Bridget Hegarty and Qiushi Guo Honored at Crest & Fest

Bridget Hegarty and Qiushi Guo were honored Tuesday by SEAS Dean Jeffrey Brock at the annual Crest & Fest celebration, held this year over Zoom.

The 2020 Harding Bliss Prize for exceptional achievement in research in Engineering & Applied Science was awarded to Hegarty, who received her doctorate degree in environmental engineering and is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. A long-time advocate for women in STEM, she kickstarted the Yale Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, serving in various leadership roles over the years. As president of Yale GradSWE, she doubled the groups’ enrollment, was selected as an Emerging Leader in 2018 and received the Outstanding Collegiate Member at the National SWE Conference, the organization’s highest honor. Off campus, Hegarty volunteered her time conducting numerous STEM outreach efforts with the next generation of engineers, for which she won a Community Service Award from Yale.

Bridget also found success in research and mentorship. Working under Professor Jordan Peccia, her thesis work focused on biological metrics for classifying and understanding indoor fungal communities and their role in human health. During her time at Yale, she has submitted many publications, patents, and presented at numerous conferences. Additionally, as an Advanced Graduate Leadership Fellow, Bridget founded and served as the co-chair of the Equity in the Job Search Conference at Yale, which has inspired several similar conferences. She has been invited to speak nationally on these projects.

The 2020 Henry Prentiss Becton Graduate Prize, for exceptional achievement in research, was awarded to Guo, whose research bridges the gap between condensed matter physics and electrical engineering.

His advisor, Professor Fengnian Xia, said Guo tackles engineering problems as a physicist, an out-of-the-box approach that makes him so successful in his research. During his tenure at Yale, he demonstrated the first black phosphorus mid-infrared photodetector, and his work on graphene plasmonic photodetectors was published in Nature Materials. 

Guo was also quite prolific while at Yale. He published more than 30 papers in leading scientific journals, including several as first author. And, according to Google Scholar, these publications have already been cited more than 1,500 times.

As one nominee wrote: “I can clearly understand why he is publishing so much when I see his tremendous capacity to carry out team work in his group, assisting in crucial tasks, but also advancing in his own projects fast thanks to his outstanding work capacity.”