2023 SVEC Education Award Winners

Nolan Nguyen

Nolan Nguyen is the founder and president of the Designing With CAD Club at his school, teaching CAD and hosting projects to work toward his goal of spreading engineering throughout his community. He enjoys building things for his school, video edit- ing, gardening, and playing varsity tennis. His latest projects include 3D scanning the “Song of the Vowels” sculpture with photogrammetry, creating a realistic cardboard star wars helmet, building an indoor nursery, and learning other widely-used CAD software. He is interested in becoming a mechanical engineer and product designer.

Yifan Tong

Yifan Tong is a Class of 2023 senior at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, CA. He is an aspiring tech entrepreneur who hopes to revolutionize the A.I. and robotics industry. Currently, he is working in Dr. Jiang’s BioRob lab at San Jose State University as a student research assistant. In his free time, he likes to listen to music and sing.

Daniel Siegel

Daniel Siegel is a senior at Palo Alto High School. For the past few years, Daniel has been developing accessibility technologies through his design studio, Plugged Projects (PluggedProjects.com). His projects have included a sensor-enhanced probing cane for the visually impaired and a cephalopod-inspired prosthetic arm. Daniel’s designs emphasize low cost and ease of manufacturing. He is also a member of Jump Robotics, a robotics team he co-founded in 2019. Next fall, Daniel is planning to attend Santa Clara University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Ria Deshpande

Ria Deshpande is a senior at Dr. TJ Owen’s Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA) and a part-time student at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California. She will graduate this May with an AS in Computer Programming and an AA in Natural Sciences. At a 4-year university, she hopes to study bioengineering with a specialization in medical devices, with the goal of one day design- ing accessible speech therapy technology for children with speech and cognitive disabilities. As someone who finds great joy in attending school and learning, she plans to attain her master’s in Speech-Language-Pathology through a CCC-SLP accreditation, followed by a Ph.D. Outside of academics, Ria is an avid reader, mug-baker and “foodie”. During her free time you’ll often spot her with friends and family, creating Pinterest vision boards, and experimenting with baking delicacies.

Emily Lu

Emily Lu is a senior at Saratoga High School. In her free time she works on cool robots with her teammates from 6165 MSET-Cuttlefish. She also likes to entertain her cat and pursue other personal projects like a parametric􏰣audio spot-light speaker and a vermicomposting bin (using worms to compost). She intends to major in electrical engineering and aspires to lead innovations in solar technology in hopes to shift away from fossil fuels.

Tanish Rao

Tanish Rao is currently a senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory. He will be attending CalTech in the Fall of 2023, where he plans on majoring in Bioengineering and playing soccer. In his free time, Tanish enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, mountain biking, and playing sports.

SVEC High School Award 2024

Application Deadline is January 8, 2024.

Award Eligibility

The Silicon Valley Engineering Council Engineering Education awards recognize undergraduate engineering and technology students for their dedication, focus, and commitment to engineering. Engineering and Technology. The one-time award is $500 and students may receive an SVEC Education award only once.

Award Criteria

– The applicant should be studying in one of the following 8 counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz.

– The applicant’s program of study is directly focused towards engineering or technology.

– The applicant has shown involvement in STEM activities (e.g., engineering, science, math, computing, or technical organizations).

– The applicant has shown involvement in community and/or social services activities.

– The applicant has letters of recommendations from two adults: faculty, organizational leaders or club leaders who can speak to applicant’s activities and performance in the above areas.

– The student exhibits strong academic performance as shown by overall GPA as well as strong recommendations from teachers.

Granting of Awards

Awardees will be notified through e-mail by January 31, 2024, and will be awarded at the SVEC Engineers Week Banquet on February 20, 2024 at Delta Hotel by Marriott in Santa Clara. It is expected but not required that awardees attend the banquet. Each recipient and one companion will be SVEC guests.


If you have more questions, please send your inquiry to education-awards@svec-ca.org  Please put “SVEC Education Awards” in the email title.

Please do not input or upload documents showing private information such as social security number.

If you have more questions, please contact SVEC Scholarship/Education Committee

Yanika Schneider (SPE)


Please include “SVEC Education Awards” in the email subject line.

Complete the High School application here.