The Black American Engineering Scholarship (BAES) was created to identify and elevate the best and brightest future engineers. The pool of talent within the BAE scholars is extensive and extraordinary. Every BAES recipient has a proven record of academic excellence and unyielding determination. With the help of influential teachers along the way, these students graduated from their high schools with distinction. Today, students – many of whom are first-generation collegians – have paved their way into highly competitive universities. They have incredible potential and immense promise.

The Robin Lally Promising Engineer Achievement Award was created to encourage and challenge the BAE Scholars on their path of excellence. Each year, one rising sophomore in the BAES program is selected to receive this prestigious award, its generous grants and the accompanying public recognition.


Mamdooh "Didi" Abdel-Rhim

"This program has given me a mile of support to help me succeed. Without this program, I would not have been able to succeed as much as I have thus far. Not only did BAES allow me to attend the school of my dreams with absolutely zero college debt, but BAES was also able to partner me with [my mentor] Julius B. Rivers, a great engineer who is very successful in his field. Julius has always been there for me when I have tough decisions, or decide to doubt myself through this experience in college."

Mamdooh "Didi" Abdel RhimRobin Lally Promising Engineer Achievement Award Recipient

Mamdooh “Didi” Abdel Rhim, the 2022 recipient of the Robin Lally Promising Engineer Achievement Award, is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering at the University of Southern California.
Didi came to the Black American Engineering Scholarship program as a standout student and athlete from Cape Coral High School in Cape Coral, Florida. Didi earned all A’s and graduated with a weighted GPA of 5.3. In high school, Didi’s passion and dedication were already clear. In a recommendation letter, one of Didi’s teachers noted: “I have rarely encountered a student so confident in their life’s ambition and career path.”
Upon his acceptance into the Black American Engineering Scholarship (BAES) program and during his first year at USC, Didi again established himself as an exceptional student. Didi takes full advantage of the BAES mentorship program, connecting with his mentor regularly and joining group sessions to learn from some of the most experienced and impressive engineers in the field today.
Despite the rigor of his Astronautical Engineering program, Didi’s dedication to his studies earned him a place on the Dean’s List in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 and helped him land a role as an Engineering Undergraduate Student Summer Intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A glowing recommendation from his mentor, Julius Rivers, helped Didi earn the prestigious Promising Engineer Achievement Award.

  • Dean’s List – Fall 2021


  • Dean’s List – Spring 2022


  • NASA Internship


  • 3.6 GPA


  • Mentor Recommendation


  • Regular attendance of BAES group meetings

In December 2022, Didi returned to his alma mater to present a $10,000 grant check to Cape Coral High School. The grant, funded by the Foward Foundation, is an opportunity for Didi to show gratitude and appreciation for his education and for the Forward Foundation to support youth in STEM.
“Cape Coral High School was my academic home for four years,” says Didi. “I remember my first day at school I was overwhelmed with the surplus of opportunities they could provide for me. Their partnership with International Baccalaureate allowed me to challenge myself with college-level classes tailored to my preferred field of study.”
“However, it wasn’t only the school itself,” Didi continues. “I believe that the teachers and bonds I made with them through my high school career fueled my desire to become an Astronaut and engineer even more. Cape Coral High School was a place of academic incubation, allowing me to live a balanced life while having opportunities to pursue my career dreams.”

"Good is not enough, you have to be Great! Be great Didi and continue to do great things!"

Julius RiversBAES Mentor, Sr. Manager of Strategic Initiatives, for Integrated Warfare – Combat Systems Engineering at Lockheed Martin


The Black American Engineering Scholarship Award provides opportunities to underrepresented students in the field of engineering through scholarship funds and mentorship.

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Learn more about this prestigious award, how students can qualify, and see how the recipients are using their award grants to give back to the people and programs that have shaped their journey to success.

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The Michael and Robin Lally Forward Foundation is proud to provide the Robin Lally Promising Engineer Achievement Award.

The Black American Engineering Scholarship Award is made possible by a partnership between: