Auburn Engineering scores big at AU Involvement Awards

Published: May 4, 2021 12:00 AM

By Virginia Speirs

The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering was well represented at the annual Auburn University Involvement Awards held April 14.

Sushil Bhavnani, the Henry M. Burt Jr. Professor of mechanical engineering, was named Advisor of the Year. Bhavnani, who advises the Indian Student Association, has been an Auburn professor since 1987 and has mentored dozens of students over two decades.

Bhavnani has received numerous awards during his time working at Auburn, including the Burt Professorship and the Auburn Alumni Professorship. He’s also a three-time winner of the Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Faculty Member award.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place during his 2020 spring break trip to India, Bhavnani actually spent much of the spring and summer advising students remotely more than 9,000 miles from his office.

“This service activity has been pure joy, not only for me but for my wife as well,” Bhavnani said. “Mentoring bright, energetic students over the past 20 years has resulted in lifelong friendships.”

Additionally, the Student Outreach Association for Robotics (SOAR) was honored as the year’s Outstanding New Organization. Begun in 2019, SOAR provides its 38 members opportunities to promote STEM Education through robotics competitions, workshops and mentoring. 

“Receiving the Outstanding New Organization involvement award is wonderful,” said SOAR president Joseph Ammons, ’22 aerospace engineering. “We have put in a lot of effort over the last two years into getting the club started, reaching out to the community and creating a good foundation for our competition team. We are very thankful that the university has recognized our organization.”

The Auburn University Rocketry Association (AURA) received the Excellence in Practical Application award at the ceremony. The organization is made up of 244 members that participate in STEM events year-round, including NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative.

“The Rocketry Association works hard to prepare students to apply classroom knowledge to real problems, while also creating a community of like-minded and passionate students,” said AURA president Lindsey Waggoner, a senior in aerospace engineering. “Being recognized at the campus level for our work, especially considering the strength of the other semi-finalists, has made us even more dedicated to improve the student experience for all of our members.”

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591
AU Involvement Awards

AU Involvement Awards

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