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Engineers’ Society of Western PA Honors Pitt Engineering Professor and Students at 136th Annual Banquet

PITTSBURGH (Feb. 10, 2020) — Students and faculty from the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering were recognized on Feb. 6, 2020, at the 136th Annual Engineering Awards Banquet of the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), the longest-lived awards program in American history. Brandon Grainger, PhD, Eaton Faculty Fellow, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate director of the Electric Power Engineering program, was named Engineer of the Year. Grainger is also associate director of the Energy GRID Institute. Trevor Devine, a senior in chemical and petroleum engineering, was awarded the Swanson School’s George Washington Prize.

The George Washington Prize finalists include McKenzie Sicke (BioE) and Timothy Wroge (ECE). Semi-finalists include Katherine Dunkelberger (BioE), Chloe Feast (IE), and Alexander Short (ECE).  

“Since 1880 the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania has been uniting professionals who build the world around us and advance the human condition, and we are proud of our faculty and students who have been recognized by this historic organization,” says James R. Martin II, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. “Brandon and Trevor are two fine examples of the innovation, civic engagement and grit characteristic of Pitt engineers, and I’m proud to recognize their contributions to engineering’s bright and vital future.”

Since it was created in 1998, the Engineer of the Year Award recognizes individuals who have significant technical and professional accomplishments that contribute to the engineering profession. Winners are ESWP members who are active in civic and community affairs.

The George Washington Prize, founded in 2008, honors the first President of the United States and the country’s first engineer. Its mission is to reinforce the importance of engineering and technology in society, and enhance the visibility of the profession across the Swanson School’s engineering disciplines. The annual award recognizes Pitt seniors who display outstanding leadership, scholarship and performance as determined by a committee of eight professional engineers and Swanson School faculty. Winners receive a $2500 Dean’s Fellowship and award plaque. An additional $7,500 is awarded to the winner if he or she attends graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh.

The awards were presented at the ESWP Annual Engineering Awards Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel.

About Trevor Devine

Trevor Devine is a senior at the Swanson School of Engineering, scheduled to graduate with his BS in chemical engineering in April 2020. During his time at Pitt, Trevor interned with the RAPID Institute and with Harbison Walker International, where he designed and executed a project to identify the root cause of an issue affecting more than half of the company’s customers. A Mascaro Scholar, Trevor participated in the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation’s Undergraduate Summer Research Program in 2018. He continues that work as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Götz Veser’s research group, focusing on transitioning from batch to continuous processing of specialty chemicals through process intensification. After graduation, he plans to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering before obtaining a research and development position in the chemical industry.

About Brandon Grainger

Brandon Grainger, PhD, is associate director of the Swanson School of Engineering’s Electric Power Engineering Program and associate director of the Energy GRID Institute. He received his PhD in electrical engineering with a specialization in power conversion from Pitt in 2014, where he also received his master’s degree in electrical engineering and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.  He was one of the first R.K. Mellon graduate student fellows as the Center for Energy was being established at Pitt. 

About ESWP

Founded in 1880, ESWP is a nonprofit association of more than 850 members and 30 affiliated technical societies engaged in a full spectrum of engineering and applied science disciplines. Now in its 134th year, the annual Engineering Awards Banquet is the oldest award event in the world - predating the Nobel Prize (1901), the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (1907), and the Pulitzer Prize (1917).

Author: Maggie Pavlick

Contact: Maggie Pavlick