(Left) Jeremy Blum from his website bio.
"New Face of Engineering" is an IEEE program that seeks to recognize and showcase engineers for their careers, contributions, talents, and works. Started in 2003, the program works through nominations. A IEEE member must nominate another IEEE member, 30 years old or younger. The candidates must have a degree from an accredited college or university. (Degrees in engineering technology, science, computer science, and similar disciplines do not qualify; a degree in computer engineering is acceptable. - from the program eligibility form. )
Last year's competition was quite different from the past. IEEE members that are third, fourth, and fifth-year students enrolled in a bachelor of science engineering program, with a GPA of 3.0 or better, were allowed to enter the first "New Face of Engineering College Edition." This year's winner was Cornell University's Jeremy Blum.
"Blum is the founder and director of Cornell University Sustainable Design (CUSD), an interdisciplinary 150-member team that pursues environmentally inspired design-build projects. One project was a schoolhouse in South Africa. Blum also built the control system for a solar-powered house that entered the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. He is leading an effort to build a sustainability research facility at Cornell. He has released hundreds of videos, tutorials and projects online (including the Arduino tutorial featured here at element14)." - via IEEE
"Blum enjoys sharing his zeal for engineering with children. In November, he and other CUSD students taught youngsters at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Children’s Museum how to re-purpose soda bottles into hanging gardens. Last summer he taught several classes at the Harlem Children’s Zone about sustainable engineering and renewable energy." - via IEEE
Blum explained why being a IEEE member is so beneficial, "Being a member of IEEE has been critical for expanding my network and meeting other amazing people whom I’ve been able to work with on various projects. I’m consistently amazed by all the smart electrical engineering students and teachers at Cornell, and IEEE has been the ideal place to find them. I also think having access to IEEE’s vast network of technical papers has been invaluable in conducting my research.” - quote via IEEE
As a side note: the New Face of Engineering 2011 winner (the main program) was Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan, a 27 year old cimponent design engineer with Intel corp. Veeraraghavan developed a system to system of 48 questions for caretakers and an artificial-intelligence gaming system for the cared for children to help identify symptoms of autism. He developed this system and online resources to help provide medical services for the poor and rural in India. Improving lives was his goal, and he achieved it.