Edward and Margaret Ernst Award

Established 1997

Edward W. Ernst

Edward W. Ernst received a B.S., M.S. and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a member of the faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois from 1958 until his retirement in 1989. He was Program Director for Undergraduate Engineering Education at the National Science Foundation from 1987-90.

After October 1999 Dr. Ernst served as Allied Signal Professor of Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He was IEEE Vice President for Educational Activities during the 1981-82 academic year. His service with ABET covers the period from 1977 to 1992 and includes: Chair, Engineering Accreditation Commission (1985-86); President (1989-90). He was the founding Editor of the ASEE Journal of Engineering Education (1991-1996). He is a member and Vice-Chair of the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) Board of Directors. He is a Fellow of IEEE, AAAS, ASEE, ABET and IEC, and a member of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu and Phi Kappa Phi. Other awards he has received include the Halliburton Award for Leadership in Engineering Education (1983), the IEEE EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Accreditation Activities (1985), the IEEE Education Society Achievement Award (1989), the Linton E. Grinter Distinguished Service Award from ABET (1992), the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Association (University of Illinois) in 1994, and the ASEE Recognition of Contributions as Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education (1996).

Margaret Ernst

Margaret Ernst received the BS from middle Tennessee State University (1946) and the MS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1974). She taught in the Preschool program in the Children's Research Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and retired in 1976.


Edward and Margaret Ernst set up this award as a means of recognizing the outstanding effort ECE students put into their academic work. The Edward and Margaret Ernst Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering recognizes excellence in experimental work by an undergraduate student in an instructional laboratory course.


  1. The recipient must be a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, enrolled in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  2. The recipient must be enrolled in one of the ECE experimental lab courses.
  3. The student should have shown an exceptional aptitude for experimental work in their lab project.

Selection Process :

Each semester the faculty are asked to nominate their outstanding students for this award. The committee will review the nominations and select the recipient.


The recipient(s) will be recognized during an annual Student Awards Banquet. All student recipients are featured on the second floor of the ECE Building's Student Honors Wall.

Past Recipients of the Award

Year Recipients
2022-2023 Luke Jacobs, Julie Lee
2020-2021 Parag Bajaj
2019-2020 Miraj Shah
Dillon Vadhama
2018-2019 Mark Kraman
2017-2018 John Simonaitis
2016-2017 Kaidong Peng
2015-2016 Zikang Tong
2014-2015 Not awarded
2012-2013 Mikhail Kandel
Curtis Wang
2011-2012 Alexander Suchko
2010-2011 Arthur Pang
Nilay Patel
2009-2010 Kieran Levin
2008-2009 Thomas Galvin
David Hruska
2007-2008 Philip Makotyn
2006-2007 Terry Chen
Christopher Hansen
2005-2006 Mert Dikmen
Sebastian Neumayer
Brian Shirley
2004-2005 Graham R. Alvey
Noah B. Hughes
Yi Zhang
2003-2004 Kevin K. Mui
2002-2003 Piotr K. Kondratko
2001-2002 Jason LaPenta
2000-2001 Juan Herrera
George Valdovinos
Joey Guerra
1999-2000 Joseph A. Willenborg
1998-1999 Steven Ragan
Casey Smith