Graduate Student Awards

Each year, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering honors outstanding graduate students with the Vivian T. Stannett Graduate Award for Outstanding Early Publication, the Ferrell Outstanding PhD Graduate Award, and the Praxair Exceptional Teaching Assistant Award. The awards celebrate outstanding graduate student achievement in areas such as early research excellence, scholarship and service to the department, and instructional effectiveness and management skills in teaching.
Image Below: The 2019 Praxair Exceptional Teaching Assistant Award Recipient.
L-R: Ria Corder (award recipient), Dr. Yang Luo (Praxair, Inc.) and Dr. Peter Fedkiw (CBE Department Head)

Image of 2019 Praxair Award Recipient

Vivian T. Stannett Graduate Award for Outstanding Early Publication

The Vivian T. Stannett Graduate Award recognizes research excellence, initiative, focus and tenacity during the early career of Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. It is named in memory of Professor Vivian T. Stannett, a CBE faculty member who was an internationally renowned polymer scientist, research leader, and National Academy of Engineering member. Professor Stannett published over 400 research papers and reviews during his distinguished academic career. Funds for the cash prize of the award are made possible through the Vivian T. Stannett Memorial Fund.


  • Nomination packages are due in late December. The nominee should submit by email to Ms. Angela Efimenko one PDF file that concatenates in the following order: (i) the nomination form, (ii) a 2-page curriculum vitae, and (iii) the publication that is the basis of the nomination
  • The awardee will be given the title of “20XX Vivian T. Stannett Fellow.”
  • Nominee should be Ph.D. graduate student between her/his 1st and 4th year of study.
  • The Award is based on a research publication from work at NC State where the nominee is first author (should be published or accepted for publication, with an acceptance date before the submission deadline).
  • The Stannett Fellow Award Committee will select the awardee on the basis of the quality of the nomination publication, while also taking into account the extent of personal contribution of the nominee and the overall research and achievement record of the nominee.
  • The recipient of the Vivian T. Stannett Fellow award will be announced at the Schoenborn Graduate Research Symposium in January.
  • One Fellow and one runner-up awardee will be selected each year.
  • The monetary value of the award is $1,500 for the Fellow and $500 for the runner up. Depending on the availability of funds, the Award may also include up to $1,000 travel supplement for a Fellow’s presentation at a professional conference. These travel funds must be used in the calendar year of the award and matched equally by advisor’s funds.

Student Name Year Awarded
Sahand Saberi Bosari (1st) 2019
Ryan Dudek (2nd) 2019
Dennis Lee (1st) 2018
Vasudev Haribal (2nd) 2018
Ryan Leenay (1st) 2017
Ishan Joshipura (2nd) 2017
Yiliang Lin (1st) 2016
Dishit Parekh (2nd) 2016
Michelle Luo (1st) 2015
Feng He (2nd) 2015
Daniel Morales (1st) 2014
Nathan Galinsky (2nd) 2014

Ferrell Outstanding PhD Graduate Award

The James K. Ferrell Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate Award recognizes an outstanding graduate of our Ph.D. program who distinguishes him/herself in (1) scholarship: publications, research-based honors, presentations; and (2) service: teaching/TA performance, graduate student recruiting, GSA service, mentorship of peers and undergraduate researchers. Candidates for the award are nominated by their advisor(s) and are drawn from Ph.D. graduates each calendar year. The award is named in memory of Dr. James K. Ferrell who was the first Ph.D. graduate from NC State’s chemical engineering program, a CBE faculty member, our department head from 1966 through 1980 and a 1992 College of Engineering Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award recipient. Funds for the award are made possible through the James K. Ferrell Graduate Student Memorial Fund.


  • Nomination packages are due by mid-December. Eligible nominees will have earned their PhD during that calendar year and are nominated by a CBE faculty member, typically the major advisor.
  • Nomination packages should include the following: CV of student nominee, paper reprints, and three letters of recommendation from (1) the nominating faculty member, (2) another faculty member (from any institution) who is familiar with the student’s accomplishments, and (3) a student peer.
  • A faculty committee will review application packets, and awardees will be notified in early spring each year.
  • The recipient will be invited to the CBE graduation ceremony in May and will receive a commemorative plaque. CBE will pay travel expenses to the awardee.

Student Name Year Awarded
Kohee Han 2018
Yiming Wang 2018 – Runner-up
Jonathan M. Conway 2017
Nathan Galinsky 2016
Andrew Loder 2016 – Honorable Mention

Praxair Exceptional Teaching Assistant Award

Thank you to Praxair for their generous annual support of this award.

The Praxair Exceptional Teaching Assistant Award recognizes the instructional effectiveness and class management of Ph.D. candidates serving as exemplary teaching assistants (TAs) in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Recipients of this Award go above and beyond the call of duty by providing their students with tireless and selfless attention to high-quality instruction and professionalism. The Praxair Exceptional Teaching Assistant Award is initiated by the students served by TAs each semester. This award comes in the form of a certificate and a $500 prize that is funded by a generous gift from Praxair, Inc., and each awardee will be designated as a Praxair Teaching Fellow for the duration of his/her graduate studies. The award is funded by a gift from Praxair, Inc.


The process by which the awardee is selected begins with a student evaluation administered in courses with a TA near the end of each semester. The evaluation provided to each student in such a course consists of a yes/no recommendation to nominate one TA, a numerical rating (from 1 to 99) of the TA, and four rated questions regarding overall performance. After all the evaluations are administered, they are analyzed to determine the fraction of students in each course who answer with a yes recommendation. Fractions calculated in this fashion for each TA in a given semester are used to determine the average and standard deviation, after which the Z-score (i.e., the number of standard deviations above/below the mean) is computed for each TA. To account for differences in class size, a similar approach is undertaken in terms of course enrollment. These two Z scores are weighted (75% for student evaluations and 25% for course enrollment) to yield the final score that is used for selection of six finalists. Since this award can only be won once, previous winners appearing as finalists in subsequent semesters will be disqualified from the selection process.

Each semester, a selection committee composed of three faculty members who have not worked alongside any finalists will be formed to evaluate the nominees and select the winner. In addition to information regarding the average numerical rating and distribution of the rated questions, the committee will be provided with letters of recommendation from the faculty instructors who worked with the finalists. The names of the finalists will be announced to the Department at least one week before the winner is announced. The award will be presented to the winner at the Schoenborn Symposium in January (for fall semester winners) or the first Departmental Graduate Seminar in August (for spring semester winners).

Student Name Semester Awarded
Ria Corder Fall 2018
Ameilia Chen Spring 2018
Jenna Meanor Fall 2017
Austin Williams Spring 2017
Kaihang Shi Fall 2016
Zach Mundy Spring 2016
Nathan Galinsky Fall 2015