Engineering Trifecta

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MARIETTA‚ Ga. (Jan. 28, 2016) — Kennesaw State University's Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology has garnered a trifecta of engineering accolades earning three of the top six annual awards from the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers.

Thomas Currin, dean of the College, was named 2016 Georgia Engineer of the Year while two students earned the top spots for both the Georgia Engineering Student of the Year and the Georgia Engineering Technology Student of the Year categories.

Originally nominated for the Georgia Engineer of the Year in Education, Currin received the highest score of all those nominations submitted for various categories, earning him the top award.

“I'm thrilled to be selected by my engineering peers for this honor and appreciate all the support that I have received over the years from the professional engineering community in Georgia,” Currin said.

A leader in engineering education in the state, Currin has spent nearly three decades in higher education, becoming founding dean of the engineering college at Southern Polytechnic State University in 2006 and founding dean at Kennesaw State University following the consolidation of the two Universities in 2015.

A transportation engineer prior to joining higher education, Currin has served as an evaluator and commissioner of ABET, the primary accreditation agency for engineering education in the U.S., and has authored numerous engineering education articles for publications and presentations. He also holds professional engineering licenses in several states, including Massachusetts and Georgia.

Valerie Washington, an industrial and systems engineering student at Kennesaw State, has been named the Georgia Engineering Student of the Year for 2016.  As an undergraduate, she serves as a research assistant and teaching assistant for the department.  Currently, she is working alongside Woodrow Winchester, associate professor of systems and industrial engineering at KSU, and researching ways to make the use of connected fitness tracking devices easier and more effective.

“This award is a testament to Valerie’s accomplishments and her potential in advancing the practice of engineering,” said Winchester. “Our faculty is committed to implementing high-impact educational practices, such as undergraduate research, that differentiate our students in the marketplace.”

Senior mechanical engineering technology student Kurt Jacobson was named the Georgia Engineering Technology Student of the Year. Jacobson, who is working on a minor in nuclear engineering, serves as vice president of the Kennesaw State Nuclear Society and is a student assistant in the Center for Nuclear Studies. He also works as a supplemental instruction leader for more than 70 students taking the Strength of Materials course.

“Kurt has collaborated with industry and has designed and fabricated various machineries. He is currently in the process of getting a patent for the CNC tubing notcher machine that he designed,” said Simin Nasseri, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “He is curious and studies everything to understand and use in the future. He is among the top students at our university.”

Currin, Washington and Jacobson will be honored Feb. 13 in Atlanta during the Georgia Engineers Week Awards Gala. The Georgia Society of Professional Engineers hosts the event in collaboration with the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Highway Engineers, the Georgia Engineering Foundation, the Structural Engineers Association of Georgia and the Women’s Transportation Seminar.

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--Tiffany Capuano; photos by David Caselli & Anthony Stalcup