Walker awarded Quantrano Prize, Switzer Leadership Award, Levy awards

She founded WU Rocketry, led other student organizations

Beth Miller 

Caitlind Walker, a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from McKelvey School of Engineering this May, has been chosen to receive the 2022 Ralph S. Quatrano Prize and the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award.

In addition, she has been chosen to receive the David H. Levy Outstanding Senior Award and the David H. Levy Award for Distinguished Service from the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering.

Walker also is minoring in aerospace engineering and has a second major in French in Arts & Sciences. She will complete a master’s degree in electrical engineering in December 2022.

The Quatrano Prize is 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. 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.

The Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award, given by the Women’s Society of Washington University, recognizes outstanding graduating senior women who have made a significant contribution to WashU and have demonstrated exceptional potential for future leadership.

Walker, a Danforth Scholar, has made myriad contributions to the McKelvey School of Engineering and to Washington University while a student. As a sophomore, she started WU Rocketry, a rocketry club that would compete in annual national events. She raised internal and external funding support, proposed and executed an undergraduate research project to design the communication platform for the rocket, recruited students from multiple departments to launch the club. The club successfully competed in the 2021 NASA student launch competition and has been accepted again for the 2022 competition. The club now lists 28 active members.

In addition, Walker was president of the Society of Women Engineers; the programming and event chairs for EnCouncil; a peer instructor in the problem-solving team for the ESE 105 introductory course; a first-year student leader (Washington University Student Associate, WUSA); and the lead for the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering undergraduate student advisory board.

Walker also completed summer internships at The Boeing Co. and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

Jason Trobaugh, professor of the practice and director of undergraduate studies in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, has known Walker for the four years she has been a student.

“Caitlind’s leadership potential is among the best of all of the students I have known in my 35 years at Washington University in St. Louis,” he wrote. “I have no doubt that she will continue to lead throughout her career and her life.” 

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