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PHOTOS: 2016 Spring Convocation and Graduation
Natalie Thayer

The spring 2016 Cullen College of Engineering Convocation took place on Friday, May 13 at the Hofheinz Pavilion. Immediately following the ceremony, a reception for Cullen College graduates and their families and friends was held in the commons of Engineering Building 1. The University-wide spring graduation ceremony was held the following day at the Hofheinz Pavilion.

Over 5,000 University of Houston Cougars, including nearly 500 engineering students, graduated this spring.

Two doctoral students, Matthew Zelisko and Jiasong Li, were presented with awards for outstanding dissertations and Peter Nhan Tri Vo and Sarah Elizabeth Williamson were both recognized as the Cullen College’s outstanding seniors for the 2016 graduating class.

UH System Board of Regents member Durga Agrawal led the introductions at the graduation ceremony and M.S. Kalsi, a Cullen College mechanical engineering alumnus and founder of Kalsi Engineering, took the stage for the convocation address. Kalsi was also presented with a plaque at graduation to recognize his service and dedication to the college.

Other event speakers included Joseph W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell professor and dean of the Cullen College, Hanadi Rifai, associate dean of research and facilities, Suresh Khator, associate dean of graduate programs and computing facilities, Fritz Claydon, director of the division of undergraduate programs and student success, and Lesley Sisk, director of undergraduate programs.

The demand for engineering talent is higher in the city of Houston – the energy capital of the world and home of the world's largest medical center – than in any other major U.S. city. Starting salaries for engineers with bachelor’s degrees typically range from $60,000 to over $80,000; however, average starting salaries for alumni of the Cullen College are considerably higher. According to, University of Houston engineering students rank 15th in the U.S. for salary earning potential.

View photos from graduation here!

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