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Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: (217) 333-2300
Fax: (217) 244-7075

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Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

Konicek Family and Lisa Foundation Scholarships for Engineering Excellence in Innovation

Established 2010

These scholarships were established with funds donated by ECE alumni and classmates Jeffrey Konicek and Steven Lisa to recognize engineering innovation by undergraduates in ECE.

Jeffrey Konicek (BSEE ’81, MSEE ’83) is a technical consulting expert to the patent bar and industry with over 25 years of experience in such diverse areas as computers, control systems, power systems, speech recognition, aerospace, telecommunications, digital signal processing (DSP), the Internet and other networking structures, and VLSI circuit design and testing. Mr. Konicek has held several technical positions in industry and research. He is a member of IEEE and several engineering honor societies.

Steven Lisa (BSEE 1981, JD 1984) is a patent attorney and member of the Illinois State Bar, Patent Bar and Trial Bar. He is admitted to practice before numerous Federal District and Appellate Courts. His firm, Steven G. Lisa, Ltd., is based in Chicago. Since 1984, Mr. Lisa has successfully served as lead counsel on a number of high-profile patent licensing and litigation programs, and has developed an international reputation in the field. A large part of his practice involves representing major research universities, small companies, and individuals on patent licensing and litigation matters.

Lisa and Konicek have been closely allied over the last 20-plus years on several patent matters, and now work almost exclusively together. Each can be reached at the firm’s Web site at


The Konicek Family and Lisa Foundation Scholarships for Excellence in Innovation provide a reward for innovation, creativity, novelty, and inventiveness in the fields of electrical and computer engineering. Recipients demonstrate a unique application and strong understanding of engineering principles in order to create an innovative solution to an existing problem. Two scholarships will be awarded each year from 2010-2015 - one to undergraduate(s) in Electrical Engineering, and one to undergraduate(s) in Computer Engineering.


  1. Current ECE sophomore or junior
  2. Teams of up to three students are eligible to apply for a scholarship
  3. Project can be part of course work (i.e. senior design, ADSL) or optional project work (i.e. EOH, IEEE)
  4. Project must demonstrate creativity and innovation, and result in a physical output such as a product or instrumentation

Selection Process:

Each spring, students and faculty will be asked to nominate students and their project for consideration. Students who self-nominate will be required to obtain a faculty signature to verify the project description. A committee will then review the nominations and make a selection. The recipients will be recognized at the annual ECE Awards Banquet in April.


Recipients receive a $2,500 scholarship. If a team of students receives the award for their group work, the scholarship will be split among the members of the team. The scholarship will be paid over the following academic year.

Year Recipients
2014-2015 Juan Gabriel Ballesteros Garcia, Samantha Wojtowicz
2013-2014 Yu Yan, Zhangxiaowen Gong
2012-2013 Zhangxiaowen Gong
2011-2012 Megan Boivin, Donald Ziems
2010-2011 Andres Guzman-Ballen, Harihar Nandagopal, Bharat Poddar