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On Tuesday, February 20, senior mechanical engineering student Hannah Szcepanski was named the School of Engineering’s Undergraduate Student of the Year, and civil engineering graduate student Afrin Hossain Anni was named the school’s Graduate Student of the Year. The two were recognized, along with 13 other UAB student nominees, at the 65th Annual Awards Banquet of the Engineering Council of Birmingham (ECOB).

 Other nominees included:


  • Michael David Heim, Biomedical Engineering
  • Aubrey Corbitt, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
  • Andrew Smith, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Brent Hughes, Materials Science & Engineering

Graduate Students

  • Yuhua Wei, Biomedical Engineering
  • Orhun Vural, Computer Engineering
  • Yu-Chao “Joe” Shih, Materials Science & Engineering
  • Emmanuel Ong'aro Ramogi, Mechanical Engineering
  • Melissa Rohrer MEng, Advanced Safety Engineering and Management
  • Anthony Petrowski MEng, Construction Engineering Management
  • Grayson Ray Gilliland MEng, Structural Engineering
  • Sarah Roberts MEng, Sustainable Smart Cities
  • Caleb Scott Rowe, Neuroengineering

Szcepanski has significant engineering-related work experience, having completed internships at Northrop Grumman, Hazen and Sawyer, and BLOX LLC. She also has conducted research in the UAB Mechanical Systems Laboratory. She is a recipient of multiple scholarships, including the UAB Presidential Scholarship, American Cast Iron Pipe Co. Scholarship, and the Clayton Reuse ASHRAE Scholarship, among others. She has been named to the UAB President’s List and is a member of the Alpha Lamda Delta and Pi Tau Sigma honor societies. She also was a Blazer Way Awards finalist.

Szcepanski has been involved with the UAB American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) since 2022, and she currently serves as the group’s social media manager. Additionally, she has served as senator in the Undergraduate Student Government Association, where she was also a Freshman Forum representative in 2020-21.

Outside of engineering, Szcepanski enjoys arts, athletics and community. She is currently president and social media manager for the ultimate frisbee team UAB Ember.

Anni is a Ph.D. student specializing in transportation engineering under the mentorship of Virginia Sisiopiku, Ph.D. She has maintained a 4.0 at UAB while studying a variety of civil engineering topics. She currently works as a traffic systems engineer for the City of Birmingham Department of Transportation. Prior to that, she completed an internship with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.

She is vice president of the UAB Institute of Transportation Engineers and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Women’s Transportation Seminar International, and the Southern District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

In addition to her academic work, Anni is passionate about gardening and engaging with nature, as well as traveling.