On Friday, November 15, the Rice Engineering Alumni will honor two of our own. The Outstanding Engineering Alumnus award will be presented to Dr. Juan C. Meza (BSEE 1978, MEE 1979), and the Distinguished Service Medal will be awarded to C. Sidney Burrus (BSEE 1957, MSEE 1960), Maxfield Oshman Professor Emeritus of Engineering and former Dean of Engineering.
Dr. Meza is currently Dean of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of California, Merced. Before Meza was named dean at UC Merced two years ago, he held research positions with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and spent 15 years on the staff of the Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California.
The REA created the Distinguished Service medal as a way to honor alumni who have give exemplary service to the School of Engineering and to mark the University's Centennial. After earning his PhD at Stanford University, Burrus joined the Rice faculty in 1965. He served as ECE Department Chair from 1984-1992, and was named dean of engineering in 1998, serving until 2005, and was named interim dean from 2010-2011. Currently the Maxfield-Oshman Professor Emeritus and senior strategist for the Connexions program, Burrus has won six teaching awards and other numerous honors during his career at Rice.