Research Park Honors Most Valuable Interns of 2012

Category : Recognition & Awards
Posted on: August 3, 2012


Outstanding student interns working for companies in the Research Park were honored Aug. 2 at the annual Intern Recognition Event. Supervisors nominated a broad spectrum of interns for this year’s awards; all the awardees are students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At any given time more than 400 highly-skilled student interns work for Research Park tenants, gaining valuable experience while making real contributions to internal corporate research and development programs. The judging team received 38 nominations this year, almost double last year’s total. Five awards were given out, with finalists honored in each category. 

The winners are:

Most Valuable Marketing/Business Development Intern: Anne Wessel, junior in industrial design, IPT: Anne designed dramatic innovations in the sewing components of IPT’s prosthetic arm.

(Finalists: Carol Grzych, State Farm; Jon Striegel, State Farm) 


Most Valuable Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup: John Stratton, PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, MulticoreWare: He has been the primary developer of a new product line that has been getting consistently high interest from clients.

Finalists: Sam Rappeport, Serionix; Philip Jurik, 4D Teleport; Christina Korp, Dioxide Materials


Most Valuable Tech Innovation in the Research Park: Daniel Herber (pictured with manager Hank Roark), graduate student in Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, Deere & Co.: Created a significant computational simulation and developed a method for calibration of the models. His work will be the basis for a patent application and/or submitted for publication.  

Finalists: Josh Eckhardt, Caterpillar; Hee-Seok Kim, MulticoreWare


Most Valuable Graduate in the Research Park: Jibo He, Psychology graduate student, State Farm: Developed a high functioning smartphone prototype that has the potential to prevent thousands of drowsy driver-related crashes.

Finalists: Saurav Mohapatra, PowerWorld; Rohit Naini, Neustar


Most Valuable Undergraduate in the Research Park: Anna Oldani, recent graduate, Caterpillar: Anna’s modeling and structural analysis work is very comparable to the work done by full-time engineers, and allowed her team to serve more customers that it could otherwise serve. 

Finalists: Zack Stone, Waterborne Environmental; Alex Ratcliff, MulticoreWare