ASCE Announces Society Scholarships and Fellowships for 2013; Names Three New Fellows

BY 
July 30, 2013

As of June, the following winners had been announced.

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TODD D. ATKINS, S.M.ASCE; GARIN HUGHES, S.M.ASCE; RACHEL M. JAMES, S.M.ASCE; KURT W. MELVIN, S.M.ASCE; ALEXANDRA ORAN, S.M.ASCE; CRISTOBAL ROBLES, S.M.ASCE; MICHELLE RUBERG, S.M.ASCE; DONALD A. SHAW, S.M.ASCE; ROSS A. SIMONS, S.M.ASCE; EMILY G. SUMNER, S.M.ASCE; and SAMUEL SUTTON, S.M.ASCE, are the recipients of the Samuel Fletcher Tapman ASCE Student Chapter Scholarships.

Atkins is attending Bluefield State College, where he expects to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology in 2014. Vice-president of the ASCE Student Chapter and member of the steel bridge team, he decided to go back to school in 2002 and earn his degree at the age of 37, while working full-time and supporting a family.

Hughes is a senior civil engineering student attending the Georgia Institute of Technology. A member of the steel bridge team and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, his goal is to become a licensed professional structural engineer to design bridges, buildings, industrial structures, skyscrapers, and other structural types. This spring, as an undergraduate, he was admitted into a Civil Engineering Honors Research program at Georgia Tech where his research involves studying concrete material science.

James is a junior majoring in civil engineering at West Virginia University, where she is focusing on research, mentoring/teaching, and outreach. Awarded the West Virginia University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship during summer 2012, her first project was writing a paper entitled “Statistical Regression Models for Predicting Swelling Pressure of Compacted Expansive Soils,” which was published in the January 2013 edition of the International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering.

Melvin is a third-year student in the civil engineering technology program at Rochester Institute of Technology. Vice-president of the school’s ASCE Student Chapter, he is currently the captain of the concrete canoe team. Since May 2012 he has been working as a project engineer with The Pike Company, while taking classes full-time. His experience with the company has led him to participate as team captain in the Associated Schools of Construction-Region I Heavy Civil Competition.

Oran, a senior at California State University, Chico, currently serves as president of the school’s ASCE Student Chapter and member of its concrete canoe team. Presently working on earning her LEED Green Associate accreditation, her goal when she graduates next year is to go on to grad school and become a structural engineer.

Robles is a sophomore student at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), seeking a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Highly active with the UTEP ASCE Student Chapter, where he holds the position of historian, he has been a member of both the school’s concrete canoe and steel bridge teams since his freshman year. He has participated in various volunteer projects throughout the City of El Paso and the university to give back to the community.

Ruberg, a student at the University of Kentucky, has played a large role in restarting the school’s concrete canoe team. Widely involved on campus, she has emphasized the school’s involvement in the Ohio Valley Student Conference. A member of the Catholic Newman Center, she has done a lot of humanitarian work through Habitat for Humanity.

Shaw is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Southern Indiana. Currently vice-president of the school’s Student Chapter, he is also a member of the American Concrete Institute, National Society of Professional Engineers, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He is presently working as an intern for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Simons is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in civil engineering with a minor in mathematics. Captain of the school’s concrete canoe team and member of the Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi honor societies, he currently volunteers as a student mentor for an introductory engineering course. This summer he is participating in his second internship with Marathon Petroleum.

Sumner is a civil engineering student at South Dakota State University and serves as president and corresponding secretary for the school’s Student Chapter in addition to co-captain of its concrete canoe team. A junior at South Dakota State, she is vice-president of the school’s Engineers Without Borders-USA Student Chapter and a member of the Alpha Omega Epsilon engineering sorority. Presently, she is attending her second summer internship with Mortenson Construction.

Sutton is a junior at Morehouse College/North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he hopes to receive his bachelor’s degree in both civil engineering and general science in May 2014. President of the school’s Student Chapter, he is also co-captain/secretary of the steel bridge team and member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society and National Society of Black Engineers.

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FAEZEH AZHARI
, P.Eng., S.M.ASCE; KRISTIN R. DAUER, S.M.ASCE; and HOSSEIN SADEGHI, S.M.ASCE, are the recipients of the Freeman Fellowship.

