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

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Release Date: 

April 5th, 2017

WASHINGTON DC, April 5, 2017 – The nation’s most promising engineering professionals of tomorrow have been recognized with DiscoverE’s sixth annual New Faces of Engineering College Edition honors. These students exemplify the vision, innovation and leadership skills that form the foundational elements of a successful engineering career. The announcement coincides with today’s second annual Global Day of the Engineer, a worldwide day of celebration and volunteerism that shines a spotlight on the work done by engineers and inspires the next generation of engineering and technology professionals.

This year’s exceptional group all display a singular commitment to effecting positive change  through substantive, real world applications of their skills and training. The students participate in a diverse range of projects and initiatives from renewable energy to medical breakthroughs. 

The students also share an instinctive recognition of the responsibility and vital importance of serving as mentors to younger students. The 2017 class is actively involved in the student chapters of their engineering societies and engineering outreach both on and off campus. In addition to their engineering feats and pro-social initiatives, these individuals have also demonstrated academic excellence and leadership within student organizations, as well as outstanding communication skills and non-engineering related community service.

Sponsored by NCEES and Lockheed Martin, New Faces College Edition recognizes students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of their undergraduate engineering degree. In addition to recognizing these college age engineering students, DiscoverE also honors engineering professionals 30 years old and under through its New Faces of Engineering Professionals program.

The college honorees, along with the participating engineering societies with which they are affiliated, include:


2017 New Faces College Edition Honorees:


Moises Bonilla       

Award Year: 2017

College: University of Colorado Boulder

Engineering Discipline (Major): Civil Engineering

Nominated by: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)


Moises’ passion for engineering was sparked in a high school robotics class. An internship gave him more exposure to building and programming robots, but ultimately showed him his heart wasn’t in robotics but rather in bridges, roads, and public works. Now a civil engineering major, Moises has an internship with the City of Boulder Public Works Department. This allows him to apply what he is learning in school to real world projects like mapping out new public works projects and assisting with city inspections. These experiences have proved to be important milestones on his road to becoming an engineer—one showing him an area he likes but doesn’t want to pursue and another stoking his excitement to build a career where people are renovating and improving America’s infrastructure. 


Katelyn Brinker

Award Year: 2017

College: Missouri University of Science & Technology

Engineering Discipline (Major): Electrical Engineering

Nominated By: IEEE-USA


Katelyn joined her school’s Mars Rover Design Team in her freshman year. During her four years with the team, she has done every job from Outreach and PR to Chief Technology Officer to Science Team Lead and Development Team Lead. Being part of a team of passionate engineers and taking on so many different roles has helped Katelyn develop and strengthen her technical, leadership and interpersonal skills. These will hold her in good stead as she pursues a career designing the next generation of technology to be used in space exploration and inspiring more students to explore engineering.


Meredith Burke

Award Year: 2017

College: Southern Methodist University

Engineering Discipline (Major): Mechanical Engineering

Nominated By: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)


Meredith has found a supportive network of engineers—fellow students and professors alike—in college. She’s sought out answers to questions about which classes to take, what internships are available, and how to forge a career path that includes both engineering and art. She’s even gotten support and funding from her school to pursue her dream of breaking a Guinness World Record for launching a piece of toast (directly from the toaster) 15 feet in the air. Currently in the design phase, Meredith plans on building the souped-up toaster, breaking the record, and then visiting with different Girl Scout troops to show them how fun, exciting and sometimes wacky engineering can be. 


Michael Concepcion-Santana

Award Year: 2017

College: Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico

Engineering Discipline (Major):  Biomedical Engineering

Nominated by: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)


The first member of his family to attend college, Michael is aiming high, with post-graduate plans to continue on for a PhD and perhaps an MD as well. His work in biomedical engineering is providing the path for him to pursue his passion for research, develop and expand his scientific knowledge and explore important new medical treatments and therapies. Michael’s area of focus is cancer cell research, looking at the innovation of new drugs, ways to deliver drugs to pathologic cells and new therapeutic agents to combat diseases. He has had the opportunity to explore and work in different programs, including research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Ole Miss Physical Chemistry (REU) and several NSF- REU sites in Puerto Rico.


Ashley Cronk

Award Year: 2017

College: University of California, Berkeley

Engineering Discipline (Major): Civil & Environmental Engineering

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


Ashley’s known since she was a little girl that she wanted to improve people’s lives. She just didn’t know how. At 17, she dropped out of high school, after a few years of piecing work together, Ashley decided to give school another chance and enrolled in community college. It was there that she was introduced to the Bridge to Engineering program and a professor who helped her figure out how she can make a difference—by dedicating her life to designing effective and sustainable environmental practices. Today, Ashley is enrolled at UC Berkeley and will be working with the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab this summer.


