The Kenneth Johnsen Graduate Student of the Month awards recognize outstanding students who excel academically and are examples for the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The awards are named for Kenneth Johnsen, a former graduate student in the department who was called, “The quintessential grad student. He was smart, respectful, adventurous, hard-working, funny, easy to get along with, scholarly, and had a passion for learning.” While pursuing his graduate studies, Ken was diagnosed with cancer, and eventually succumbed to his illness. This award was established to honor his memory.​

Faculty members are encouraged to nominate students who embody the qualities Ken exemplified so well.​

Once a student is chosen, a poster with their photo and bio is displayed in the department for that month. In addition, both the photo and bio are featured in the department’s newsletters and are posted here. At the Graduate Engineering Annual Recruiting and Research Symposium banquet in March these students are recognized with a certificate and a small scholarship.


Alex Yersak on the slopes.

April 2016 - Alex Yersak

Sept. 1, 2016

Alex is a fourth year PhD student who has been investigating atomic layer deposited thin films for ultrabarriers and corrosion protection of thin metal films. He has had the opportunity to conduct his research both on campus at CU and at ALD Nanosolutions. Prior to graduate school, Alex received his... Read more »
Masoud Aghajani standing by a lake.

February 2016 - Masoud Aghajani

July 20, 2016

Masoud has gone through a long journey before joining the PhD program in Fall 2015.Read more »

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