Part One: Tau Bate Grads Receive Accolades and Awards

Tau Beta Pi celebrates the accomplishments of collegiate members Alexander F. Pessell, IN E ’21; Matthew M. Sato, TN B ’21; Hongbin Xu, NY X ’19; and Taishi Nakase, NJ D ’21. These students are fulfilling the Tau Beta Pi creed of Integrity and Excellence, working hard to serve their campus communities while maintaining high levels of scholastic achievement.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we’ll learn about more graduating members’ success!

Alexander F. Pessell, IN E ’21

Trine University named Alexander, a biomedical engineering major from Arcadia, Ohio, as the winner of its Robert B. Stewart Award for the Class of 2021. The Robert B. Stewart Award is presented to the graduate who most clearly exemplifies the traditions and values of Trine University through achievement in scholarship, leadership and citizenship. Each academic school at Trine nominates a graduating senior for this award; Pessell represented the Allen School of Engineering and Computing.

During his time as an undergraduate, Alexander worked on a number of undergraduate research projects, including research for Blaire Biomedical, a local company developing a handheld device that performs blood tests when linked to a smartphone, and worked on another research project funded by the Indiana Space Grant Consortium. He presented research posters at the International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences and the Food and Drug Administration.

Off-campus, he volunteers at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital. He was recently selected for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program that will support his doctoral research in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Matthew M. Sato, TN B ’21

Matthew led 2021 Vanderbilt University engineering graduates to their Commencement seats as the School of Engineering Banner Bearer. The distinction of Banner Bearer is awarded to the senior engineering student who has been judged by the faculty of the School of Engineering to have excelled in all aspects of his or her undergraduate career.

Matthew is graduating with a bachelor of engineering degree in civil engineering. He received the 2021 civil engineering program award and the Arthur J. Dyer Jr. Memorial Prize, which is awarded to a senior who has done the best work in the study and/or design in use of structural steel, and who is a member of the American Society for Civil Engineers.

Matthew’s service activities include serving on the university’s Undergraduate Honor Council and volunteering for four years with Nashville’s ACEing Autism organization. This fall, Matthew will enter the Ph.D. program in civil and environment engineering at Stanford University.

Hongbin Xu, NY X ’19 

Hongbin was the graduate student speaker for the Class of 2020 at Manhattan College’s virtual 2020/21 Graduate Commencement. He is now enrolled in the University of Connecticut’s Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering, where he is studying femtosecond lasers and their interaction with various materials, including biological samples, such as brain tissues. During his time as a graduate student, Hongbin worked on campus as a research assistant in the mechanical engineering department and as a teaching assistant and 3D printing lab manager. 

Born in China, Hongbin moved to Queens, New York, as a teenager. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics from Manhattan in 2019, graduating summa cum laude. As an undergraduate, Hongbin participated in the Jasper Summer Research Program. He was also the recipient of the National Science Foundation STEM Scholarship and the Brother Aubert Medal for Mechanical Engineering

Taishi Nakase, NJ D ’21

Taishi Nakase was selected as Princeton University’s valedictorian for the Class of 2021. During his time at the University, Nakase was twice awarded the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and was the recipient of the Class of 1939 Princeton Scholar Award.

Taishi acknowledges the support of his mentors like Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering William Massey who worked to accommodate the 14-hour time difference Nakase experienced during remote learning; Michael Eichelberger, and Ed Rogers who extended opportunities in finance.

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