Award of Excellence from their academic department in recognition of their outstanding academic, leadership and community contributions.

Learn more about these impressive students below.

Shu Chien -  Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering Award of Excellence: Nadine Rosete

Undergraduate bioengineering student Nadine Rosete was involved with the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) all four years at UC San Diego, including serving as Vice President External. Rosete was also involved with Dear Asian Youth, including serving as President and Editor of the Dear Asian Youth at UC San Diego newsletter and creative writing student org geared toward uplifting and empowering Asian and Asian American voices. She also served as primary editor on the national literature team for Dear Asian Youth.

Rosete was also an undergraduate researcher in the Zenger Lab in the School of Medicine all four years, was part of the Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC) Honors Program, and was a member and officer for the UCSD Trebles, a soprano-alto a cappella group based on campus

Next year, Rosete will head to Yale to earn a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, continuing her research on cardiovascular biomechanics. She hopes to apply what she’s learned at UC San Diego and Yale as an engineer in the medical device industry. 


Aiiso Yufeng Li Family Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering Award of Excellence: Erin Shen

Shen was an undergraduate researcher in nanoengineering Professor Shaochen Chen’s 3D bioprinting lab, where she focused on modeling and bioprinting cardiac and hepatic tissues. Shen was also a Peer Educator for the IDEA Center's Engineering Learning Communities, tutoring and mentoring engineering students. Shen served as a NETS Project Chair Officer, helping organize engineering project teams. 

Next year, she will begin a PhD program in bioengineering at Rice University. She hopes to use these skills to pursue a career in biomaterials to make medicine more personalized, effective, and ethical.



Department of Computer Science and Engineering Award of Excellence: Alessia Welch

Welch earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in three years, while working as a computer science tutor all three years for five different computer science courses, including as a head tutor. Welch was an IDEA Scholar and a lead peer mentor with CSE-PACE, a program for first-year computer science majors. Welch was on the Seventh College Student Council, including serving as the Seventh College Senator for the Associated Student campus student government.  She conducted research into finding idle hosts in enterprise networks in Professor Aaron Schulman’s lab, and competed on the Moot Court Team, a competitive speaking sport that simulates appellate court hearings.

Next year she will pursue a MSc in Advanced Computer Science at the University of Oxford. 





Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Award of Excellence: Nishant Balaji

At UC San Diego, Balaji was involved in a variety of different student orgs and research groups. He was involved in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for four years, serving as president this past year. As an ACM leader, he helped create ACM's outreach team, hold its first hackathon, host an annual career fair, host quarterly kickoffs for hundreds of students as well as lead a team of board members in hosting daily events for over 2000 students per year. 

He was also a developer for Triton Software Engineering for two years, helping make software for local nonprofits. Balaji was on the organizing committee for ECE Day, was the ECE Student Org Liason for hte ECE Alumni Board, and tutored two courses. Balaji was part of Engineers for Exploration, working on the Acoustic Species Identification team to classify audio data from the Amazon Rainforest. 

Next year, he will be pursuing his master’s degree in Computer Engineering here at UC San Diego, after which he plans to work in industry as a software engineer.


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Award of Excellence: Lucas Grinius

The most foundational part of Grinius’ experience at UC San Diego was his work as a tutor in the MAE department. He taught the introductory MAE3 class for six of his nine quarters, helping new engineering students get a hands-on feel for the field in this difficult intro class. He was also involved in the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, where he got to know students ahead of him and alumni in a professional setting, which helped prepare him for his job search. 

Next year, he will work as an engineer for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona. He does hope to return to UC San Diego one day to earn a master’s degree. 




Department of Structural Engineering Award of Excellence: Liana Wong

Wong was an active member of the UC San Diego Concrete Canoe team, a Society of Civil and Structural Engineers project team that challenges students to design and build a 20-foot canoe made out of reinforced concrete. She joined her freshman year, and held leadership roles including Mix Design Captain, where she was responsible for designing and testing the concrete mix, and serving as Project Manager of the whole team, leading the entire process from concept to final product, along with marketing and fundraising needs. 

In addition to Concrete Canoe, Wong was also involved in SCSE more broadly, participating in volunteer opportunities, socials, and the annual SE Day Career Fair. She also worked part-time as a Plans Assistant for the EHS Department and a teaching assistant and grader for structural engineering courses.

Wong will be interning at ARUP over the summer in their bridge department, and then pursuing a master’s degree in Structural Engineering at Stanford in the next year. She hopes to eventually obtain her Professional Engineer and Structural Engineer licenses and work for a globally-recognized engineering firm to contribute to safer structures in underdeveloped communities. 


Media Contacts

Katherine Connor
Jacobs School of Engineering