The Parks Prize is given annually to a senior who has displayed leadership as an undergraduate “both in and outside the classroom, and is recognized by faculty and peers as an exemplary leader.” During his time at Rice, Zhang was president of Rice American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), vice president of Duncan College and assistant student director of RCEL, while also completing internships at Shell and PwC. After graduation, Zhang will work as an associate for Boston Consulting Group.
“He has demonstrated his ability to be an outstanding young scientist/engineer with an extremely bright and promising future ahead of him in a research and technology development career, and indeed, in any particular career field he might ultimately choose,” said Wade Adams, associate research professor of material science and nanoengineering, in his nomination letter.
Zhang will receive a cash prize of $3,500 and recognition in the Rice Commencement Program.
The RCEL Engineering Leadership Award comes with a cash prize of $2,500 and goes to a senior “whose qualities of character, leadership and responsibility have been outstanding during their undergraduate years at Rice.”
In her nomination letter, Laura Schaefer, MECH department chair, said “Ms. Rill has shown her leadership abilities in presenting important information in the most impactful fashion to a variety of audiences, from her fellow undergraduates through to members of the upper administration of the university.”
Rill served as mechanical team lead and later as president of the Rice Electric Vehicle (REV) team and president of the Rice chapter of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She was also active in RCEL Student Leadership and served as director of student engagement. After graduation, Rill is planning to work at Boeing in its selective rotational and leadership development program (Engineering Careers Foundational Program).