February 15, 2016
Congratulations to Nick Connolly, senior in Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering. Nick is a recipient of the 2016 Knights of St. Patrick Award, given to students who represent leadership, excellence in character, and exceptional contributions to the College of Engineering. It’s one of the highest honors received by a student from the College Of Engineering.
A senior from Flossmoor, Illinois, Connolly has been involved with AIChE (president, 2014-2015), undergraduate research at the Center for Plasma-Material Interactions, the Engineering Open House, Newman Center Service and Justice Outreach, and the music group Illini Contraband. In addition to majoring in Chemical Engineering, he is pursuing minors in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Technology & Management.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award, and to join the ranks of the incredible students from this university before me. This award is a testament to all those people who have taught me, worked alongside me, and shaped me in my college career. I hope through becoming a Knight of St. Patrick, I can inspire others to follow their passions and understand their potential at Illinois.”
Connolly said he chose to study Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering because he knew he wanted to be an engineer, and chemical engineers have a broad range of career opportunities and industries looking to hire them. He’s enjoyed the University of Illinois and being part of the ChBE program, he said, because of all of the opportunities available to undergraduates.
“I have academic and extracurricular interests inside and outside of chemical engineering, and was amazed at how many of them I was able to explore and develop during my time at the University of Illinois. I love ChBE at the University of Illinois because ChBE here feels like a family. Although it is a tough four years, classmates study together, mentor each other, and really get to know each other by senior year.”
The Knight of St. Patrick is an annual award given to approximately 10 to 15 students. In addition to Connolly, the 2016 Knights include Caite McCarthy from Aerospace Engineering; Margaret Barbero, Mallory Schroeder and Ashley Williams from Bioengineering; Jay Bensal from Computer Science; Srini Srikumar from Electrical and Computer Engineering; Katharine Mehan from Materials Science and Engineering; Athrey Nadhan from Mechanical Science; and Shanna Bobbins from Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering.