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Awtar and Chronis receive ME Department Achievement Awards


Assistant Professors Shorya Awtar and Nikos Chronis are the recipients of the 2011 ME Department Achievement Award.


In less than five years at the University of Michigan, Shorya Awtar has established himself as a leading inventor and innovator with 9 granted and 11 pending patents. He has received national recognition from the prestigious R&D Magazine 100 Awards, the so-called “Oscars of Invention.” His invention for minimal invasive surgery — the FlexDex™ — was honored by the Technology Transfer Office as one of the most promising inventions of 2009. His research has also been recognized by his winning of the NSF CAREER Award, the SME Outstanding Young Engineer Award, the ASME Leonardo da Vinci Award, and Freudenstein / General Motors Young Investigator Award.

In addition, Awtar has made impressive contributions to the ME Department’s mission in education, by leading the upgrade of the mechatronics teaching lab and strategically integrating mechatronics into the ME curriculum.

Awtar received his ScD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2004 and MS in the same field from Rensselaer in 2000.



Nikos Chronis, who also joined the Mechanical Engineering Department in 2006, is by any measure an outstanding scholar and a rising star in the neuroscience and engineering field. He leads the Chronis Group and has made a name in creating Bio-MEMS devices to address fundamental questions. Nikos has been publishing his results in high-impact journals, such as Nature, and has earned high citations from his peers. Chronis’ paper “Worm chips: Microtools for C. elegans biology” was recently published in the Lab on a Chip journal for his frontier work regarding how to quantify biological processes in C. elegans — a micron-sized worm — by using microfabricated devices called “worm chips” to precisely manipulate singular worms.

Chronis was also recently awarded with the prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Awards for his proposal “A Biochip for Point-of-Care HIV/AIDS Diagnosis in the Developing World.” — a research idea that will greatly impact our world as a whole.

Chronis received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Berkeley in 2004.

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