Panagiotopoulos named Distinguished Teacher, two CBE seniors awarded in engineering school celebration

Written by
John Sullivan, Office of Engineering Communications
June 2, 2020

The School of Engineering and Applied Science virtually celebrated its 2020 Class Day ceremony, with interim dean H. Vincent Poor commending graduates for courage and determination during a difficult time.

"Your optimism, hard work, dedication and perseverance are the attributes that have led you to succeed here at Princeton," Poor said. "They will be the foundations for your future success, as well.”

In addition to recognizing graduates, the engineering school honored Athanassios Panagiotopoulos with its annual Distinguished Teacher Award. Panagiotopoulos, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and chair of chemical and biological engineering, is the author of a standard text on thermodynamics. Students praised the clarity of his lectures and his deep concern for their education.

Panagiotopoulos praised the students' perseverance in the face of difficult circumstances, and said he was grateful for the opportunity both to teach such students and to learn from them.

"Warmest wishes and congratulations to the historic Class of 2020," he said.

video tiles of students and deans
  Award recipients were recognized during an online Class Day ceremony

The major award winners at the 2020 Princeton Engineering Class Day, as presented by Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs Peter Bogucki, included two graduating CBE majors :

Margaret O’Connell

A chemical and biological engineering major with a certificate in sustainable energy. O'Connell was a four-year member of the women’s volleyball team. During this time, the team won three Ivy League championships. In 2016 O'Connell was named Ivy Rookie of the Year, and in 2017 she was the Ivy Player of the Year, the first Princeton player to earn such recognition before senior year. For four years, she was first-team All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy for three years. Her coach, Sabrina King, said that O'Connell is one of the best ever to play volleyball at Princeton. For her senior thesis, O'Connell designed photobioreactors for low-cost, low-energy, high-yield algae growth. O'Connell, of Katy, Texas, will pursue a doctorate in chemical and biological engineering at Northwestern.

Audrey Shih

A chemical and biological engineering major with a certificate in materials science and engineering, Shih compiled an extensive research biography during her four years at Princeton. Working with Professor Celeste Nelson, Shih studied tissue mechanics in epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer. She spent one summer at the Fakultät Bio- und Chemieingenieurwesen in Dortmund, Germany, and the next in Princeton as a research intern at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, visualizing polymer chain conformation under flow in porous media. For her thesis, Shih investigated how flow instabilities enhance mixing in a porous medium. Her adviser, Assistant Professor Sujit Datta, said Shih “spreads positivity and passion for science throughout the lab.” Shih, of Columbus, Ohio, will work on a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Stanford with a National Science Foundation fellowship.