Hannah Smith, a senior majoring in applied science (electrical engineering) has been chosen to receive the 2021 Ralph S. Quatrano Prize, given in honor of Ralph Quatrano, the Spencer T. Olin Professor Emeritus, dean of Engineering from 2010 to 2015 and former chair of the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. She was honored at the Engineering Awards Ceremony April 21. 

Established through a generous donation by Katherine Day Reinleitner, the prize is sponsored by The Mindlin Foundation, which presents two prizes annually, one in Engineering and one in biology, both honoring Quatrano’s exemplary leadership as Engineering dean and his important work as a researcher in biology.

Smith, of Silver Spring, Maryland, is president of the McKelvey School of Engineering chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. Prior to becoming president, she was the group’s Pre-College Initiatives chair and has been a community outreach tutor during her undergraduate career. In addition, she is the sole student appointee of the Washington University Equity & Inclusion Council and is a student member of the McKelvey School of Engineering Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. She has been a tour guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; a member of the traveling Debate Team; a Mental Health Peer counselor with Uncle Joe’s; and a student fundraiser for the university Call Center. She has completed summer internships at Mahlet Consulting Inc. in Columbia, Maryland, and at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California.


The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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