Third Annual New Faces of Engineering College Edition Honors Most Promising Engineering Professionals of Tomorrow

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Release Date: 

April 2nd, 2014

WASHINGTON DC, April 02, 2014 – Exemplifying the collaborative, intuitive and creative spirit that is the foundation for a successful engineering career, today’s college engineering students are already hard at work putting the gears in motion to make their impact on the future. DiscoverE is honoring 15 of the nation’s most promising engineering professionals of tomorrow with its third annual New Faces of Engineering College Edition.

This year’s exceptional group all display great potential to change the world around them. These students participate in a diverse range of projects and initiatives from honoree Vivianna Gamez Molina enhancing the mineral content in bottled water to Steve Xiaoyi Zhang’s app helping users achieve their weight loss goals.

In addition to being honored for their innovative work, winners are also recognized for academic excellence, leadership within student organizations, outstanding communication skills, non-engineering related community service and involvement in the engineering industry. The 2014 class is actively involved in the student chapters of their engineering societies as well as engineering outreach both on and off campus.

Honoree Joshua Ott pursued his engineering passion overseas in Tanzania with Engineers Without Borders. He helped develop solar upgrades for a rural secondary school. Trang Luong traveled to Germany to analyze the dynamics of wind towers with experts at The Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

Funding for New Faces of Engineering College Edition is provided by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

“The level of accomplishment, drive and passion exhibited by these students, who still have yet to graduate, is truly remarkable,” said Jerry Carter, NCEES CEO. “They are the best of the best and NCEES is exceptionally proud to partner with DiscoverE to showcase their achievements.”

College Edition recognizes students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of their undergraduate engineering degree. The honorees, along with the participating engineering societies with which they are affiliated, include:

AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) 

Mya Hartley University of Florida  5th year

As an intern at Sandia National Labs, Mya’s independent experiment on the cleaning efficacy of detergents and solvents on a sebacate oil was published as a Sandia Report.

ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers)

Max Wallace

University of Florida

4th year

Max's internship, working on an Everglades restoration project, gave him the opportunity to apply his knowledge of land and water resources while making a difference in Florida.

ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)

Trang Luong

University of South Florida

3rd year

Trang’s international experience includes an internship in Germany, where she worked with a team of experts to analyze the behavior and dynamics of wind towers at The Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.


Erin Miller

Penn State

5th year

An architectural engineering major, Erin is working to improve the energy efficiency of an historic performing arts building in the Midwest by implementing innovative heat transfer methods.


Merry Campbell

Daniel Webster College

3rd year

Merry founded the Kenya Connection Club, a program that creates instructional videos to help professors at African International University connect with students using a learning management system.

CIE-USA (Chinese Institute of Engineers)

Steve Xiaoyi Zhang

University of California, Los Angeles

4th year

Steve, a computer science major, is working toward marketing his iPhone app, EyeWeight. He designed the app to help users achieve weight loss goals with negative visual stimulus.


Mike Pruszinske

Iowa State University

3rd year

Mike applied his entrepreneurial spirit and worked with friends to found start-up ChariText. This fundraising site encourages people to opt-in for text advertisements; the ad proceeds go to charity.

NACME (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering)

Paola Davalos

Florida International University

5th year

Paola, an environmental engineering major, assesses energy poverty as well as inadequate drinking water and sanitation in an effort to integrate low cost, green technologies in low-income areas.

NOGLSTP (National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals)

Brittany Bennett

Smith College

3rd year

Passionate about getting girls interested in engineering, Brittany has led Smith’s “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” and developed hands-on activities and trained volunteers for the annual event.

NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers)

Ibironke Ogunye

Carnegie Mellon University

4th year

Ibironke’s internship with General Electric enhanced her networking skills as she connected with managers and interns outside her department to help her understand a completely new computer program.

NSPE (National Society of Professional Engineers)

Joshua Ott

Northern Illinois University

4th year

Joshua, a mechanical engineering major, developed solar upgrades for a rural secondary school in Tanzania. He worked on this project with Engineers Without Borders.

SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers)

Vivianna Gamez Molina

Northern Arizona University

4th year

Vivianna uses her environmental engineering knowledge to work with nutritionists and other specialists to enrich bottled water with mineral content to be consumed by children, adults and seniors.

SME Education Foundation (Society of Manufacturing Engineers)

Melly Meyer

University of Wisconsin – Madison

4th year

Melly, a geological engineering major, is studying the geology of Jackson, WI to decontaminate water affected by an oil pipeline burst.

SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers)

Andy DeCheck

Texas A&M University

3rd year

Andy’s internship at Southwestern Energy gave him a chance to collaborate with engineers of various disciplines to research more economical and sustainable methods for drilling and producing petroleum.

SWE (Society of Women Engineers)

Sara Lillard

California Polytechnic State University

4th year

Sara, an aerospace engineering major, is learning how to build rockets and satellites. She pursued opportunities to apply this knowledge during her internships at Eaton Corporation and NASA.

Visit DiscoverE’s New Faces of Engineering - College Edition Facebook page for more information about this program.

To learn more about the organization, connect with DiscoverE on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

About DiscoverE

The mission of DiscoverE is to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration and volunteerism. DiscoverE supports a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit

Press Contact:

Michelle Addo

Sayles & Winnikoff Communications

212-725-5200 x122

Kalli Dionysiou

Sayles & Winnikoff Communications

212-725-5200 x 112