10:26 AM

Computer engineering students and prof win coveted awards

University of Houston-Clear Lake's engineering students and faculty have won three prestigious awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

IEEE is the largest international organization of professional engineers, with members from over 180 countries.

Students won the coveted Outstanding Student Small Branch Award for Region 5, and the university was awarded the Outstanding Small Section Award for 2019. For the second year in a row, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering Ishaq Unwala received the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. There ceremony to honor awardees was put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unwala said the university's team also led in 2019's Stepping Stone Awards, which recognize technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, and patents.

"We gave two awards to NASA from our region because it's in our zone," he said. "Stepping Stone Awards were given to teams that have been crucial to space programs — the Analytic Ephemis Generator and Electronic Systems Test Laboratory. There was a July event to which many NASA and IEEE dignitaries were invited, and the brass plaques we awarded to those teams in that ceremony were unveiled."

Unwala said 15-20 current UHCL students are involved in IEEE, as well as many former students who work at NASA and elsewhere in the computer engineering industry. "Both undergraduate and graduate students can join, and they can attend any IEEE monthly meetings free of charge," he said. "Membership increases students' ability to listen to presentations about the research that is going on around the world, as well as build a network. Before they graduate, they know people in industry and academia that can guide them."

For more information about UHCL's Computer Engineering program, go online.