Computing kindred spirits

College of Engineering's Kun-Mu Chen Memorial Scholarship awarded to first recipient

Jacob Patton holds a certificate that names him the recipient of a scholarship

The first memorial scholarship honoring distinguished electrical engineering professor  Kun-Mu Chen has been awarded to a student who is a kindred soul.

Chen spent 40 years mentoring students and establishing a comprehensive research program in the College of Engineering. He retired in 2000 and passed away in 2022. He was passionate about science.

The first Kun-Mu Chen Scholarship has been awarded to Jacob Patton, a computer engineering student who fell in love with computers and science at age two. His childhood fascination ranged from Windows 98 to today’s smaller, faster computers with high-speed processors.

“Just seeing technology evolve so much over my lifetime has sparked a genuine curiosity on how these technologies worked,” Jacob says. “I knew I wanted to be a part of designing and developing these cutting-edge technologies. I thought, ‘What better way to achieve this goal than engineering?’”

Jacob is pursuing the software side of computer engineering, with an interest in artificial intelligence and embedded systems.

“I am honored with an award that’s named after a prestigious member of the university. It is a testament to the time and effort I’ve put toward engineering, a field I love,” he adds.

Patton, of Southfield, Michigan, is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Michigander Scholars program. Additionally, he plays trombone in the Spartan Marching Band and Spartan Brass.

LEARN MORE about support for the College of Engineering by contacting Senior Director of Development Mike Wallace at or by calling (517) 355-8339.