2009 Sponsors and Award Winners

It was a very special evening for over 400 people who attended the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering 2009 Awards Banquet. The academy, in this case, is San Jose State University, and the awards recognized the achievements of outstanding SJSU alumni, faculty, students and staff.

The annual banquet was held on Thursday, April 23 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. This year's theme, Global Sustainability, was at the center of Dean Belle Wei's speech as well as Bob Gliner's seven-minute preview of his documentary, Green Rim. The documentary examines solutions being developed by the U.S. and China to reduce each nation's carbon emissions; it is scheduled to debut in Fall 2009. Gliner is SJSU Professor emeritus of Sociology and an award-winning filmmaker.

For the first time, this year's program included a multimedia presentation entitled A Boat on the Ocean. The composition by Maurice Ravel was performed by Gwendolyn Mok, SJSU Associate Professor of Music and Dance, with accompanying slides by Bay Area photographers Richard Blair and Kathleen Goodwin. For information about Gwendolyn Mok visit www.gwendolynmok.com. For information about Richard Blair and Kathleen Goodwin, visit www.PointReyesVisions.com

The 2009 Awards of Distinction were given to John W. Davis and Jayan Ramankutty.

Davis attended San José State University in 1963 on a pole-vaulting scholarship. He graduated from SJSU with a B.S. in industrial technology in 1970. Davis has had a successful entrepreneurial career. Most recently, he founded TMFC (Too Much Fun Club), an investment and consulting firm. He is also the managing partner of Club Auto Sport, a commercial condominium and club for automobile enthusiasts.

Davis' first company, Air Systems, Inc. (ASI), was founded in 1974. As former chairman, chief executive officer, and owner of ASI, Davis developed the company into one of the largest mechanical contractors in Northern California.

Ramankutty earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India in 1980. Pursuing a graduate degree, he moved to the U.S., initially attending Chico State and then transferring to San José State University. He graduated from SJSU in 1991 with a M.S. in computer engineering.

During the last twenty years, Ramankutty has successfully founded four companies and exited three of them. Most recently, he was the founding CEO of YuMe Networks, a company focused on real-time online video ad management and ad network.

Faculty, staff and student awards are as follows:

  • The McCoy Family Faculty Award for Excellence in Service: Raghu Agarwal, Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering 
  • The Applied Materials Award for Excellence in Teaching: Jinny Rhee, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • The Newnan Brothers Award for Faculty Excellence: John Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • The College of Engineering Award for Outstanding Lecturer: Anthony Andre, Adjunct Professor, Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering
  • The Onslow H. Rudolph, Jr. Staff Excellence in Service Award: Irma Alarcon de Rangel, Department of Electrical Engineering
  • The Scott T. Axline Memorial Student Award for Excellence in Service: Monica Kapil, Mechanical Engineering Major
  • The Donald Beall-Rockwell Award for Engineering Accomplishment: Reena Obediah, Mechanical Engineering Major
  • The Lockheed Martin Excellence in Academic Performance for an Undergraduate Student: Alexander Keranen, Chemical Engineering Major
  • The College of Engineering Award for Academic Performance for an Undergraduate Student: Xiaoling Lao, Electrical Engineering Major Juan Renteria, Civil Engineering Major