Outstanding BME Students Honored - 2021

May 06 2021 | By Alexis Newman

On April 29, 2021, Columbia Engineering students, deans, faculty, staff, parents, friends, and alumni gathered virtually for Class Day to celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding students. That same afternoon, Columbia BME held a virtual celebration for our graduating BME students (WATCH VIDEO HERE). Among the honorees at both celebrations were five undergraduate and three graduate students in Biomedical Engineering. Also among the BME honorees were ten undergraduate senior designers who placed 1st and 2nd at Columbia BME's virtual Senior Design Day on April 22nd, as well as four MS student designers who placed first in the MS Biomedical Design & Innovation Awards on April 8th.




Lauren FriendOutstanding Achievement Award in Biomedical Engineering Master's Studies / Graduate Student Marshal              

The Outstanding Achievement Award in Biomedical Engineering Master's Studies is given to a Master of Science (MS) student in biomedical engineering who best exhibits academic excellence, visionary leadership, and outstanding promise for the future of innovation and engineering in medicine.

Graduate Student Marshal is an honor bestowed upon members of the Columbia College and Columbia Engineering graduating class in good academic standing who have a record of contributing to their class, their school and their community.


Shreya NarasimhanDoctoral Graduate Student Life Leadership Award

Graduate Student Life Leadership Award honors students whose participation and involvement at Columbia has enhanced the spirit of graduate life on campus, creating a more purposeful, caring, and celebrative community. 


Salman Ehtesham QasimYuen-huo Hung and Chao-chin Huang Award in Biomedical Engineering (“The Grandparents’ Award”)

Given to a graduate doctoral student who has demonstrated potential for making significant contributions to the fields of biomedical engineering and public health, and for serving as an ambassador of biomedical engineering.





Nicolas AcostaClaire S. and Robert E. Reiss Prize

This award is given by Robert E. Reiss, B.S. '66, and his wife, Claire S. Reiss to the graduating senior(s) in biomedical engineering judged by the faculty of the program as most likely to contribute substantially to the field.


Özgenur Çelik (BS exp. '22): King’s Crown Leadership & Excellence Award: Community Building

King's Crown Leadership Excellence Awards recognize the significant contributions of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students to the Columbia community. Community Building: Recipients of this award have worked to create, establish or strengthen a particular community at Columbia University. This could be accomplished through, but not limited to, relationship building, programming, shared goals or purpose, or creating a vision for the future.


Archana Murali: Campbell Award

This award, named for Bill Campbell CC’62, TC’64, who was chair emeritus of the University’s Board of Trustees, celebrates a student leader at each school who exemplifies exceptional leadership and builds Columbia spirit.


Ziad SaadeRichard Skalak Memorial Prize        

The Richard Skalak Memorial Prize was founded in recognition of the pioneering contributions of Richard Skalak to the development of the biomedical engineering program at Columbia University. Dr. Skalak was an inspirational teacher and scholar who taught students and colleagues to appreciate the value of broad interactions between engineering and medicine, particularly in the fields of cardiovascular mechanics, tissue engineering, and orthopedics. The Richard Skalak Memorial Prize is awarded annually to a senior biomedical engineering student who exemplifies the qualities of oustanding engineering scholarship and breadth of scientific curiosity that form the basis for lifelong learning and discovery.


Anisha Tyagi: Senior Marshal / King’s Crown Leadership & Excellence Award: Civic Responsibility

Senior Marshal is an honor bestowed upon members of the Columbia College and Columbia Engineering graduating class who have demonstrated achievement in their academics and extracurricular activities. Honorees are distinguished at their respective Class Day ceremonies and University Commencement by their gold aiguillettes.

King's Crown Leadership Excellence Awards recognize the significant contributions of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students to the Columbia community. Civic Responsibility: Recipients of this award best promote civic engagement, responsible citizenship, and global citizenship. This includes both on-campus and off-campus activities, initiatives, and service.


See our past winners HERE.





Team Amani Mama - An early screening device for pre-eclampsiaBest Overall Design Award

Design Team Members: Shirley Xinyi Liu, Ashley Qian-Hui Lee, Mara Katinka Kaspers, and Vernicka Gene Mercado de Sagun





Team EyePhone1st Place, BME 2021 Senior Design Award

Design Team Members: Allegra Campanini-Bonomi, Katherine Liu, Lauren Sekiguchi, Anisha Tyagi, Helen Ugulava

Faculty Advisor: Stephen Tsang, Ph.D.

Project Abstract:

There are over three million people who suffer from glaucoma in the U.S. The vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible, and most of the current treatments are focused on preventing further progression of the disease. Preventing disease progression is heavily dependent on consistent monitoring; however, monitoring is often inadequate due to a number of factors including improper intervals between examinations or poor patient adherence. EyePhone is a mobile phone app that works in coordination with a Google Cardboard to create a virtual reality field for at-home visual field testing. Our prototype produces stimuli of varying intensities across the user’s visual field and uses voice recognition to document detection of the stimuli. The device utilizes existing visual field testing algorithms to assess a person’s vision outside of a doctor’s office, promoting more regular and accessible monitoring of glaucoma progression.


Team Perfecto InjectorRunner Up, BME 2021 Senior Design Award

Design Team Members: Divya Gandla, Cyrus Jonathan Ghaderi, Julia Hutsko, Alexander Kaminsky, Guntaash Sahani

Faculty Advisor: Barclay Morrison III, Ph.D.

Project Abstract:

More than 25 million patients are currently being treated for posterior eye segment disorders like macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. Ideal treatment includes drug delivery into the suprachoroidal space (SCS). SCS medication delivery is minimally invasive, has better target-site specificity, and allows for more sustained delivery compared to other methods of administration. However, current suprachoroidal injectors require the ophthalmologist to sense subtle tactile cues as the needle moves into the target. Consequently, there is a need to develop an easy-to-use, minimally invasive suprachoroidal drug delivery method to make the process less demanding and more broadly available. To address this problem, our Perfecto Injector detects differential pressure changes that occur as a needle is injected through the sclera and into the SCS, alerting the ophthalmologist when SCS access is achieved. Initial testing demonstrates precise ability to reach the SCS without over-insertion, indicating that this may be a promising technique to broadly provide SCS drug therapy.


CLICK HERE for the full e-program from BME 2021 Senior Design Day.