On Wednesday, April 28th, the department of electrical and computer engineering hosted its annual Senior Banquet at the U’s Eccles Alumni House. The event serves to recognize the outstanding achievements of the senior undergraduates and faculty within the department and show appreciation to industry sponsors who support student projects. Family and friends were in attendance to celebrate students and express their support.

Students presented their senior projects at a Technical Open House on Tuesday, April 27th, where judges ranked their work based on presentation skills, project knowledge, design and engineering processes. Based on the results, the Outstanding Senior Project and Project Design Excellence Awards were given to one team from Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Other awards acknowledged student achievements like outstanding research, exemplary teamwork, academic excellence, and strong leadership. The awards were presented by ECE’s chair, Florian Solzbacher and director of advising and mentoring, Angela Rasmussen.

Recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Aurora Taylor-Rojas (left) with ECE Chair Florian Solzbacher (right).

This year the department was honored to hear from Segment Vice President of Engineering for L3Harris Technologies’ Communication Systems Segment, Aurora Taylor-Rojas, who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Taylor-Rohas received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Utah before gaining more than 25 years of leadership experience across various engineering disciplines. In her current role, she oversees 2,700 engineers and drives technical program performance, innovation strategies and advanced technology solutions for customers. Taylor-Rojas expressed her gratitude for the award, spoke to the group about her history with the department and shared her advice for students, wishing them luck in the next chapter of their life. She is an excellent example of the potential of all students who graduate from the ECE program. 

Congratulations to all of ECE’s seniors on their well-deserved success! We have been impressed by the hard work and dedication that they have demonstrated throughout their time in the department and anticipate bright futures for each of them. 

Find a list of awards and recipients, as well as photos from the event, below. For those who were unable to attend, a recorded version of the event can be found here

Student Recipients

Department Excellence – Anna Bouska

Outstanding TA and Tutor​ – Shaun McKellar

Best Clinic Team – Nathan Dixon, Joshua Jacob, Mark Khramov, Darren Rou, Nathan Sartnurak

Outstanding Computer Engineering Senior Project – Dalton Clift, Sam Hirsch, Ben Wadsworth

Outstanding Electrical Engineering Senior Project – Braxton Chappell, Hayley Tankersley

Electrical Engineering Project Design Excellence – Carter Christensen, Jason Howard, Shaun McKellar 

Student Excellence – Colin Pollard​, Bryce Cheek

Outstanding Student Leader – Colin Payne​, Joshua Miraglia, Sam Hirsch

Academic Excellence Award – Shawn MichaelLinnebach III, Andrew Silver​, Dallin Hansen

Outstanding Researcher – Luke Majors, Braden Brown

Faculty Recipients

Outstanding Mentor Award​ – Professor Angela Rasmussen

This award is for an ECE or CS professor or Advisor who stood out to students as the best in student support, research, advising, service, and mentorship during their time in the program.

Teacher of the Year Award​ – Jamesina Simpson

This award is for the ECE or CS professor who stood out to their students as the best at teaching and instruction during their time in the program.