The College of Engineering at Boston University officially awarded degrees to the graduate and doctoral students graduating in 2018 at a regal graduate convocation and hooding ceremony held at the Case Center Gym on Thursday, May 17.
The ceremony was opened by Kenneth R. Lutchen, the Dean of the College of Engineering who set the stage for the commencement address given by Boris Shakhnovich, a Boston University alum who currently serves on the board of directors of the startup, PDFfiller. Shakhnovich addressed the students and the audience about the current state of the Engineering and Technology world and the rapid pace at which it was evolving. He explained that in a couple of years everything that they had learned would soon be obsolete because of the rate at which technology was developing so being able to adapt to it was critical. “Remember that when change is exponential, it doesn’t matter where you start as long as you pull through,” Shakhnovich stressed.
He also spoke about the high levels of integration between different fields in the modern world and how much he had benefited from using interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex problems whether it was using Physics to understand customer acquisition or using Biology to understand customer retention. “I’m here to tell you that if I can do it, so can you,” he said.
Shakhnovich concluded his address by asking the graduating students to trust in themselves because they were going to be the innovators of tomorrow and they had the power to change the world.
Shakhnovich’s speech was followed by the presentation of outstanding dissertation awards by Solomon R. Eisenberg, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the College of Engineering. The award for the “Outstanding Dissertation of the Year in Mechanical Engineering” and the overall “College of Engineering Societal Impact Award” were both awarded to mechanical engineering student Quan Xie for his dissertation titled “Enhanced Mass Transport in Graphene Nanofluidics Channels”.
In an interview, Xie spoke about how honoured he felt to have received these awards and how much he appreciated the support everyone had showed him. “It’s been a long journey and I’m truly thankful for all the support I get from my family, my advisors and my friends,” he said. “Although I will miss the good old days I had back in BU, I’m ready to embrace the new challenges,” he continued. He also spoke about the importance of being interested and dedicated to the work one was doing and imparted some advice to the future BU students. “Find what you are really interested in and devote yourself into it,” Xie said, “Hard work does pay off!”
The Presentation of Candidates followed the ceremony and elicited cheers and tears from both the students and the friends and family in attendance. The graduating students expressed immense pleasure at finally meeting a goal they had been working on for so long and how important this day was in their life. “
“I thought it was a beautiful ceremony and I think just being recognized for such an achievement such as a masters program is the best part,” said Michelle Zayas, a Mechanical Engineering student graduating with a masters degree, in an interview. “I originally didn’t think I would be a mechanical engineer but now that I’ve achieved it it’s just such a great accomplishment and I’m just so happy to be working towards my goals,” she continued. Zayas also talked about her intention to work with the airforce in the future and how fantastic it felt to be working for the country while also accomplishing something so great.
Xi Yu, a PhD student from the department of Mechanical Engineering who was hooded at the ceremony, also spoke about how much the ceremony it meant to her. “My time at BU was probably the best time in my life and I would consider today as probably the best day of my life too,” Yu said. I don’t know how to describe it too, it’s hard, but it’s just something that I have been working towards and expecting for a long time and I’ve finally gotten it, it’s just a really important day in all of our lives,” she concluded.
Congratulation to the Class of 2018. We wish you luck on all your future endeavors.