Two up-and-coming civil engineers already making their mark on the industry and on society are among the 2015 New Faces of Engineering and the 2015 New Faces of Engineering College Edition, as selected by the DiscoverE Foundation. Maria Gibbs, S.M.ASCE, and Jennifer Kearney, S.M.ASCE, were recognized for exemplary commitments to make the world a better place through action.
Named to the New Faces of Engineering, Gibbs is in the third year of a five-year Ph.D. program at Notre Dame University researching bridge aeroelasticity, which focuses on wind induced effects on suspension footbridges. She has worked on several footbridge projects in Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Rwanda and performed dynamic tests on a dozen more. She earned her undergraduate civil engineering degree at Duke University.
“I am honored that DiscoverE named me a 2015 New Face of Engineering honoree. This, along with being named a 2015 ASCE New Face of Civil Engineering, is humbling,” said Gibbs, reached at a project in Haiti. “Best of all, I’m really excited to put out the word that engineering is really fun.”
Gibbs spent a year on the staff of the non-profit Bridges to Prosperity as its operations and research coordinator, developing operational capacity and thinking about how to set up systems to support footbridge projects on a scale commensurate with global need. “What will continue to drive my work is the desire to connect what I find interesting with what I am most passionate about, and that is what being a New Face of Engineering means to me,” she said. Read an ASCE profile of Gibbs.
Kearney, a Penn State senior civil engineering major, was honored as one of the New Faces of Engineering College Edition. She is also active in Bridges to Prosperity, as well as Engineers Without Borders–USA, the Society of Women Engineers, the American Concrete Institute, the American Institute of Steel Construction, Tau Beta Pi, and Chi Epsilon. She also handles logistics and funding for Penn State’s Steel Bridge team, served as overall orientation lead for more than 180 first-year students in the Women In Engineering Program, and was chairperson for SWE Stayover, involving more than 70 high school girls.
“As I continue to gain more experience and knowledge regarding structural design, I am looking forward to impacting more and more people both locally and around the world,” Kearney said. “I cannot wait to see where I go in my career and how I am able to use my skills to impact others.”
She added, “I am truly honored to be named a New Face of Engineering. … I love civil engineering, and I am thrilled to be representing ASCE on such a large scale.” Kearney was chosen from among ASCE’s 2015 New Faces of Civil Engineering College Edition.
Lynze Cheung, an ASCE student member from the University of California, Irvine, also was named to the New Faces of Engineering College Edition. Cheung was nominated by the Chinese Institute of Engineers.