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Honoring Excellence

Kenton Hanson

Dean Yortsos Recognizes Individuals For Exceptional Service at The 29th Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon

Source :: USC Viterbi Engineer
Date :: Fall, 2007

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering presented its engineering awards to four engineers and scientists at the 29th annual Engineering Awards Luncheon, held April 24, 2007, in USC’s Town & Gown conference center. 

Those receiving Viterbi alumni awards this year included, left to right, Sonny H. Astani, Steven DenBaars, Carol Bartz and Karl Weiss. Dean Yannis C. Yortsos is on right.

Those receiving Viterbi alumni awards this year included, left to right, Sonny H. Astani, Steven DenBaars, Carol Bartz and Karl Weiss. Dean Yannis C. Yortsos is on right.

Viterbi School Dean Yannis C. Yortsos presided over the ceremonies, which included a keynote address by Carol Bartz, executive chair of the board of Autodesk, Inc. Bartz received the Daniel J. Epstein Engineering Management Award for leading a company that grew in revenues during her 14-year tenure from $285 million in 1992 to $1.52 billion in 2006.

Recently named one of the 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune magazine, Bartz serves on President George W. Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as well as on the board of directors of Cisco Systems, Network Appliance, and the Foundation for the National Medals of Science and Technology. She holds an honors degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from William Woods University. 

Karl Weiss, chairman of the board of USC’s Integrated Media Systems Center, received the Distinguished Service Award for his role in helping guide the center through 11 years of spectacular success. Weiss is a founding director of the Massachusetts Technology Park Corp. and served as chair of the board from 1992 to 1995. A professor emeritus at Northeastern University, Weiss has also been associated with that university for nearly 40 years. Prior to his academic career, he had industrial experience with Color Research Corp. in New York City. 

Steven DenBaars, holder of the Mitsubishi Chemical Professor in Solid State Lighting and Displays and co-director of that center at UC Santa Barbara, received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Academia. DenBaars is an IEEE Fellow and has 18 patents in the field of optoelectronic materials and devices. He earned his advanced degrees in electrical engineering at USC, receiving a M.S. degree in 1986 and a Ph.D. in 1988. 

Sonny H. Astani, chair and founder of Astani Enterprises, received the Mark A. Stevens Distinguished Alumni Award. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Astani’s real estate assets span more than $500 million in properties, including nearly 5,000 apartment units, with an additional 1,800 apartments and condominiums in development in downtown Los Angeles. A native of Iran, Astani immigrated to the United States nearly 30 years ago, where he began his studies at USC, leading up to his M.S. degree in industrial and systems engineering in 1978.