On March 10, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Ziqian (Cecilia) Dong, Ph.D., received the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award at the 2020 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Research Leadership Institute. The award was established in 1957 to recognize outstanding early achievements by young engineering college research workers and to encourage the continuance of such productivity.
Dong was selected for her innovative work in communication and sensor networks, and assistive medical devices. One of the many groundbreaking devices she is working on includes an autonomous walker to help Parkinson’s patients balance their gait and avoid falling.
“It was such an honor to be selected for this award and to represent New York Institute of Technology for this recognition,” says Dong. “I am humbled and very appreciative to have the privilege to be surrounded by the wonderful colleagues, students, and the support I have had over the years to establish an undergraduate research and entrepreneurship culture.”
The Engineering Research Council sponsors the annual award, which is presented in two categories: a Ph.D. granting program and a non-Ph.D. granting program. Dong received the honor for the non-Ph.D. granting program.
Throughout her career, Dong has mentored more than 300 students on research and senior design projects. She received grants totaling more than $3 million from the National Science Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Motorola, Xilinx, and Venturewell for a wide range of educational and research initiatives. “This award will encourage me to continue doing my best work and engaging students in research,” she said.
“New York Tech encourages the continued productivity and success of our faculty; the ASEE award recognizes Dr. Dong’s hard work and accomplishments,” said Babak Beheshti, Ph.D., dean of NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences. “By helping create a device to improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Dong is not only highly regarded by her engineering colleagues and students, but the community at large.”
The annual award is sponsored by the Engineering Research Council with the assistance of the McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Past award recipients include Fengqi You, professor of energy systems engineering at Cornell University, and Richard D. Braatz, Ph.D., professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology known for his research in control theory and its applications to chemical, pharmaceutical, and materials systems.
By Kena Johnson