Desarae Echevarria

Award Year: 2017

College: Milwaukee School of Engineering

Engineering Discipline (Major): Mechanical Engineering

Nominated by: NACME


Desarae always knew she wanted to help people. She first became interested in engineering after watching the show How It’s Made and seeing the engineering that went in to different products. Years later she is combining her passions to make a difference around the world. Desarae recently went to Nicaragua to start a public health brigade with 30 students and alumni from her university, bringing basic sanitation and water to the community, which included digging 500 meters of trenches for the water source. Desarae hopes to support populations in developing countries after graduation.


Adrien Feudjio Temgoua

Award Year: 2017

College: Morgan State University

Engineering Discipline (Major): Electrical Engineering

Nominated by: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)


Growing up in Cameroon, West Africa, Adrien knew all about engineering as both parents are engineers. It wasn’t until he got to college that he learned about engineering societies and the benefits of membership. After attending a resume-writing workshop sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Adrien started to quickly take advantage of those benefits including a trip to a NSBE Career Fair where he landed an internship with Cisco. Two things happened next: Adrien developed an app to connect students to career fairs and student events that is widely used on campus. The other was he got a second internship with Cisco where he led a team of interns to develop a framework to migrate Cisco’s legacy applications to the cloud, a project with the potential to save Cisco millions of dollars and secure a job for Adrien with Cisco after graduation. 


Rebecca Kandell

Award Year: 2017

College: California Polytechnic State University

Engineering Discipline (Major): Biomedical Engineering

Nominated by: Society of Women Engineers (SWE)


Rebecca is looking forward to a career where she can be part of future health care improvements. To get there, she has taken advantage of multiple resources at Cal Poly, including the opportunity to work in an academic research lab, and to serve as a leader in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) collegiate section.  As a student in the research laboratory, she helps with cell culture and imaging techniques for characterizing the photo-protective effects of a milk phospholipid. From SWE officer positions, she has strengthened her technical and presentation abilities, gained a support network, and reinforced her love for engineering.



Margarita Kovalchuk

Award Year: 2017

College: California State University, Sacramento

Engineering Discipline (Major): Civil Engineering

Nominated By: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


Margarita’s undergraduate experience has been varied and filled with internships, research projects, competitions, and classes where each one builds on the other. Her participation on her school’s ASCE Water Treatment Team provided a hands-on approach to learning key concepts before encountering them in her classes. Her internship at Kennedy/Jenks Consultants saw her working on a pipeline project that transported contaminated groundwater to a treatment plant and supplemented what she had learned in class. Her research project focused on developing models to show how agricultural contaminants in ground water can change over time and opened her eyes to the power of applying research to real-world problems. She gives back to the community through organizing mentoring opportunities and engineering outreach events as president of her school’s vibrant SWE section. 


Anna Kucera

Award Year: 2017

College: Kansas State University

Engineering Discipline (Major):  Biological Engineering/Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Double Major)

Nominated by: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)


Anna is shaping a career path that combines her expertise in biological systems engineering, her lifelong fascination with how things work, and her love of animals. With an ultimate goal of designing equine prosthetics and prosthetics for other large animals, Anna has already received early admittance to Kansas State’s Veterinary School. Anna’s veterinary training will provide her with the clinical experience to compliment her engineering background. Anna is also a Calculus tutor for incoming students at KSU, which has gone beyond assisting them with their course work and into a bonding, mentoring and relationship building experience. Anna treasures her volunteer tutoring, which she describes is as ‘more of an opportunity than an occupation’.


Michelle Shadpour

Award Year: 2017

College: University of Southern California

Engineering Discipline (Major): Mechanical Engineering                                                                 

Nominated By: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)


Michelle’s summer internship with SC Engineers gave her the chance to work on retro-commissioning and net-zero energy projects. This experience showed her the impact she could have in providing environmentally friendly solutions with financial benefits to the building’s owner. It also proved that her personal interest in the environment aligned with her professional goals. Michelle is excited about her future career and volunteers with different groups on campus to mentor engineering undergraduates and started a philanthropy event on campus to encourage more girls to learn about engineering.


About DiscoverE


DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE 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



Geena Pandolfi

Sayles & Winnikoff Communications

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