Alumni awards

Well Deserved | Alumni Award Honorees

Michigan Engineering has established a recognition program to honor those alumni who personify the College’s tradition of excellence. There are four categories of awards presented annually during our homecoming celebration.

The nomination period for 2024 will open on January 15th.

To view the photos from the 2023 Alumni Awards Ceremony, click here.

9/23/22 CoE Alumni Awards Dinner at the Ford Robotics Bldg.

Alumni Medal Award

Presented to an alumnus/alumna who has attained extraordinary achievement in their field and brought distinction to Michigan Engineering. It is the highest accolade awarded by the Michigan Engineering Alumni Board. 

Daryl Kipke Photo

2023 Award Recipient: Daryl Kipke

BS Engineering Science ’85, MS Bioengineering ’86, MSE Electrical Engineering ’88
PhD Bioengineering ’91

Dr. Kipke is an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience working at the frontiers of biomedical engineering and neuroscience in both academia and as an entrepreneur. As a professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, he served as director of the Center for Neural Communication Technology and led the Neural Engineering Laboratory to become a premiere lab in the field. His research, which centers on developing miniaturized devices and systems that communicate with neural circuits throughout the brain and nervous system, has resulted in more than 200 scientific publications and dozens of patents. He advised more than 25 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are now leaders in academia, government, and industry.

As an entrepreneur, he founded several neurotechnology startup companies, including two spin-out companies from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, and brought them to business and technological success. In 2002, Dr. Kipke founded Neural Intervention Technologies, Inc. and led it to success as Chief Scientific Officer. It was later acquired by a large polymer materials firm. In 2004, Dr. Kipke founded NeuroNexus Technologies, Inc. and led the company until it was acquired by a large med-tech company. 

Then, in 2019, Dr. Kipke formed the NEL Group to re-acquire NeuroNexus and transition it back to an independent, entrepreneurial company. He is currently CEO and Managing Director of the NEL Group and NeuroNexus. The company is developing microscale neural interface devices for the medical and neuroscience research markets. In addition to his senior management responsibilities, Dr. Kipke’s research focuses on advanced neural interface systems and analytics for neuromodulation, bioelectric medicine, and electrophysiology.

Among his many honors, he has received a National Institutes of Health FIRST award, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and a Department Achievement Award for the BME department. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Kipke earned a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan in 1991. He also holds University of Michigan degrees in Electrical Engineering (MSE ’88), Bioengineering (MS ’86), and Engineering Science (BS ’85).

View the list of former Alumni Medal Award recipients.

Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Presented to an alumnus/alumna who has generously volunteered service to further College projects and activities. 

Scott Merz

2023 Award Recipient: Scott Merz

MS Bioengineering ’89, PhD Biomedical Engineering ‘ 93

Dr. Merz is the president, CEO, and co-founder of MC3 Cardiopulmonary in Dexter, Michigan. The company focuses on creating significant advances in Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, one of the most advanced life support technologies for patients suffering from acute respiratory and cardiac failure. 

A long-standing leader of the cardiopulmonary community, Dr. Merz has more than 25 years of experience in medical device research, development and business formation. He holds more than 10 patents and has led a variety of licensing arrangements, enabling the launch of several successful spinout companies.

At the University of Michigan, Dr. Merz is a member of the External Advisory Board of the Biomedical Engineering department and a part-time lecturer in Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Center for Entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Merz earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 1993 and a Master of Science in Bioengineering in 1989, both from the University of Michigan. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering from Duke University in 1987.

View the list of former Distinguished Alumni Service Award recipients.

Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

Presented to an alumnus/alumna who has contributed substantially to their field in their early career years. Recipients have either graduated from Michigan Engineering within the last ten years or are no more than 35 years old. 

Katie Bouman

2023 Award Recipient: Katie Bouman

BS Electrical Engineering ’11

Dr. Bouman is an assistant professor in the Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Electrical Engineering and Astronomy departments at the California Institute of Technology. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Dr. Bouman has made significant contributions as part of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, where she is a co-lead of the Imaging Working Group. She was recognized with the Event Horizon Telescope Early Career Award for her contributions in developing the imaging algorithms and analysis tools that enabled creating the first image of a black hole.

She is a Rosenberg Scholar, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, recipient of the Royal Photographic Society Progress Medal, and co-recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. 

Dr. Bouman earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) in 2017 and a Master of Science in EECS in 2013, both from MIT. She earned a BSE in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 2011.

View previous Outstanding Recent Alumni Award recipients.

2023 Dptmt. Merit Award Recipients

The Department Merit Awards were established to honor alumni who personify the College’s tradition of excellence and who have achieved significant accomplishments in their professional lives. The awards are given each year to graduates from each
academic department.

Michael Hess

Aerospace Engineering
Deputy Associate Administrator, Mission Support Directorate, NASA
Previous Aero recipients

Thomas McGill

Biomedical Engr.
Sr. Mgr. Regulatory Affairs for Abbott Diabetes Care
Previous BME recipients

Michael Maten

Chemical Engineering
Director, EV Policy and Regulatory Affairs, General Motors
Previous ChE recipients

Paul Ajegba

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Sr. VP of Infrastructure Engr Inc. & Associates 
Previous CEE recipients

Elsayed Talaat

Climate & Space Sciences Engineering

Director, Office of Space Weather Observations, NESDIS 
Previous CLaSP recipients

Paul Debevec

Computer Science & Engineering

Chief Research Officer, Eyeline Studios, Netflix
Previous CSE recipients

Curtis Ling

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Co-founder and CTO MaxLinear, Inc.
Previous ECE recipients

Damon Williams

Industrial and Operations Engineering

Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence
Engr, Georgia Tech
Previous IOE recipients

Mandi Damman

Integrative Systems + Design

Chief Engr. – ESCALADE IQ
General Motors
Previous ISD recipients

Marcus Collins

Materials Science and Engineering

Author, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing, Ross School of Business, U-M
Previous MSE recipients

Tom Shih

Mechanical Engineering

Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue
Previous ME recipients

Christopher Hart

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

VP Americas,
BlueFloat Energy
Previous NAME recipients

Eric Esarey

Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

Director, Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center (BELLA)
Previous NERS recipients

Joshua Mangelson


Asst. Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Brigham Young University
Previous Robotics recipients