Illinois Engineering to honor Distinguished Alumni, Outstanding Students on April 12


The University of Illinois College of Engineering will honor distinguished alumni and top students at the Student and Alumni Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 12 at the I-Hotel

The College of Engineering Alumni Award for Distinguished Service is conferred upon exceptional alumni each year. Recipients are recognized for professional distinction through outstanding leadership, contributions to the field of engineering, creativity, and entrepreneurship; as well as service to society, the professional community, and to the department, college, or university.

Thanks to the support of our alumni and friends, the College of Engineering is proud to grant a variety of awards to these deserving students. These awards are competitive and decided based on academic achievement, and outstanding participation in professional and service activities. A committee of faculty and staff selects the recipients.

2019 Distinguished Alumni

(degrees earned from University of Illinois are listed below)

Richard Ahrenkiel

BS, Engineering Physics, 1959; MS, Physics, 1960, PhD, Solid State Physics, 1964

Research Professor at Colorado School of Mines
Research Fellow Emeritus at National Renewable Energy Laboratory 
Founder of Lakewood Semiconductors, LLC 

For his seminal contributions to materials research, development and device characterization for semiconductor and photovoltaic technologies. Including the development of a unique technique to measure excess carrier lifetimes in materials, resonance-coupled photoconductive decay.

Pat A. Basu

BS, Mechanical Engineering, 2000

President and CEO of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Former White House Fellow and Senior Advisor
Co-founder Doctor On Demand

For his outstanding professional accomplishments, strong leadership in industry and medicine, and his enthusiastic service to the University of Illinois.


Richard J. Erickson

BS, Civil Engineering, 1969

Former COO and President of O’Neil Industrics, Inc.

For his distinguished leadership in the profession of Construction Engineering and Management, dedicated service to and mentorship of Illinois graduates, and exceptional entrepreneurship with vision, integrity, and innovation.




Larry J. Howell

BS, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, 1966; MS, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, 1968, PhD, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, 1971

Former Executive Director of Science at General Motors Research and Development Center

For his technical contributions and exceptional leadership abilities in Automotive  Research & Development and his steadfast commitment to the University of Illinois and the Department of Aerospace Engineering.


Lynn Lencioni Reedy

BS, Math & Computer Science, 1977
Former Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at eBay
Owner Lencioni Vineyards and Mia Nipote Winery in Livermore Valley, California
For her outstanding leadership and innovative technical contributions to the 
e-commerce industry in a period of high-growth.



Sanjay Srivastava

MS, Electrical Engineering, 1987

Chairman and CEO of Vocareum

For leadership in semiconductor intellectual property solutions and electronic design automation for IC Design.





Gregg Zehr

BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1976; MS, Electrical Engineering, 1977

Founder and President of Amazon’s Lab126

For his significant contributions to consumer electronics, particularly his role in developing the Amazon Kindle and Echo.




2018 Outstanding Student Award Recipients:

The recipients of the 2018 College of Engineering Student Awards are:

Harvey H. Jordan Award recognizes the scholastic achievement and character of an outstanding senior.

Jiahui Xiong, Electrical and Computer Engineering







Henry Ford II Scholar Award is supported by an endowment from the Ford Motor Company and given to an undergraduate student of highest academic achievement who intends to pursue graduate studies. Preference is given to candidates whose field contribute most to areas related to the automotive industry.


 Piush Behera, Materials Science and Engineering








William R. Schowalter Award acknowledges a student who exemplifies outstanding character, creativity, and enthusiasm through leadership, encouragement of others, and dedication to the College.

 Karolina Urban, Civil & Environmental Engineering








Andrea J. Culumber Award honors an individual with strong leadership skills as well as personal qualities such as enthusiasm, creativity, and kindness.

 Kevin Halloran, Materials Science and Engineering







H.L. Wakeland Undergraduate Leadership Award recognizes a junior or senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and who has maintained a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. Leadership activities can include university, campus, college, departmental, local, and community involvement.

 Daniela Markazi, Agricultural and Biological Engineering








Stanley H. Pierce Award is given to an outstanding student and an outstanding faculty member  in recognition of efforts to develop empathetic student-faculty cooperation.


 Darren Liu, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Student Recipient








 Kathryn Huff , Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering; Faculty Recipient








The Lisle Abbott Rose Award is given to an outstanding senior in the College who most nearly approaches the ideal of technical excellence combined with cultural breadth, depth,and sensitivity.

 Nicole Jugovich, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering








 C.S. Larson Transfer Student Awards


Felipe Arias , Computer Science








Alex Prather, Materials Science and Engineering