The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science celebrated the remarkable accomplishments of alumni, students, and faculty at this year’s Awards Dinner, held on November 4 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel ballroom.

By M. Abraham

With more than 400 colleagues and friends in attendance, awards were presented to 11 individuals, including the co-founder of Broadcom, Henry Nicholas, who was honored as Alumnus of the Year.

KNBC 4 reporter and engineering alumnus Patrick Healy, along with UCLA Engineering Dean Vijay K. Dhir, emceed the event, which focused on the School’s 60th anniversary. A video prepared especially for the dinner highlighted the School’s early days, and showcased innovative research in alternative energy and clean water, as well as other interdisciplinary research centers that will play a major role in the School’s future.

Dean Dhir also shared several statistics from the past academic year that underscored the School’s increasing prominence:

* Twenty-two of our affiliated faculty are members of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest distinction that can be bestowed on an engineer.
* UCLA Engineering awarded 137 PhDs this year, placing UCLA within the top two in the country, and more than 17 of the School’s PhD graduates and 6 postdoctoral researchers received academic positions at universities around the world.
* Government, corporate, and private funding for research in the School topped $88 million, not only another record year, but dollars that are critical to ongoing research, especially in light of shrinking support from the State.

Friend of the School Edward K. Rice, who generously established an endowed fund last year to support engineering’s student awards, took to the stage to present this year’s Edward K. Rice Outstanding Student honors: 2005 Outstanding Undergraduate Student, Kristina Cydzik, 2005 Outstanding Master’s student, Philip Wegge, and 2005 Outstanding Doctoral Student, Vijay Raghunathan.

Alumni Board Vice President Coretta Harris presented the 2005 UCLA Engineering Distinguished Young Alumnus Award to Vincent Gau and the 2005 UCLA Engineering Alumni Association Service Award to Aaron Cohen.

Computer science professor Richard Korf received the 2005 Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award from Lockheed’s Larry Pellett, and Northrop Grumman’s Gary Ervin presented the 2005 Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award to electrical engineering assistant professor Lei He and to Laurent Pilon, assistant professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Professor George Bekey garnered the 2005 Alumni Achievement in Academia Award, and the 2005 Professional Achievement Award went to Jeff Lawrence, founder, president and CEO of Clivia Systems. The evening’s final honor was given to Broadcom co-founder Henry Nicholas as Alumni of the Year, presented by Dean Dhir.

Main Image: Nicholas with Dean Dhir.