Riverside High School Students Named Winners of Engineering Essay Contest

Published: 5/25/2022



May 25, 2022



Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer


[email protected]



Riverside High School Students Named Winners of Engineering Essay Contest

Essays explored how engineering can help Riverside meet its sustainability goals

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) has selected students from Hillcrest and Poly high schools as the winners of the 2021 Engineering Essay Contest.

A total of 21 submissions were received from September-December from high school students within the RPU service area, which includes the Alvord and Riverside unified school districts.

Students were asked to write an essay of 800-1,500 words discussing how the field of engineering could be used to achieve the sustainability goals in the Envision Riverside Strategic Plan approved by the City Council. Essays were judged based on focus and clarity, evidence, and analysis.

“RPU is proud to provide an opportunity for our young people to demonstrate their knowledge of engineering and the importance of sustainability,” RPU Board Chair David Crohn said. “Their work shows that our future is in good hands.”

Prizes includes $600 for first place, $400 for second place and $200 for third place. The winners were:

First place -- Pritesh Patel of Hillcrest High School, for an essay on engineering a solar array over the Gage Canal to decrease evaporation while also generating power.

Second place -- Patrick Pascual of Poly High School, for an essay envisioning how vertical farming could improve the city’s future.

Third place -- Kaylee Akison of Hillcrest High School, for an essay on making parks sustainable.

Students researched the history of water and energy in Riverside, learned about the diverse and changing population of the city, and became familiar with the city’s goals for a sustainable future as outlined in the strategic plan.

Other entries included how to use process engineering to make neighborhoods safer; civil engineering to address ground water re-charge, storm water capture and recycled water; mechanical and electrical engineering in geothermal and wind energy solutions; and environmental engineering to reduce heat islands and carbon emissions.

In addition to the cash prizes, the top three finishers will be invited to spend a day with the Riverside Public Utilities engineering department, where they will see first-hand what might be involved in a day in the life of an engineer.

“This program is a great way to introduce promising young people to careers in the utility industry,” General Manager Todd Corbin said. “It also gives us an idea of the talent we have in our own backyard.”

More information about the essay contest and this year’s winners can be found at: www.Riversidepublicutilities.com/education

For the latest information and resources regarding COVID-19 -- www.RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19