Rolls-Royce announces new partnership with Illinois
Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has announced broad plans to grow its partnership with the University of Illinois. This new relationship, which could evolve into Rolls-Royce establishing a university technology center here, holds many opportunities for students and faculty in units across campus, including Aerospace Engineering.
To kick off this new era, Rolls-Royce will be providing two, $10,000 annual scholarships for students studying in a science or technology-related field at the University of Illinois. The scholarships are being awarded to students of all backgrounds who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and reflect the core values of Rolls-Royce: reliability, integrity and innovation.
Scholarship winners will be selected each year by a University of Illinois scholarship committee, and the first winners are: Luis J. Mendez, a freshman studying computer science; and Ernest L. Baker, a sophomore studying accountancy.
Luis grew up in Guatemala, but his parents moved his family to the U.S. when he was young to ensure access to a good education. He completed a rigorous high school honors program in southeastern Chicago, and a Chemistry teacher there suggested he consider a career in engineering. This opened the door to a summer internship with Argonne National Laboratory. A successful summer led him to pursue an engineering degree at the University of Illinois.
Ernest is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, and is also a mentor in the community with the Accounting Awareness Program and Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS.
Norm Egbert, Vice President of Engineering and Technology for Rolls-Royce Corporation said: "Our congratulations go out to Luis and Ernest for their academic success. These scholarships underpin our commitment to fostering an interest in science and technology in young people with a view towards opening the door on future careers in these areas."
"These scholarships are an example of the important relationship that exists between Rolls-Royce and the University of Illinois, who we've chosen to partner with because of their world-class research capabilities, effective training programs and talented students."
Mike Bragg, Aerospace Engineering professor and Executive Associate Dean in the College of Engineering, said of the new development: "Our growing relationship with Rolls-Royce has the potential to impact many students in Engineering and across campus. Research grants, scholarships and fellowships, internships and co-ops are all areas where we hope to increase our interaction."
Company executives shared their ideas for an expanded relationship with the University of Illinois during at a banquet they hosted earlier this spring at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. Among invited guests were Vice Provost Ruth Watkins and Vice Chancellor for Research Chip Zukoski, as well as several administrators from the colleges of Business and Engineering, including Aerospace Engineering faculty and staff. Joining the guests were company officials that included Egbert and John Gill, Vice President of Human Resources.