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Tau Beta Pi honors Notre Dame engineering students

| Monday, September 14, 2015

This year, Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society recognized three Notre Dame students with its most distinguished awards. Tau Beta Pi awarded scholarships to Adam Farchone and Huili Chen, and a laureate honor to Ashley Armstrong.

Farchone, a senior chemical engineering major and this year’s president of the Indiana Gamma chapter, said he was honored to be chosen as a scholarship recipient.

“It’s a very competitive pool of applicants from around the nation,” Farchone said. “The top one-eighth of all engineers were all competing for the same scholarships, and they only give out a few hundred so it was … very exciting to hear the news.”

Farchone said he worked in professor Marya Lieberman’s lab, researching the nano-electronic application of DNA origami. Currently as a intern for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), Farchone said he will complete two years of service upon graduation teaching science at a high school.

“After those two years, I plan on going back to graduate school into a Ph.D. program in chemical or biomedical engineering, with the goal of someday working in the healthcare field,” Farchone said.

Farchone said one of his main goals as president of Indiana Gamma was helping engineering majors get involved with service opportunities in the South Bend community. There are many ways for engineers to carry out Tau Beta Pi’s motto of “Integrity and Excellence in Engineering” by serving others, he said.

“There’s so many different avenues to improve the lives of others … and that was what excited me about the major,” Farchone said.

Huili Chen, a senior double-majoring in computer science engineering and psychology, has similarly been very involved on campus during her time as an engineering major.

According to a college of engineering press release, Chen does complex networks research to understand aging and other key biological processes. She has additionally displayed a strong commitment to service while at Notre Dame by participating in several of the Center for Social Concerns’ programs.

Ashley Armstrong, a mechanical engineering major who graduated from Notre Dame last spring, was honored as one of Tau Beta Pi’s five 2015 laureates for her achievements in academic excellence and athletics, according to the society’s website.

“Doing golf and engineering, there were times where it was quite challenging,” Armstrong said. “My sophomore year was one of my hardest years. In the spring, we had our NCAA regionals during school finals, so I had to take five of my finals within two to three days before we left for regionals.

As two-year captain of the University’s varsity golf team and a two-year Capital One Academic All-American honoree, Armstrong said she was able to succeed both in class and in sports because of Notre Dame’s strong support of student athletes.

Armstrong said she was also involved in undergraduate research, working with Professor Steven Schmid and DePuy Orthopaedics.

“We were investigating a novel manufacturing process in order to make surgical equipment cheaper and lighter … for hip replacements,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said the strong engineering community at Notre Dame helped her reach her level of success. As a graduate student in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois, Armstrong said she hopes to continue to incorporate this collaborative spirit in her school and work environments.

“Everyone tried to help each other,” Armstrong said, describing the Notre Dame engineering department.  “We did a lot of group work and it was a really collaborative environment. … I know I couldn’t have done any of [this] without all of the great friends that I made in the process and also my fellow Tau Beta Pi members.”


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