Nguyen Recognized with College’s 2021 Award for Excellence
Congratulations to Dzung Nguyen who’s won the Engineering Award of Excellence and was recognized along with two other outstanding ECE staff members at the annual Awards for Excellence ceremony.
April 28, 2021 By Charles Hall
Three outstanding electrical and computer engineering staff members were recognized by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University at the annual Awards for Excellence ceremony held virtually on April 28. Dr. Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering, honored the nominees, which included Ozgur Ozdemir, Dzung Nguyen, and Clay (CJ) Gosnell.
Dzung Nguyen was named one of the two SHRA winners for the College and presented with a plaque, cash award, and paid time off.
The Awards for Excellence program recognizes the accomplishments and achievements of permanent NC State employees at both the unit and University levels who do not hold faculty rank. Winners received eight hours of paid time off, a $250 check and a plaque. Winners are also made eligible for the university-wide Awards for Excellence—which will be awarded this summer.
“Dzung created protocols that have enabled the safe use of the MakerSpaces for senior design and other courses with hybrid or face-to-face formats. His effective management of the MakerSpaces during the very unusual circumstances of the past year has significantly enhanced the experiences and opportunities for our students.”
—Dan Stancil, Head, ECE
In the middle of March 2020, everyone was told to go home and work remotely — but this only lasted a couple of weeks for Nguyen. Starting April 1, 2020, he was back at work, and after a couple of weeks, was working onsite full time — and has been throughout the pandemic.
Dzung manages the ECE MakerSpace not only for ECE students but for engineering students across the campus, and during the last weeks of March, there was a public outcry for PPE materials that could be used in the hospitals and clinics as their supplies had been quickly overwhelmed. It was discovered that 3D printers could make critical components in homemade masks and Dzung volunteered to come back onsite to use the MakerSpace’s printers to start meeting this need. Over the next 5 weeks, Dzung created 210 complete face shields for local hospitals/clinics and parts for another 100 which we provided to other PPE efforts on campus. He even repaired malfunctioning electronics on Controlled Air Purifying Respirator (CAPR) respiratory protection equipment for the UNC Rex Hospital.
Following this, Dzung has remained on-site to staff the MakerSpace to offer its fabrication services to our mandatory researchers and to support our instructors as they work to move their teaching lab experiences to one that the students can recreate in their bedrooms.
Ozgur Ozdemir, a wireless engineer in the ECE department and member of the AERPAW research team has taken major responsibilities over the past four years, managing wireless research labs and equipment, and leading experimentation efforts in federal and industry-funded projects. He has been leading the major development tasks for a $1.3M+ NASA grant that was received in 2017 and he is still working part-time on that project. As part of his efforts there, he developed a 5G/6G channel sounder that can work at frequencies ranging from 28 GHz to 140 GHz.
Clay (CJ) Gosnell is an administrative support specialist in the ASSIST Center and has been vital in supporting research needs, budgets, and ensuring continuity of research activities throughout the center. “C.J. Gosnell goes above and beyond the call of duty in his role supporting the administration and operation of the ASSIST Center and all associated faculty,” noted Michael Daniele, associate professor of biomedical and electrical and computer engineering. “C.J.’s contributions have tremendously helped my research operations by promptly handling all manner of tasks, ranging from personnel, travel, event management, and finance. On the day-to-day, C.J.’s effort and collegial personality exemplify the Wolfpack mentality of “Think and Do.”
Nguyen is now a nominee for the NC State University Awards for Excellence, where the twelve possible winners receive an additional eight hours of paid time off, a cash-award for $1,000, and an engraved award plaque. The NC State University Awards for Excellence recipients are also submitted for consideration for the Governor’s Awards for Excellence, which is the highest honor awarded to a State of North Carolina employee.