Materials Science Award Recipients from WSE Convocation

May 6, 2014
(L-R): Maani Archang, Dr. Orla Wilson, Toni-Rose Guiriba, Stephen Filippone, Putarut (Sunny) Suntharanund, and Eric Bressler

(L-R): Maani Archang, Dr. Orla Wilson, Toni-Rose Guiriba, Stephen Filippone, Putarut (Sunny) Suntharanund, and Eric Bressler

Congratulations to the following Materials Science students and faculty who received awards at the Whiting School of Engineering’s Convocation ceremony! Below is a full list of winners. Expand the award title for a full award description.

Stephen Filippone is a graduating materials science and engineering major from Los Fresnos, Texas. For three consecutive summers, at Northwestern and Vanderbilt, Stephen worked under the auspices of the National Science Foundations’ Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. At Johns Hopkins, he works with Michael Falk on conducting computational research on amorphous systems, as well as on his senior design project on nickel-aluminum nanofoils. Stephen is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, a 2013 Goldwater Scholar, and a 2014 Gates-Cambridge Scholar. Next year, he will attend Cambridge University to complete a Master of Philosophy in physics, working for Sir Richard Friend. Upon his return, he plans to enter a PhD program in materials science and engineering.

  • The Robert B. Pond Sr. Achievement Award is given to a graduating senior in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering who best exemplifies Professor Pond’s commitment to scholarly and humane values. Robert Pond joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 1947 as its first metallurgist; he retired in 1988. With Dr. Robert E. Green Jr., he was the co-founder of the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

Putarut (Sunny) Suntharanund is a graduating senior in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from Romeoville, Illinois. Her research interests include studying the nanomechanics of soft materials such as in polymeric nanoparticle systems and in carbon nanotube composites. She has also been a member of an award-winning engineering team in the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition. Along with engineering, Sunny is pursuing a music minor at the Peabody Institute. She enjoys performing in various musical groups and works as stage manager for the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra. Sunny also serves as a residential advisor for students living on campus, as president of the Materials Research Society chapter, and as the undergraduate representative for the Johns Hopkins reaccreditation committee. In her free time, Sunny has a passion for promoting STEM education to youth and works with Baltimore school children through the Center for Social Concern. She also enjoys playing in intramural sports and helping in community beautification projects.

  • This award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the design and conduct of an independent research project in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Maani Archang is a senior in materials science and engineering and a premed student. Born in California and raised in Iran, he is a member of the Mao Research Group in the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, the president of the Society for Biomaterials at Hopkins, and a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society. His research interests focus on developing new polymeric nanocarriers for gene therapy. He is receiving this award for his research on the role of shape and surface chemistry on the biodistribution and efficiency of DNA nanoparticles.

Eric Bressler is a graduating senior majoring in materials science and engineering. The majority of Eric’s research has been in electrochemistry or biophysics, and he is currently trying to develop peptides that could carry drugs into the brain for treatment of cancer and other disorders. For the past four years, he has been actively involved in several groups on campus dedicated to sustainability, including Eco-Reps and Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Project.

  • This award was established by Maria Maroulis ’96, ’01, and is dedicated to the memory of her mother, Irini J. Maroulis. The award recognizes an undergraduate engineering student who best exemplifies her dedication to community service and outreach.

Toni-Rose Guiriba is a junior in materials science and engineering on the nanotechnology track. Toni-Rose was a leader for her biotechnology and engineering clubs, organizing open houses and outreach events for local middle and high school students in STEM including robotics and wet lab experiments. She also volunteered for the Maryland Science Center during winter break to lead interactive hands-on activities for non-science visitors of all ages. As secretary and, later, president of her student government association, she arranged student visits to Bridge Park Nursing Home for students to listen to senior citizens’ stories and sing songs for them. Toni-Rose also started a sponsored supper twice a year for families housed in Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins to provide a break to the stress of dealing with serious illnesses.

  • This award is given for commitment to and excellence in instruction, success in instilling the desire to learn, and dedication to undergraduate students. The award is in honor of Robert B. Pond Sr., professor emeritus in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University in 1947 as its first metallurgist and retired in 1988. With Robert E. Green Jr., he was the co-founder of the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

Dr. Orla Wilson received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (1996) in chemistry from Dublin City University. Following three years at the University of Melbourne, Australia, working toward the goal of using nanoparticles to improve the security of polymer banknotes, and a year in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Orla pursued her PhD in materials chemistry at Texas A&M University. Her dissertation was titled “Structure-function relationships in dendrimer-encapsulated metal nanoparticles.” Orla has been a lecturer in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins since July 2008. She enjoys instructing the undergraduate lab class and senior design as well as teaching nanotech electives each semester.

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