Outstanding Early Career Award

Purpose of the Award

  1. To identify, recognize, and publicize high achieving Mechanical Engineering alumni who are no more than 10 years since terminal degree, with the goal of strongly affiliating them with the ME Department and preparing them for future volunteer leadership roles at Penn State.
  2. To stimulate greater activity and identity between prominent recently graduated alumni and the ME Department, particularly students, faculty, and administration.
  3. To add a dimension to the academic curriculum not otherwise available in the traditional college classroom by fostering close contact among prominent recent graduates, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, alumni, and Department administrators and staff.
  4. To provide an additional means of recognizing underrepresented alumni constituencies.
  5. To demonstrate, particularly to students, that Penn State alumni can succeed in exceptional fashion at an early stage of their professional careers.


This award recognizes a mechanical engineering graduate who has demonstrated exemplary contributions in the engineering profession since graduation. These contributions can include (but are not limited to): technical or research advancements, leadership contributions, academic achievements, community involvement, humanitarian contributions. The award will recognize a graduate who is less than 10 years beyond the receipt of his or her terminal degree.

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations for the PSMES Outstanding Early Career Engineering Award (OECEA) -which should be made without the nominee's awareness or consent- are to be submitted to the PSMES OECEA Selection Committee at PSMESEarlyCareer@me.psu.edu. Nominations are solicited from PSMES, Department faculty, staff, students, student-led organizations, ME alumni, and industrial partners who are active in department projects.
  2. The initial call for nominations will occur during the summer and will close at a pre-determined date approximately mid-way thru the fall semester.
  3. The PSMES Selection Committee will convene (in person or via teleconference) in November to review nominations and to recommend a candidate.
  4. The Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering will (subsequently or concurrently) review and approve the Committee's recommendation, and the awardee will be notified in December, prior to the holiday break.
  5. The award recipient will be notified of his or her selection by the office of the head of the mechanical engineering department. The recipient will be invited to return to the University Park campus for special recognition activities. Expenses for travel and lodging for the award recipient and guest(s) will be borne by the recipient.
  6. The award recipient will be recognized during the annual Senior Recognition Banquet. Award recipients will be expected to attend the banquet in person.
  7. The award will be made public via website posting on the ME Department website subsequent to the Senior Recognition Banquet.
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With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering embraces a culture that welcomes individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Our faculty and students are innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at me.psu.edu.

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519