Five undergraduate students recognized for excellence

March 24, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering held its spring Senior Recognition Reception and Banquet to honor its outstanding mechanical and nuclear engineering students. Eric Marsh, associate head of undergraduate programs, mechanical and nuclear engineering, coordinated the event to recognize high achieving seniors in the department. Karen Thole, department head, mechanical and nuclear engineering, and Arthur Motta, program chair, nuclear engineering, presented awards to five students for their exceptional achievements. The guest speaker at the event was Erick Froede, Penn State alumnus and winner of the Penn State Mechanical Engineering Alumni Society 2017 Early Career Award.

Congratulations to these student award recipients for their academic, research, and leadership accomplishments.

Annemarie Phandinh received the Boeing Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Junior Award for her excellent scholastics as well as an interest in the aerospace industry.

Phandinh is a mechanical engineering major with minors in engineering science and engineering leadership development.

She was named to the Dean’s List from fall 2014 to fall 2016 and received the Boeing General Engineering Scholarship in 2015. A member of Phi Sigma Rho Sorority, she participates in the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon and as both a Green Program Ambassador and Engineering Ambassador.

Phandinh volunteered for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership as operations and junior facilitator volunteer from 2014 to 2016. She will travel to Pretoria, South Africa with the Engineering Leadership Development program to implement smart farm designs. In summer 2017, she will intern with Boeing.

Upon graduation, she plans to work in the aerospace industry.

Mark Frederick received the Thomas Briggs Hunter Memorial Award for Student Leadership for his outstanding leadership qualities, volunteer spirit, and citizenship directed into programs that have positively influenced the department, college, University and community.

Frederick is a Shreyer Honors College scholar and serves on its student council. He has also served on faculty search committees and volunteers with Stand for State.

He has received many honors and awards including the Erickson Discovery Grant, 3rd Place Overall in Hack PSU Spring 2016, Schreyer Travel Grant, “Best Engineered Design” at the 2014 Engineering Design Showcase, Academic Excellence Scholarship, Provost Award, and Dean’s List.

He is a researcher in the Reacting Flow Dynamics Lab under the direction of Jacqueline O'Connor and will present a paper on the lab’s work at Turbo Expo 2017.

Frederick looks forward to an internship in the Combustor Group at Pratt & Whitney in summer 2017. Upon graduation, he plans to attend graduate school.

Michael Meehan received the Dr. John P. Karidis Department Head’s Award for Research Achievement in Mechanical Engineering for making important contributions in forwarding research in mechanical engineering.

Meehan won a first place Lockheed Martin Design Award for best project at the College of Engineering Design Showcase in fall 2016 and is the recipient of the Louis A Harding Memorial Scholarship.

Active in sports, Meehan has competed for Penn State Club Cross Country, Nittany Lion Aquatics Club and the Penn State Triathlon Club, serving as president in 2015-16. He was twice a USA Triathlon Collegiate National Champion.

Meehan conducts research on combustion in the Reacting Flow Dynamics Lab under the direction of Jacqueline O’Connor.

Upon graduation, he is looking forward to graduate school.

Jeremy Barnhart received the Beecher Loftus Leadership and Service in Nuclear Engineering Award for his excellence in leadership and service in the field of nuclear engineering.

Barnhart is a member of the Alpha Nu Sigma honor society and was named to the dean’s list in multiple semesters.

He has served on the executive board of the Penn State American Nuclear Society Student Chapter for three years, and held the office of president for two years.

He is the Social Chair of Penn State Women in Nuclear and an active member in the Generation Atomic Nuclear Advocacy group on campus.

Upon graduation in 2017, Barnhart will join Exelon Nuclear at the Limerick Generating Station in Pottstown, Pa., in the engineering department. He also plans to pursue a master’s in nuclear engineering.

Josh Larimer received the John Brennan Excellence in Nuclear Engineering Award for his academic excellence.

A Shreyer Honors College Scholar, Larimer received the H. A. Everett Memorial Scholarship, Louis A. Harding Memorial Scholarship and the Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Award.

Larimer conducts research under Seungjin Kim in the Advanced Multiphase Flow Laboratory.

In addition to academics, he participates in many clubs and activities at Penn State including: Engineers Without Borders, American Nuclear Society student chapter, Springfield: Penn State THON Special Interest Organization, Schreyer Honors College Student Council and Club Floor Hockey.

He will join Bechtel upon graduation in spring 2017 and plans to pursue a master’s degree while working.


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Chris Hennessey

Award recipients for mechanical engineering are, from left: Mark Frederick, Annemarie Phandinh and Michael Meehan.


Award recipients for nuclear engineering are Josh Larimer, left, and Jeremy Barnhart.



The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519