Venkatesulu named electrical engineering student marshal


By Sarah Small

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Erica Venkatesulu has been named the Department of Electrical Engineering’s student marshal for Penn State’s spring commencement, which will be held virtually on May 9.

She has chosen Timothy Kane, professor of electrical engineering, as her faculty marshal.

College of Engineering student marshals are chosen for their outstanding academic achievement and contributions to engineering student life.

Venkatesulu, of Yardley, is the daughter of Sunder and Debra Venkatesulu. She attended Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills. While at Penn State, Venkatesulu received the Evan Pugh Scholar Award and the President’s Freshman Award. She is also the recipient of the Penn State Academic Excellence Scholarship; William J. and Lois Kesterson Leight Memorial Scholarship; David DeVore Scholarship in Electrical Engineering; Lamartine Lam Hood, Jr. Endowed Scholarship of the Penn State Chapter of Bucks County; Volvo Group Scholarship in Electrical Engineering; Edward and Rosemary Singel Award in Electrical Engineering; James M. Barnak/Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Student Award; and Lockheed Martin Corporation Scholarship Fund.

During her time at Penn State, Venkatesulu worked on several research projects. As a Schreyer Honors Scholar, she completed an honors thesis titled “Redesign and Testing of the Eyelid Drive System Assistive Technology.” She also contributed to the research project “Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery of Inland Waterways” at Montana State University, where she developed image processing code and conducted field experiments. She served as the project lead for the Polar Atmospheric Winter Student Sounding Rocket (PAWSS) Payload at Penn State, where she worked on systems engineering, testing and circuit board design. Venkatesulu also designed and built an experimental setup and developed image processing code while working on the characterization of rotational drag of a magnet in a simulated brain tissue at Drexel University.

Venkatesulu served as a teaching intern for the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State, where she developed and delivered lectures for the Arduino first year seminar class. She also interned at Northrop Grumman Corporation as a hardware design intern, testing and troubleshooting DC-DC converter boards and performing simulations of a test fixture.

In addition to her research projects and internships, Venkatesulu was a project committee member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers from 2018-2019 and an academic facilitator for the Women in Engineering Program from 2017-2018. She was a member of the academic honors society Eta Kappa Nu from 2018-2020. Venkatesulu also rock climbs several times a week.

After graduation, Venkatesulu will attend graduate school at Montana State University for electrical and computer engineering.


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Megan Lakatos

headshot of Erica Venkatesulu

Erica Venkatesulu. IMAGE: PROVIDED