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Ellery B. Paine Outstanding Junior Award

Established 1983

Ellery B. Paine

Prof. Ellery B. Paine was the head of the UI Department of Electrical Engineering for 31 years and was responsible for bringing Joseph Tykociner, the inventor of sound-on-film movies, to the UI after Tykociner left Russia during the revolution of 1917. The new technique was developed in UI laboratories in 1921. At the first public demonstration of sound film, in 1922, Paine was chosen as the subject. "Not being able to think of words worthy of this recording, I decided to repeat Lincoln's Gettysburg Address," he recalled later.

Prof. Paine graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass., in 1897. He received a master's degree from the school the following year, and an electrical engineering degree in 1904. As a WPI graduate student he designed and built a transformer that produced higher voltages than had ever before been produced by a single transformer.

He came to the UI in 1907 and became Department Head six years later in 1913. He officially retired in 1944, but remained active in department affairs until his death at the age of 100 on February 28, 1976.


The Ellery B. Paine Outstanding Junior Award has been established by Norman R. Carson, of Seattle, Washington, to honor the memory of Professor Ellery B. Paine, who joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1907 and served as Head of the Department from 1913 until his retirement in 1944.


  1. You must be a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, enrolled in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  2. Must be a junior who has completed half of his or her third year in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  3. The award recipient should have a grade point average of B or better and be in the top 25% of his or her class.
  4. Must have demonstrated leadership potential in activities such as social fraternities or sororities, honor societies, publications, military units, bands, local business enterprises, athletics or other similar group activities sponsored by the University or the College of Engineering.
  5. Evidence of leadership potential demonstrated in secondary school also may be considered in selection of the award recipient.
  6. If the qualifications of several award candidates are equal, preference shall be given to students studying electric power systems.


The Paine Award is one of four awards in the Department for Juniors. Applications for the award may be submitted online beginning in January of each year. The top candidates are interviewed by a faculty committee.


The recipient is presented with the stipend check at the annual ECE Award Banquet in April. The name of the recipient is engraved on a plaque to be displayed permanently in Everitt Lab.

Past Recipients of the Award

Year Recipient
2019 Marshall Shriner
2018 Penny Xu
2017 Bassel Alesh
2016 Qian Ma
2015 Jamie Padilla
Robert "Tyler" Hansen
2014 Chuma Kabaghe
2013 Jerry Zhou
2012 Danyang Zhuo
2011 Jie Yee Chan
Zheming Zheng
2010 Roshan Choxi
2009 Xichen Jiang
2008 Vishnu Sivaji
2007 Catherine Wah
Thomas Comberiate
2006 Jason Chang
2005 Pankil Dharia
2004 Grace Woo
2003 William Snodgrass
2002 Katherine Sutton
2001 Ann C. Lehman
2000 Ashley J. Llorens
1999 Thomas F. Detwiler
1998 Rajesh Shah
1997 Scott A. Scheuber
1996 Meghan T. Thornton
1995 Sivaraja Kuppuswami
1994 Robert J. Denardo
1993 Deborah M. Shepard
1992 Binal J. Patel
1991 James R. Janninck
1990 Dawn M. Smith
1989 Lorelei Hunt
1988 Thomas F. Nolan
1987 Jennifer P. Taitt
1986 Karen P. Lindholm
1985 Walter F. Block