2020 Harris Award Recipients

May 1, 2020

CLEMSON – Please join us in recognizing this spring’s recipients of the 2020 Harris Awards, department-wide awards which have been given each year for the past 35 years in recognition of outstanding accomplishment in the preceding year by a current Clemson graduate student in the areas of laboratory teaching, research, and service.

Neelima Dahal is the recipient of the Harris Award for the Outstanding Graduate Laboratory Teaching Assistant in 2020 based on evaluations by undergraduates enrolled in ECE laboratory courses and assessment by the faculty supervisors of the laboratories. Neelima joined Clemson in 2013, earning her MS degree in May 2017, and is currently pursuing the PhD degree in electrical engineering under the direction of Dr. Pingshan Wang.

Since January 2019, Neelima has been the Teaching Assistant for the department’s ECE 3120, Electrical Engineering Lab IV. In this role, she has consistently received positive feedback from both students and faculty as a prepared, proactive, and skillful teacher. Students’ evaluations of her lab sections remark on not just her knowledge and well-organized lab material, but her patience and willingness to go above and beyond to help her students.

“Hands down, the single greatest lab TA I have ever had,” said one student evaluation. “I don’t think I’ve felt as supported and learned as much in an ECE lab as I did with Neelima. … The lab environment she created clearly put our education and development of lab skills first. The skills and thought processes I learned in her lab I have already been able to apply elsewhere in my studies. She is a treasure to have in our department!”

Huan Gao is the recipient of the Harris Award for the Outstanding Graduate Researcher in 2020 based on the recommendation of a faculty member and evaluation by a committee of ECE faculty, which found his record of research productivity and scholarship outstanding.

Huan is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering focusing on distributed nonlinear optimization and coordination under privacy constraints.  He was nominated by his advisor, Prof. Yongqiang Wang.  Huan has been a research assistant since enrolling at Clemson in 2015. Prior to that he earned a M.S. degree in Control Theory and Control Engineering and a B.S. degree in Automation, both from the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Shaanxi, China.

While a graduate student at Clemson he has published four journal papers and has three additional journal papers under review.  He has also co-authored two conference papers.  Prior to joining Clemson he had already co-authored an additional journal paper. His articles have appeared in publications including the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, and Automatica.

His research contributions are related to coordination and privacy preservation in multi-agent systems.   Coordination, including both synchronization and desynchronization, have been used to model a wide variety of physical phenomena, including biological systems, time synchronization of wireless sensor networks, and motion coordination in multi-vehicle systems.

Timothy Anglea is the recipient of the Harris Award for Outstanding Graduate Service in 2020. The recipient of the award is determined based on service to the department and/or the university as a member of the Graduate Student community. In particular, nominees are recognized for volunteer service activities that enhance the educational, professional, and collegial experiences of ECE students, aid the Department in effective fulfillment of its educational mission, or aid the Department in outreach to prospective engineering students.

Timothy joined the ECE graduate program at Clemson in the fall of 2015, earning his MS degree in May 2017, and is currently pursuing the PhD degree in electrical engineering under the direction of Dr. Yongqiang Wang.

Since the Fall of 2016, Timothy has served as a Graduate Teacher of Record for ECE 2070 Basic Electrical Engineering, required by many undergraduate programs in CECAS, and has taught over 800 students during that time. During this time, he has assisted in significant improvement to the teaching materials for the course, including reformatting and updating lecture presentations, and updating questions and questions pools for all tests and exams, making these updated resources available to all GTRs for this course. He has also created new video lectures with Clemson’s “Lightboard” technology.

He has also participated in many programs to serve as a mentor to aspiring engineering students. During the summers of 2016, 2018, 2019, he participated in the Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI) Volunteer helping to mentor 7 high-school students, and served as a mentor to  undergraduate students during the EUREKA summer programs in 2018 and 2019. Since 2016, he has served as a mentor to undergradute students involved in Dr. Yongqiang Wang’s “Robotic Network” Creative Inquiry courses.

Timothy also represented the ECE Department as a Senator in Clemson’s Graduate Student Government from Fall 2017 – Spring 2019, serving on the Rules and Procedures Committee that helped with Senate restructuring in Spring 2019.


Since their inception, the Harris Awards have been accompanied by a monetary stipend, which is provided by the generosity of Harris Corp. The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering appreciates the support and encouragement that Harris and its employees provide to our department and our students.

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