Best Dissertation Symposium

Director of Doctoral Programs, Jennifer Gerson, Senior Associate Dean, Kelly Goulis, Wolfgang Hönig, Yuan Hu, William F. Ballhaus, Jr., Shanyuan Niu, Brendan Colvert, and Executive Vice Dean Gaurav S. Sukhatme at the 2019 Best Dissertation Symposium

Each year, the Viterbi School of Engineering’s academic departments awards PhD candidates who submitted exceptional research dissertations the honor of Best Dissertation. Each PhD student who receives the Best Dissertation award is also nominated to compete for the William F. Ballhaus, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research. A faculty committee reviewed the dissertations and narrowed down the nominees to four finalists. The finalists presented their research at the Best Dissertation Symposium on April 18, 2019. From these nominees, a final winner is selected and announced at the Viterbi School of Engineering PhD Hooding and Awards Ceremony on May 9, 2019.

The finalists for the 2019 William F. Ballhaus, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research are:

Brendan Colvert

Aerospace Engineering
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Eva Kanso
Dissertation Title: Physics-based and data-driven models for bio-inspired flow sensing and motion planning

Wolfgang Hönig

Computer Science
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Nora Ayanian
Dissertation Title: Motion Coordination for Large Multi-Robot Teams in Obstacle-Rich Environments

Yuan Hu

Astronautical Engineering
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Joseph Wang
Dissertation Title: Kinetic Studies of Collisionless Mesothermal Plasma Flow Dynamics

Shanyuan Niu

Materials Science
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Jayakanth Ravidchandran
Dissertation Title: Perovskite Chalcogenides: Emerging Semiconductors for Visible to Infrared Optoelectronics