Kidder, Petty receive RCEL leadership awards

Friday, April 21, 2017
Patrick Kurp, Engineering Communications

Kelly Kidder, a senior in chemical and biomolecular engineering (ChBE), and Andrew “Drew” Petty, a senior in mechanical engineering (MECH), are the 2017 recipients of the annual leadership awards given by the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL).

Kidder received the Robert H. Parks Jr. Prize for Excellence in Engineering Leadership, given annually to a graduating senior who displays leadership “both in and outside the classroom, and is recognized by faculty and peers as an exemplary leader.” Petty received the RCEL Engineering Leadership Award, presented to graduating seniors whose “qualities of character, leadership and responsibility have been outstanding during their undergraduate years at Rice.”

Rafael Verduzco, associate professor of ChBE, advised the Chem-E Car team in academic year 2015-2016 and wrote in his nominating letter for Kidder:

“Despite not receiving any course credit, Kelly was the team captain and guided the team’s activities. She led the team to the successful design and construction of a fuel cell-powered car. The design developed by this team is being used by the current Chem-E car team.”

As a freshman, Kidder served as lead engineer on the four-member design team, Village Innovators, and wrote a technical guide for a low-resource, zero-electricity refrigerator for use in developing African countries. She had internships with Molecular Rebar Design, Petroleum Thermodynamics and Flow Assurance Lab and USDA Agricultural Research Services.

Petty served as treasurer and president of the Rice student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The group’s faculty adviser was Andrew Dick, assistant professor of MECH, who wrote in his nominating letter:

“In the eight years that I advised the club, Mr. Petty was the most active, innovative and effective leader that the club had. In addition to fulfilling the standard roles as an officer, Drew led numerous efforts and took many actions to enhance the club.”

Laura A. Schaefer, professor and chair of MECH, wrote of Petty: “He is a perfect example of engineering leadership. He is bright and intensely driven, but also excellent at relating to other people, on all levels. He has both breadth and depth, which he has demonstrated in the classroom and on the public stage.”

Petty completed internships at Lockheed Martin, Air Liquide Large Industries and the Brandt Companies. Both students earned Engineering Leadership Certificates from RCEL.