College of Engineering

102 Bliss Hall, Kingston, RI 02881 USA

– 401.874.5985

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2017 Excellence Award Winners

Biomedical Engineering: Samuel SpinkSpink pic

Samuel received his Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering, with a minor in Spanish. He was named to the Dean’s list throughout his four years at URI.

Samuel made the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and was a prestigious Goldwater Scholar. He received the Peter A. Pelletier Endowed Scholarship, the Walter Schmid Engineering Scholarship, the Research and Scholarship Excellence Award and the URI Centennial Scholarship.

Samuel’s work in the URI Polymer Chemistry Lab since his freshman year resulted in two journal publications.

Samuel’s work on his capstone project under Dr. Ying Sun was an eye image processing device for the detection of glaucoma.

“The professors at URI taught me quite a bit from an engineering standpoint, but it was the after-hours advice and lessons that truly made an impact on my perspective and way of thinking,” said the Kingston, RI native. “I was fortunate to have professors who were willing to go out of their way to help shape my character, in addition to my technical abilities, and for that I will be forever grateful.”

Samuel will be going directly into a Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering this fall at Boston University.


Chemical Engineering: Prakash ChouwanChouwan pic

Prakash is received his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering.

He was on the Dean’s list throughout his four years he made the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society.

While at URI, Prakash was also a teaching assistant with the University’s Talent Development summer program, assisting pre-college students with mathematics.  He worked as a teaching assistant with Dr. Mercedes Rivero-Hudec for chemical kinetics and reactor design.  Prakash worked as a research assistant with Dr. Samantha Meenach on lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and lung cancer.

Prakash is a Bhutanese refugee who spent 17 years in Nepal before coming to the United States with his family.

His goal is to attend medical school.


Civil Engineering: Mason Garfield

Mason, who is from Wakefield, RI, received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with a minor in natural resource sciences.

He was a Dean’s list student, a member of the Student Advisory Group to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and was the vice president of Chi Epsilon.  Mason was the recipient of the George Geisser, John Hudson and the Narragansett Improvement Company Engineering Scholarships.

Mason interned at Woodward & Curran, designing drainage systems under Dr. Vinka Craver and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. He inspected construction sites for erosion and sediment control compliance.

He was a member of the student group, URI Engineers for a Sustainable World and was also on the rowing team.

Mason advanced his interest in the environment by minoring in natural resources science, and was a Watershed Hydrology Intern & Fellow in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS).

Mason will attend Colorado State University to pursue a master’s degree in hydraulic engineering.


Computer Engineering: Nicholas RommelNick Rommel pic
Nicholas, from Newport, RI, received his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering.

Nick made the Dean’s list each semester, received the SMART Scholarship Award and was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Pi Mu Epsilon and the Golden Key International Honor Society.  Nicholas was the recipient of the John J. Murray and Toray Plastics America Engineering Scholarship

Nicholas’s capstone project was to design a Graphical User Interface application that carried out Simple Network Management Protocol on a Rugged Uninterruptible Power Supply with Dr. Harish Sunak.

“URI prepared me for the next chapter in my career by fine tuning my problem solving methodologies through the engineering curriculum,” said Nicholas. “I also fostered my ability to work as a member of a team through the capstone program, as well as various other lab assignments that I completed.”

Nicholas interned with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport since his freshman year and will begin working there full-time this summer.


Electrical Engineering: Josiah SchafferSchaffer pic

Josiah is from West Warwick, RI.  He received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering.

After graduating first in his class from high school, Josiah made the Dean’s list each semester at URI with a 4.0 grade point average. He was a member of the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society and was the recipient of the William Bisson and Earl Sparks Engineering Scholarships.

Josiah interned at ON Semiconductor in East Greenwich RI and at CREmedical Corp, a company founded by URI Biomedical Engineering professor Dr. Walter Besio.  Josiah worked with Dr. Besio’s brain controlled signal computer game for paralyzed patients.

Josiah teamed with fellow Excellence Award winner Nicholas Rommel and two other students on the capstone project, Simple Network Management Protocol Application.

Josiah is planning on pursuing a master’s in electrical engineering.


Industrial & Systems Engineering: Matthew Agostinelli

Matthew, who is from Cumberland, RI, received his Bachelor of Science in industrial & systems engineering.

Matthew is the recipient of the Toray Plastics America Engineering scholarship, and a member of the Tau Beta Pi honor society.

As a student, Matthew was a teaching assistant for the University’s Talent Development program, he worked with incoming students tutoring math and computer programs.  Matthew interned at Eaton Vance Investment Managers in Boston, where he used his engineering skills to analyze investments. He also worked with Dr. Manbir Sodhi at the Moo Co. in Lincoln, RI, where he worked on a simulation to predict how many man-hours were needed for the production of cardstock/ business cards. Matthew also interned at a biomedical company called Fluke as an operations analyst.

He is enrolled in URI’s accelerated master’s degree program, and will receive his Master of Science in systems engineering this summer.


Mechanical Engineering: Angela ReischReisch Pic

Angela is from North Kingstown, RI.  She received her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in French, as part of URI’s International Engineering Program.

In the IEP program, she interned at Schneider Electric in Macon, France where she worked on re-industrialization of a 1980s era nuclear reactor circuit breaker to comply with new standards and regulations.  Angela also interned at Nordson EFD, in East Providence RI, where she worked with the new produce development team testing jetting valves for the use of droplet sizes.  She also designed and implemented test fixtures and assembly tools.

She is a member of the Society for Women Engineers where she served as vice president.

Angela was also a member of Phi Eta Sigma and the Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering honor societies.

Angela received scholarships from the Providence Engineering Society, the New England Society for Coatings Technology, Toray Plastics America Engineering Scholarship and received a URI Centennial Scholarship.

After graduating, Angela joined Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick, Maine, as a materials / analytical engineer.


Ocean Engineering: Letti KittelKittel pic

Letti received her received her Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering.

Letti was the recipient of the 2016 IEEE Ocean Engineering Society Student Scholarship, the Dr. Malcolm L. Spaulding & Nicole Cornillon Scholarship in Ocean Engineering, was a member of Tau Beta Pi, and a member of Omega Epsilon.

Letti’s interests are in underwater robotics and software.

She was an undergraduate researcher working in the lab with Dr. Stephen Licht and Dr. Jason Dahl, and she had an internship at FarSounder, Inc. in Warwick, RI.

In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Letti has three associate degrees in computer science, mathematics, and physics.

She is fluent in Korean, and her family currently lives in Katmandu, Nepal. Letti has accepted a job with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company as a systems test engineer.

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