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Shi Receives Self Graduate Fellowship

September 21, 2011

EECS doctoral student Lei Shi has been selected for a prestigious Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship.

The Self Graduate Fellowship provides financial assistance and development opportunities for new or first-year KU doctoral students. The four-year award, which exceeds $164,000 in total value, covers tuition and fees and provides an annual stipend. Along with financial assistance, Fellows receive extensive leadership training through the Fellow Development Program. Shi is one of eight students Lei Shichosen for the 2011 Fellowship.

“I was extremely excited to hear that I had been selected” said Shi, who is from Wichita. “I want to thank all of the people who supported me in this process and I’m looking forward to taking full advantage of all of the opportunities the Self Graduate Fellowship offers.”  

Shi graduated with his master’s degree in electrical engineering in May and started work on his doctorate this summer. His research will focus on a remote sensing suite for various surveying applications. 

“I am delighted that the Self Fellowship selection team recognized value in Lei's career goals, achievements, vision and leadership skills in their decision to select Lei to be a Self Fellow,” said Shi’s advisor, EECS Professor Christopher Allen. “This four-year award and the Fellow Development Program will enable Lei to fully develop his Ph.D. studies and research goals.”

This past spring Shi was a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) for the Electronic Circuits II (EECS 412) lab, which focuses on practical testing and characterization of electronic amplifiers. He enjoys teaching and sharing his knowledge and experience from his days as an electrical engineer at Honeywell FM&T with his class. Students recognized his commitment and affability with a standing ovation at the end of last semester.

“Lei Shi was the most outgoing, dedicated GTA I have had at KU,” said Tom Willger, who had Shi for 412. “Prior to the lab session each week, Lei would work through the entire laboratory to practice multiple debugging techniques. His thought process and approach to circuit analysis are skills that he tried to teach all of his students.”

Shi is the incoming president of Graduate Engineering Association (GEA) after serving as its vice president during the 2010-2011 academic year. GEA represents the interests of graduate students within the School, administers the student-generated differential fees and works with departmental student organizations. During his tenure, Shi aims to increase the number of graduate student oriented activities.

As a former graduate research assistant (GRA) at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), Shi worked on radar used to measure the thickness of ice sheets. In 2009, he spent two months mapping the ice sheets of Antarctica as the primary operator of the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) system. He was selected as one of the students to present their GRA experience to the National Science Foundation during the successful $17.9 million grant renewal process for CReSIS.

The Self Fellowship Fund was created by a series of gifts to the KU Endowment Association from Madison and Lila Self of Hinsdale, Ill. Madison Self is a 1943 KU School of Engineering graduate. More than 123 students have benefited from the fellowship since it was established in 1989.

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