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Micah Armstrong and Hunter Zhang were named the UAB Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Students of the Year, respectively, Thursday night at the Engineering Council of Birmingham’s (ECOB) 61st Annual Awards Banquet, while UAB Ph.D. student Brandy McKinney received the ECOB Distinguished Service Award.

engineering students of the year 2019Micah Armstrong (left) and Hunter Zhang (right) were named the UAB Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Students of the Year.Armstrong, a senior majoring in materials science and engineering, is a member of the UAB Science and Technology Honors Program and the Materials Science and Engineering Departmental Honors Program. He has been on the Dean’s List three times and was on the President’s List in spring of 2019.

Other nominees for Undergraduate Student of the Year were Pratheek Bobba (BME), Mariam Massoud (CCEE), Connor Chandler (ECE), and Austin Stump (ME).

Zhang, a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Ph.D. program, was named the UAB Engineering Graduate Student of the Year. Hunter is a recipient of the Graduate Research Assistantship, Graduate Teaching Assistantship and Dean’s Scholarship. He won Best Paper Award at the ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. He also won second place at the poster competition at the 2019 UAB Science and Technology Open House. Hunter has authored or co-authored four international conference papers, three local conference papers and three collaborative research reports. He also has presented at a number of international conferences, both academic and industrial. At UAB, Hunter works as a researcher and supervisor in the Vehicle and Robotics Engineering Laboratory under the direction of Vladimir Vantsevich, Ph.D.

Other nominees for Graduate Student of the Year were Molly Buckley (BME), Sahila Sarjana (CCEE), David Odaibo (ECE), and Bernabe Samuel Tucker (MSE).

“Each year, we ask our engineering faculty to perform the difficult task of nominating an outstanding undergraduate and graduate student from each department,” said Timothy Wick, Ph.D., School of Engineering interim dean. “Out of many excellent students, these 10 stood out among their peers. I am impressed by what they have accomplished, and I am proud to have them represent UAB Engineering.”

McKinney wins Distinguished Service Award

McKinney2020McKinney was nominated for the Distinguished Service Award by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). She was also recently honored as the Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission Volunteer of the Year and the AmeriCorps Member of the Year. 

McKinney received her B.S. in industrial systems engineering from Auburn and her M.B.A from Alabama A&M before enrollling in UAB's Interdisciplinary Engineering Ph.D. program. 

She currently serves as the Volunteering Committee Chair for NSBE-Birmingham, and she is an advisor for Future Engineers of America.