Dean's Medal for Academic Excellence

Each year, the UW Engineering dean recognizes two exceptional students for academic excellence. Students must meet specific eligibility requirements and are selected from among those nominated by department chairs and reviewed by a selection committee.

Selection criteria include grades, rigor and distribution of courses, research experience, extracurricular activities, and leadership.

Congratulations to the 2014 Medalists!

Hunter Bennett


Hunter Bennett photo

Hunter Bennett is a Washington State Scholar, Washington Research Foundation Fellow, Art Levinson Emerging Scholar, and Mary Gates Research Scholar. Hunter is vice president of the student chapter of Bioengineers Without Borders, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Bennett was profiled in UW Today.

More about Hunter Bennett

As an undergraduate, Bennett explored his interest in drug delivery research by joining Dr. Kim Woodrow's lab, where he was tasked with investigating the potential of cell-seeded biopolymer systems to prevent HIV. He has presented his research at the 2013 Biomedical Engineering Society's International Conference in Seattle, and at three of the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposia.

After graduation, Bennett will join the post-baccalaureate training program in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology Branch at the National Institutes of Health, and plans to apply to graduate school in the spring. He hopes to engage in translational research to help patients and physicians make informed healthcare decisions when faced with chronic disease.

Rainie Nelson

Chemical Engineering, with an option in nanoscience and molecular engineering

Rainie Nelson photo

Rainie Nelson was a founding member of the UW Engineering Ambassadors program and was named Outstanding Female Engineer by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). In her senior year, her research with the Pozzo Research Group involved the creation of emulsions coated with gold nanoparticles for use in medical applications.

More about Rainie Nelson

Nelson participated in the Engineering Undergraduate Research Program with the Pozzo Group and presented her results at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Her research focused on improving the active layer in organic thin film photovoltaics constructed of a fullerene and polymer blend.

In the fall, Rainie will begin pursuing her PhD in chemical engineering at Iowa State University, with support from the Diane Brandt Fellowship. She plans to continue research in biomedical science or renewable energy.