Engineering Student and Faculty Recognized for Innovation and Mentorship

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Oct 17, 2023

UCLA Samueli

One student and two faculty members from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering received honors during Undergraduate Research Week earlier this year. The annual spring quarter program celebrates undergraduate students’ innovation in life sciences, physical sciences and engineering. 

The program also honors UCLA faculty who consistently and enthusiastically provide effective mentorship to undergraduate students involved in research or creative inquiry. Faculty awardees are nominated by the undergraduate students they mentor.

Soulaimane Bentaleb


Soulaimane Bentaleb, who earned his bachelor’s this year in bioengineering with a minor in neuroscience, was awarded a 2023 Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Research. 

Bentaleb’s research focused on improving the efficiency of seizure detection in epilepsy patients under the mentorship of Wentai Liu, a distinguished professor of bioengineering. 

Current seizure-prediction technology lacks automation and requires human oversight. To address the issue, Bentaleb devised a novel algorithm that could detect seizures before they occurr in epilepsy patients without the supervision of a neurologist or a person monitoring the algorithm. 

Bentaleb spent two years as an undergraduate researcher in Liu’s Biometric Research Lab. He is now a bioengineering graduate student at UCLA Samueli. He said his ultimate career goal is to better people’s lives by engineering brain-computer interfaces.

Jun Chen


Bioengineering assistant professor Jun Chen and computer science and mathematics professor Rafail Ostrovsky each received a Faculty Mentor Award.

Jun Chen, who joined UCLA Samueli in 2019, leads the Wearable Bioelectronics Research Group at UCLA and currently oversees more than 30 undergraduate students and several graduate students. His research focuses on nanotechnology and bioelectronics for energy, sensing and therapeutic applications in the form of smart textiles, wearable technology and body area networks. 

Rafail Ostrovsky


Rafail Ostrovsky is the Norman E. Friedmann Chair in Knowledge Sciences and a distinguished professor of computer science and mathematics. Ostrovsky is also the director of the Center for Information and Computation Security at UCLA Samueli, which focuses on research and education in cryptography and computer security. Since becoming a tenured professor in 2003, Ostrovsky has mentored dozens of students.