Student leaders in mechanical engineering recognized

From left: Alex Myers, Lucy Spicher and Kayli Rentzel, who earned awards from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering is honoring several outstanding undergraduate students through its annual awards.

Karen Thole, distinguished professor and mechanical engineering department head, said, “While we wish we were celebrating together at our annual student banquet, the department would like to offer the warmest congratulations to our award winners and the entire graduating class of 2020.”

Alex Myers has received the Boeing Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Junior Award. Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Boeing supports this award in mechanical engineering at Penn State to foster Boeing's long tradition of leadership and innovation in the aerospace industry and to recognize an outstanding junior in the program who has demonstrated excellent scholastics as well as an interest in the aerospace industry.

Myers said, “After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school for a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. With my Ph.D., I hope to work in the aerospace industry and continue to research ways to make flight safer, cheaper and better for the environment. In addition, I would like to teach at a university and inspire students to pursue their dreams.”

Lucy Spicher has been awarded the Dr. John P. Karidis Department Head’s Award for Research Achievement in Mechanical Engineering. The award is named for alumnus John P. Karidis, who received his doctorate in 1983 in mechanical engineering. Karidis' commitment to engineering education and innovation prompted his original gift to create this endowed award. Additional contributions from friends and family members continue to enhance the prestige of this award within the department and recognize the impact of Karidis' life. Recipients of this award are chosen for advancing the research in their selected area of concentration. 

After her graduation, Spicher plans to continue her mechanical engineering education in graduate school. 

She said, “In graduate school, I'd like to focus my skills on engineering design and new product development. With a Ph.D., I am interested in exploring academia as a researcher and professor, leading small teams of engineers to develop medical devices in private industry or launching my own company as an entrepreneur.”

Kayli Rentzel has earned the Thomas Briggs Hunter Memorial Award for Student Leadership. The award is named for alumnus Thomas Hunter, who received his doctorate from Penn State in 1994 and was known as a leader in volunteering his time. Rentzel displays the qualities honored by this award, which are demonstrating leadership, volunteer spirit and citizenship in programs and services that have positively influenced the department, college, University or community.

Rentzel said, “I will be working as an engineer for Voith Hydro in their Professional Development Program in York. I am excited to be moving back home to have the opportunity to get involved with my (high school) alma mater, volunteering as the Mini-THON adviser for Northeastern High School and helping with the basketball and competition cheerleading squads.”


Last Updated May 05, 2020