Science and Engineering Take Center Stage in Connecticut Among Young and Older

It will be an evening honoring achievement among the young and the experienced when the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering gathers for its 44th Annual Meeting & Dinner on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

Leading the honors will be Professor Pasko Rakic, the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine, who will receive the 2019 Connecticut Medal of Science for his contributions as a transformative neuroscientist credited with establishing fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms for the development of the cerebral cortex, the most complex structure in the universe.


CASE will also formally elect 24 of Connecticut’s leading experts in science, engineering and technology to membership in the Academy.

Election to CASE is on the basis of scientific and engineering distinction achieved through significant contributions in theory or applications, as demonstrated by original published books and papers, patents, the pioneering of new and developing fields and innovative products, outstanding leadership of nationally recognized technical teams, and external professional awards in recognition of scientific and engineering excellence.

CASE was chartered by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1976 to provide expert guidance on science and technology to the people and to the state of Connecticut, and to promote the application of science and technology to human welfare and economic well-being. For 

Connecticut’s most talented young scientists and engineers will also be recognized, as the winners of this year’s Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair, Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and Connecticut Invention Convention will be highlighted during the evening ceremonies.

The H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence, established by CASE will be awarded to the top winners of the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair. The medal was created to recognize and honor H. Joseph Gerber’s (1924-1996) technical leadership in inventing, developing and commercializing manufacturing automation systems for a wide variety of industries, making those industries more efficient and cost-effective in a worldwide competitive environment.

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This year’s keynote address will be delivered by CASE Member Meg Urry, PhD, Israel Munson Prof. of Physics and Astronomy, Yale University. Best known for her research on active galaxies that host accreting supermassive black holes in their centers, she is recognized as one of the world’s leading astrophysicists and for promoting the impact of the physical sciences on the Earth. Additionally, Dr. Urry has worked to increase the number of women and minorities in science, including organizing the first national meeting on Women in Astronomy.

The Connecticut Medal of Science is the state’s highest honor for scientific achievement in fields crucial to Connecticut’s economic competitiveness and social well-being. Modeled after the National Medal of Science, this award is bestowed by the State of Connecticut, with the assistance of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, in alternate years with the Connecticut Medal of Technology.

“Connecticut is home to some of the nation’s leading scientists who are pushing the envelope and making revolutionary discoveries that are having a global impact,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “The scientific community here in Connecticut reflects our legacy of innovation. In this case, Professor Rakic’s work is having a life-altering impact on people whose health may be at-risk. On behalf of the entire state, I want to congratulate Professor Rakic on receiving Connecticut’s highest honor for scientific achievement.”


Student winners to be honored are:

The 2019 H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence

Raina Jain, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT

2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair – 1st Place, Life Sciences-Senior Division

Project: Control of Varroa Destructor Infestation with a Dual-function, Thymol-Emitting Honey Bee Hive Entranceway

2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair – 1st Place, Physical Sciences-Senior Division

Project: A Green Nanotechnological Approach for Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Tungsten-doped Vanadium Dioxide Thermochromic Smart Windows; Cynthia Chen, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT

2019 H. Joseph Gerber Award

Srikar Godilla and Cristian Rodriguez, CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, East Hartford, CT

2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair – Urban School Challenge High School Winner

Project: Development of In-situ Fabrication Methods of Martian Construction Material

2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair - Middle School Winner, Urban School Challenge

Srishti Ramakrishnan, Westside Middle School Academy, Danbury, CT Project: The Study of Effectiveness of Different Separation Methods in Removing Suspended Microplastics from Water


2019 Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

1ST Place: Raina Jain, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT

Project: Control of Varroa Destructor Infestation with a Dual-Function, Thymol-Emitting Honey Bee Hive Entranceway

2ND Place: Hannah Goldenberg, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT

Project: Linking Continued Exposure to E-Cigarette Vapor Constituents with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

3RD Place: Olivia Yoo, Darien High School, Darien, CT

Project: Angiotensin-II Hypertension Enhances Morphological Alterations of Tight Junctions

4TH Place: Collin Marino, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT

Project: A Versatile, Genetic-Based Cancer Treatment Capable of Selectively Killing Cancerous Cells via the Detection of Single Mutations

5TH Place: Sophia Wang, Amity Regional High School

Project: Real Time Sinkhole Detection Using Civil Engineering Techniques, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence


2019 Connecticut Invention Convention (Awardees listed by hometown)

  • Avon: Leo Southam, Talcott Mountain Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology

  • Avon: Zachary Starr, Talcott Mountain Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology

  • Baltic: Brendan Bezanson, Sayles School

  • Bethel: Nila Kumar, Bethel Middle School

  • Bolton: Nicole Barnes, Bolton Center School

  • Bolton: Gianpaolo Girasoli, Bolton Center School

  • Colchester: Abigail Belding, William J. Johnston Middle School

  • Danbury: Max Coisman, St. Gregory the Great School

  • East Granby: Sara Moore, East Granby Middle School

  • Ellington: Molly Deptula, Ellington Middle School

  • Lyme-Old Lyme: Nyla Goulis, Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School

  • North Windham: Manuel Silva, Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy

  • Putnam: Lily Goyette, Putnam Middle School

  • Westport: Tolani Oshin, Greens Farms Academy

  • Westport: Jakob Zapanta, Greens Farms Academy

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