Lieutenant General Thomas M. Rienzi Graduate Award

Established 2011

Thomas M. Rienzi

Lieutenant General Thomas M. Rienzi was born on February 5, 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He entered Lehigh University in 1937 and West Point in 1938, graduating in 1942. He served in Burma during World War II and later in Korea. After receiving his master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1948, he went on to a distinguished career in the United States Army. He eventually became the commanding General of the 1st signal Brigade in Vietnam. He is a former Commandant of the U.S. Army Signal Center and School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Upon retiring in 1979, he moved to Hawaii where he is involved in numerous volunteer activities.


Lieutenant General Rienzi established this award to give back to his alma mater and to honor the positive influence Professor William L. Everitt had on his life and career. Lieutenant General Rienzi is forever grateful to Professor Everitt for the mentorship and encouragement provided to him and fellow graduate students who had served in the military.


In order to be eligible for this award a student must meet the following criteria:

  • The student must be a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Preference is given to students in the following order: students who currently serve or who have served in the United States military, students who are current or past members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), students from the state of Hawaii.


The online application forms will be advertised on My.ECE. A complete application should consist of the student’s resume, his/her list of publications, and 2 letters of recommendation (one from the research adviser).


All applications for the Award will be judged by the ECE Graduate Fellowship Committee based on the above criteria.


The recipient(s) will be recognized during an annual Student Awards Banquet. All student recipients are featured on the second floor of the ECE Building's Student Honors Wall.

Past Recipients of the Award

Year Recipients
2022-2023 William North
2021-2022 Anna Winnicki
2020-2021 Han Keun Lee
2019-2020 Nathaniel Bleier
2018-2019 Aaron Smith
2017-2018 Brandon Arkawa
2016-2017 Brandon Arkawa
2015-2016 Blake Yerkes
2014-2015 Janice Blane
2013-2014 Siva Theja Maguluri
2012-2013 Matthew Johnson
2011-2012 David Estrada