Innovative Early-Career Engineers Selected to Participate in NAE's 2021 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium


Wed, June 23, 2021

Washington D.C., June 23, 2021 —

Eighty-three of the nation’s brightest early-career engineers have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 27th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium. Engineers who are performing exceptional research and technical work in a variety of disciplines will come together for the two-and-a-half day event. The participants — from industry, academia, and government — were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations.

The 2021 USFOE will be held September 22-24 at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, California.

The symposium will explore four themes:

  • Resilience in Pandemics: Data and Digital Infrastructure for Informed Decision-Making
  • Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure
  • Transforming the Climate Change Discussion: The Role of Direct Air Capture
  • Investigating the Final Frontier: Engineering the Future of Space Exploration.

“This past year has taught us how important engineering collaboration is in solving some of the world’s most difficult problems,” said NAE President John L. Anderson. “The USFOE symposium helps foster this collaborative spirit in young engineers by bringing a diverse group together from different technical areas and work sectors to spark innovation and develop long-term relationships that are critical in advancing our nation’s future.”

The following engineers were selected as general participants:

Kandis Abdul-Aziz

University of California, Riverside

Kareem Ahmed

University of Central Florida

Jamel Ali

FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

Douglas Allaire

Texas A&M Engineering

Jason Arbuckle

Brunswick Corp.

Senjuti Basu Roy

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Kristen Beck

IBM Research

Nikolai Begg


Laura Bradley

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Kevin Buettner

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering

Douglas Call

North Carolina State University

Jennifer Carter

Case Western Reserve University

Karen Dannemiller

Ohio State University

Sili Deng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Claudio Di Leo

Georgia Institute of Technology

Laura Dial

GE Research

Nicholas Faenza


Farnaz Farzan

Quanta Technology

Raffaella Fior

HP Inc.

Ian Floyd

U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center

Alan Futran


Wei Gao

California Institute of Technology

Tryana Garza-Cruz


Pierre Ghisbain

Thornton Tomasetti

Katrina Groth

University of Maryland

Erik Hellstrom

Ford Motor Co.

Joshua Heyne

University of Dayton

Shamina Hossain-McKenzie

Sandia National Laboratories

Elcin Icten-Gencer


Himanshu Jasuja


Carlee Joe-Wong

Carnegie Mellon University

Achuta Kadambi

University of California, Los Angeles

Asimina Kiourti

Ohio State University

Eleftheria Kontou

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Kadon Kyte

Boeing Co.

Cristiana Lara


Linh Le

Flextrapower Inc.

Jennifer Lee

Ball Aerospace

Ji Yun Lee

Washington State University

Jennifer Lowe


Lu Lu


Luis Maestro

Nokia Bell Labs

Corey Markfort

University of Iowa

Charles Martin

HRL Laboratories

Yi Mazumdar

Georgia Institute of Technology

Eric McVay

NASA Langley Research Center

Joshua Middaugh

Air Products and Chemicals

Marc Miskin

University of Pennsylvania

Daniela Moody


Jiwon Moran

Collins Aerospace

Kristin Morgan

University of Connecticut

Hala Mostafa

Raytheon Technologies Research Center

Kashif Nawaz

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Jacqueline O'Connor

Pennsylvania State University

Wale Odukomaiya

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Diana Ortiz-Montalvo

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Necmiye Ozay

University of Michigan

Prakash Peranandam

General Motors

Andrew Plummer

Northrop Grumman

Seemit Praharaj

Xerox Corp. — Xerox Research & Development

Shavindra Premaratne


Kristen Pudenz

Lockheed Martin

Ram Ratnakar

Shell International E&P Inc.

Jennifer Robinson

University of Kansas

Deborah Russell

Dell Technologies

Kaitlyn Sadtler

National Institutes of Health

Marco Salviato

University of Washington

Oishi Sanyal

West Virginia University

Joel Schmidt

Chevron Technology Co.

Marcel Schreier

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Michael Sealy

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Komal Shetye

Texas A&M University

Harsha Vardhan Simhadri

Microsoft Research & Incubations

Shweta Singh

Purdue University

Jillian Stover

Seqirus, a division of CSL

Ravishankar Sundararaman

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Sneha Vasudevan

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Augusto Vega


Meng Wu

Arizona State University

Yu Yang

University of Nevada, Reno

Xiaowei Yue

Virginia Tech

Liwei Zhang

University of Texas at Arlington

Rohit Zope

Cummins Research & Technology


Organizing Committee:

Timothy Lieuwen (Chair)

Georgia Institute of Technology

Allison Anderson

University of Colorado Boulder

Jessica Collisson Samuels

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Roman Danyliw

Software Engineering Institute

Katherine Davis

Texas A&M University

Jessilyn Dunn

Duke University

Ryan Lively

Georgia Institute of Technology

Jennifer Pazour

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Micaela Taborga Claure

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering



Andrew Abercromby

NASA Johnson Space Center

Allison Barto

Ball Aerospace

Rodrigo Blanco Gutierrez

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering

Daniella DellaGiustina

University of Arizona

Peter Frazier

Cornell University

Adam Hahn


Karen Hicklin

University of Florida

Jason Hill

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Samantha Keppler

University of Michigan

Peter MacKay

General Electric

Colin McCormick

Carbon Direct

Bo Naasz


Sarah Nielsen

Janssen Supply Chain

Simon Pang

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Maxime Tornier


Sponsors for the 2021 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering are The Grainger Foundation, National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Amazon, Microsoft Research, and Cummins.

The mission of the NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.Sponsors for the 2021 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering are The Grainger Foundation, National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Amazon, Microsoft Research, and Cummins.

Janet  Hunziker
Contact Janet Hunziker
Senior Program Officer
National Academy of Engineering
FOE Grainger USFOE