College Announces 2023 Outstanding Alumni
The UMass Amherst College of Engineering is proud to announce the recipients of its 2023 Outstanding Alumni Awards (OAA). Awardees represent the college’s five departments and include five Distinguished Alumni and five Outstanding Young Alumni.
Visionary leaders in their field, recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award have reached exceptional levels of professional and personal achievement. This award recognizes distinguished leadership, service, teaching, innovation, and other exemplary accomplishments that positively impact society and the engineering profession. This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are:
- Paul Banks ’81, Mechanical Engineering
Founding Principal, B2Q Associates
- Charlie Jacco ’02, Computer Engineering
Partner, KPMG LLP, and US Cyber Threat Management Leader and Global Financial Services Leader, KPMG LLP’s Cyber Security Services
- Kristin M. Neff ’88, Electrical Engineering
Vice President of Clinical Operations, Provention Bio
- Peter J. Quigley ’84, ’88MS, Civil Engineering
Principal, Thornton Tomasetti
- Nilesh Shah ’85PhD, Chemical Engineering
Research and Development Director, Dow (retired)
Emerging leaders in the early stages of their careers, recipients of Outstanding Young Alumni Award are generally no more than ten years out from receiving their UMass Engineering PhD or no more than fifteen years out from receiving their UMass Engineering undergraduate degree. This award recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements, and highlights the recipient’s ambitions and potential to positively impact UMass, the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world. This year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award honorees are:
- Rim Benoud-Schmitz ’12, Industrial Engineering
Head of Technical Program Management, Amazon
- Sara Green ’14PhD, Chemical Engineering
Global Hydroprocessing Catalyst Solutions Lead, ExxonMobil
- Yesher Larsen ’09, ’11MS, Environmental Engineering
Director of Water Quality, Aquarion Water Company
- Arnaz Malhi ’06MS, Mechanical Engineering
Director, Strategic Operations Technical Development, Moderna
- Andrew C. Sousa ’15, ’17MS, Electrical Engineering
Manager of Hardware Engineering, American Robotics
These gifted alumni bring tremendous pride and distinction to the College of Engineering and the broader UMass community.
Several recipients of this year’s awards remained in Massachusetts after graduating from UMass, and have established themselves as engineering leaders within the Commonwealth. Arnaz Malhi serves as Director of Strategic Operations Technical Development at Moderna, the Cambridge-based biotechnology company; Andrew C. Sousa is the Manager of Hardware Engineering for American Robotics, a Boston-area commercial developer of drone systems; and, in his role as a Principal for Boston-based Thornton Tomasetti, Peter J. Quigley is currently working with Commonwealth Fusion Systems and MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center to develop SPARC, a compact, high-field, net fusion energy device.
In addition, several of this year’s recipients maintain close ties to the College of Engineering. For example, Nilesh Shah serves as the Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board of the Chemical Engineering Department. And Paul Banks met his wife Nancy—who is also an engineer—while they were students together at UMass. He has served on the MIE Industry Advisory Board for 15 years and currently serves as its Co-Chair. In addition, he has hired over 25 UMass Amherst graduates over the course of growing his company, B2Q Associates, an Andover, MA-based independent engineering consulting firm that specializes in the design of high-tech and industrial projects.
The OAA recipients will be celebrated during an invitation-only event in the Old Chapel on May 11. Learn more about their accomplishments here.