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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.

2024 Dean's Medal Nominees

  • James Froelich, Computer Science & Engineering
  • Dillon Gyotoku, Industrial & Systems Engineering
  • Katherine Hinds, Material Science & Engineering
  • Isaac Kim, Bioengineering
  • Emilia Peterson, Aeronautics & Astronautics
  • Eileen Zhange, Human Centered Design & Engineering

2024 Dean's Medalists

Aya Alayli

Aya Alayli

Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Throughout her time as an undergraduate student, Aya Alayli has contributed to research focused on the economic and policy impact of sustainable power systems and has used her time at the UW to advocate for equity in engineering.

Working with Professor Daniel Kirschen in the Renewable Energy Analysis Lab, Aya’s research focuses on the variable nature of wind, solar and thermal energy generation. Her interest in power systems modeling, sustainable development and grid planning inspired her current research on the economic viability of carbon capture compared to other electricity resources to inform policy related to power grid planning. Aya presented her findings at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Outside of the lab, Aya is dedicated to equity and access, and serves as a residential advisor in an engineering-centered dorm, where she supports women of color in engineering and advocates for building accessibility, mental health issues and more. She has been recognized for her work with the Mary Gates Research Scholarship and the Boeing National Merit Scholarship. After graduation, Aya plans to continue her research and pursue a Ph.D. at the UW.

Matthew Bonner

Matthew Bonner

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Connecting his passion for nature to making a difference for people through his research, Matthew Bonner is using his time at the UW to develop sustainable applications of hydrology and to strengthen interdisciplinary relationships across research and the university.

Matthew’s research harnesses knowledge of water’s distribution, movement, and quality to monitor snowpack in the Cascades, restore streams degraded by roads, and break down pollutants. At the UW, he works with the Mountain Hydrology Research group, where he focuses on making the meteorological data and other information they collect from Snoqualmie Pass accessible to the public as part of the group’s commitment to engaging with citizen scientists. He has also partnered with experts and local communities in Nicaragua, Prince of Wales Island, and throughout the Puget Sound to implement rainwater-fed irrigation systems, rain gardens, aquatic organism passageways, water supply systems, and even chemical reactors.

Recognizing the importance of different perspectives in the field, Matthew works with UW student organization Peaks and Professors as a trip lead, where he organizes hikes that promote idea sharing between professors and students. After graduation, Matthew will continue his work as a stormwater project engineer at Osborn Consulting, Inc., where he will work on sustainable stormwater infrastructure that enhances water quality.

View past Dean's Medalists