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2011 Awards

Researcher of the Year, 2011

Dr. Delvin DeBoer

Director, Water & Environmental Engineering Research Center

Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. DeBoer's research program has focused primarily on water quality, water treatment, and water distribution related to municipal and industrial systems. He has been the principal or co-principal investigator of 33 projects resulting in external grant funding of $5.5 million. His research projects, focusing on finding practical solutions to problems faced by water supply systems, have enabled 64 Masters-level graduate students to accomplish their requirements for a thesis or design paper. Outreach activities from these projects frequently included on-site operator training and local/regional conference and seminar presentations.

Dr. DeBoer has authored/co-authored 10 published articles and has provided 70 presentations at local, regional, national and international conferences. As director of the Water and Environmental Engineering Research Center, Dr. DeBoer was instrumental in developing the Regional Water System Research Consortium. This consortium conducts research and development projects to support the sustainability, management, and operations of South Dakota's regional rural water systems with funding from stakeholders as well as federal and state agencies. 

Dr. DeBoer served as the Vice Chair, Chair, Past Chair, and Director of the South Dakota Section of the American Water Works Association.  In recognition of his service, he was awarded the George Warren Fuller Award by the South Dakota Section in 1992 and became a Life Member of AWWA in 2011.  He serves as the Chair of the South Dakota DENR Operator Certification Board, to which he has been an appointed member for the past 21 years.  Dr. DeBoer also served as a Director of the South Dakota Water and Wastewater Association from 2008 through 2010.

Despite his many impressive accomplishments, Dr. DeBoer is most proud of his work with his graduate research assistants who have, in his words, "gone on to distinguished careers, designing and managing projects that solve environmental problems, renewing the water environment infrastructure, and building the quality of life.  Their professional lives are the final outcome." 

Young Investigator of the Year, 2011

Qiquan Qiao

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering

Dr. Qiao's research of next generation cost effective solar cells focuses on new approaches to enduring challenges in photovoltaic technologies. Specifically, his team is working on (1) increasing light absorption through the design and synthesis of new organic semiconductors, including broadband polymers; (2) enhancing charge transport through the growth and optimization of inorganic nanostructures with high carrier mobility, such as ZnO and CdSe nanorods; (3) maximizing power output by engineering donor/acceptor morphology; and (4) fabricating and testing high efficiency single- and multi-junction solar cells. 

Dr. Qiao has published in leading journals more than 20 peer-reviewed papers on organic solar cells and dye-sensitized solar cells.Two of his papers, published in Energy and Environmental Science, were among the journal's ten most-read articles in July and August 2010. Another of his papers, published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, was one of that journal's most downloaded articles.  Dr. Qiao has filed one patent and submitted several other invention disclosures to SDSU's Technology Transfer Office. He also established SDSU's Organic Electronics Laboratory, a teaching and research lab devoted to studying organic electronic materials and devices for photovoltaics.

In addition to his recent receipt of the 2011 College of Engineering Young Investigator Award and two of the College of Engineering Grantswinship awards, Dr. Qiao was also a recipient of the 2010 Excellence in Research Award from the College's EECS department. In 2010, Dr. Qiao was granted an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation, and in 2009 he received the Bergmann Memorial Award from the US-Israel Bi-national Science Foundation. During his graduate study, Dr. Qiao received the 2006 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Solar Energy Division Graduate Student Research Award and the 2006 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad.

Grantswinship Awards, 2011

Beginning with fiscal year 2011, the College of Engineering has instituted an award program that recognizes all faculty who have developed a substantial amount of research and external funding activity.  The criteria for receiving one of these annual awards is that the faculty member must have received, or had expenditures of, external funding in the amount of $100,000 or more during the fiscal year.  This year we were delighted to make these awards to 19 individuals from all departments within our college.  Our congratulations go to each of them, and we hope to present the same award to them next year, as well as to additional faculty members.


Dr. Bruce Berdanier

Professor and Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Venkat Bommisetty

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering

Dr. Delvin DeBoer

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Director of Water & Environmental Engineering Research Center

Dr. Fred Delfanian

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Director of METLAB

Dr. Dave Galipeau

Professor of Electrical Engineering

Director of Center for Advanced Photovoltaics

Dr. Xijin Ge

Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Dr. Alex Moutsoglou

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Director of Biofuels Lab

Dr. Qiquan Qiao

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

Dr. Christopher Schmit

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mr. Mike Twedt

Instructor of Mechanical Engineering

Director of Energy Analysis Lab

Dr. Stephen Gent

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Nadim Wehbe

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering