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Dr. Hairong Qi and Dr. Benjamin Blalock revieved awards at the 2017 Chancellor's Honors Banquet on April 19th. Dr. Qi received the 2017 Research and Creative Achievement award and Dr. Blalock recieved the 2017 Alexander Prize. CURENT congratulates Dr. Qi and Dr. Blalock.

Dr. Qi, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Gonzalez Family Professor in Image Processing, studies advanced imaging and collaborative processing. She pioneered the application of mobile-agent-based paradigms for supporting collaborative processing in distributed environments. Qi’s instincts, leadership, and knowledge have allowed her to identify and lead highly sought-after opportunities in interdisciplinary studies. Her recent work in fast rock sample selection for NASA’s Mars rover and in nuclear source identification and tracking shows her aptitude for transferring her knowledge in image processing to tackle key issues in demanding environments. She is a productive teacher and researcher who in the past five years alone has attracted over $3 million in external funding, graduated eight PhD students, and published 23 refereed journal papers with the high h-index score of 38. She has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, best paper awards at two international conferences, and the Highest Impact Paper award from the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.

UT alumnus Benjamin Blalock, the Blalock-Kennedy-Pierce Professor of Analog Electronics, has been on the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since August 2001 and directs the Integrated Circuits and Systems Laboratory. Much of his work focuses on analog circuitry for extreme environments. He and his research students, in partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have designed a microchip that controls robotic movement in the Mars rover Curiosity. Blalock does similar work with the Exploration Technology Development Program, a NASA-funded team of universities and companies working to develop circuitry that can operate reliably on the moon. Blalock and his research team are now developing space-based avionic systems for exploring the ocean worlds in the outer solar system. He also collaborates with power electronics colleagues in his department to improve power modules used in hybrid and electric vehicles. Since 2012, Blalock has served as his department’s electrical engineering advising coordinator, for which he received the Tickle College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award in 2015. He is a supporter of student scholarship programs and of UT’s first Big Orange STEM Symposium to promote the Tickle College of Engineering to high school students. Blalock received the 2015 Tickle College of Engineering Research Achievement Award and was named a 2011 Tickle College of Engineering Teaching Fellow.

Read about all the 2017 Chancellor's Honors awards and recipients.