Azhari is currently a doctoral student in structural engineering at the University of California, Davis. Prior to that, she completed her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Isfahan University of Technology and master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia.

Dauer graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. A member of Chi Epsilon, she joined the Environmental Processes and Environmental Flows research group at the University of Pittsburgh while pursuing a Ph.D. in water resources.

Sadeghi received his bachelor’s degree in water engineering from the University of Tehran and his master’s degree in the same field from the Isfahan University of Technology. He is currently a graduate research assistant, pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Land, Air, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University.

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JULIA A. BAAKLINI
, S.M.ASCE, and TARA C. SABER-KHIABANI, S.M.ASCE, are the recipients of the John Lenard Civil Engineering Scholarship.

Baaklini, president of the ASCE Student Chapter, is a senior civil engineering student at The College of New Jersey. A member of Tau Beta Pi, she lists her future goals as earning a Ph.D. in environmental engineering.

Saber-Khiabani, a junior civil engineering student at the City College of New York (CCNY), has been working at the Environmental Engineering Lab at CCNY for the past 2 1/2 years, conducting research on nitrogen removal in wastewater. A member of the school’s concrete canoe team, she plans to continue her graduate studies in civil and environmental engineering at CCNY.

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TYLER J. BEDUHN
, S.M.ASCE; RACHEL BRONSON, S.M.ASCE; and JINGYU LEE, LEED GA, S.M.ASCE, are the recipients of the Arthur S. Tuttle Scholarship.

Beduhn is completing his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a minor in business administration from The University of Iowa in May 2013. Co-captain of the school’s concrete canoe team, member of the executive board of the ASCE Student Chapter, and president of the school’s Chi Epsilon chapter, he will begin his graduate studies this fall at The University of Texas at Austin, with the main area of focus in transportation.

Bronson, a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in marine science, is presently attending the University of Colorado, Denver, where she is working on a master’s degree in civil engineering. Presently she is working as a research assistant to Wesley Marshall, Ph.D., to evaluate the transportation resiliency benefits of biking and walking mode options in the Denver, Colorado area.

Lee is a fifth-year student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he is going for a triple major in civil engineering, architectural engineering, and architecture. An ASCE Illinois Section Geotechnical Group Scholarship recipient in 2012, he presently serves as vice-president of the school’s Student Chapter.

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CATHERINE CHENG
, S.M.ASCE, and WIPHAWI “MO” PHIFER, S.M.ASCE, are the recipients of the Josephine and B.B. Moorman Scholarship.

Cheng, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and president of MIT’s Chi Epsilon Chapter, is an upcoming senior in the Civil Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She currently works with the Juanes Research Group through the university’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Phifer, a senior civil engineering student at South Dakota State University, was recently chosen by her colleagues as the recipient of the ASCE Student Leadership Award. Treasurer of the ASCE Student Chapter, vice president of Chi Epsilon, and publicity chair for Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB), she traveled to Carmen Pampa, Bolivia, in December 2012 to help build and implement a water supply system.

MICHAEL J. MINGO, S.M.ASCE, is the recipient of the Eugene C. Figg, Jr. Civil Engineering Scholarship. Mingo is a junior, studying civil and environmental engineering at South Dakota State University. A member of Chi Epsilon, Mingo did an internship after his freshman year, and later between his sophomore and junior year was employed by the South Dakota Department of Transportation in Mitchell, South Dakota. Mingo is also a member of the school’s steel bridge and concrete canoe teams.

Walker, CoreyCOREY WALKER, S.M.ASCE, is the recipient of the Y.C. Yang Civil Engineering Scholarship. Walker is a third-year student at California State University, Fresno and currently editor for Foresight! magazine, a campus publication, and is discussing with faculty the possibility of starting a second magazine focused on civil engineering applications and research. After graduation, his goal is to become a licensed P.E. and volunteer his time to help developing and third-world nations to create sustainable and efficient infrastructures.

 


CAROLINE J. WILLIAMS
, S.M.ASCE, is the recipient of the Lawrence W. and Francis W. Cox Scholarship. Williams will begin her senior year at Michigan State University (MSU), where she is pursuing a civil engineering degree with a minor in material science. Active within the MSU engineering community, she is president of the ASCE Student Chapter, co-captain of the steel bridge team, and member of the concrete canoe team, the Student Engineering Council, and the Society of Women Engineers.

Fellows

Professor Ali Memari, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, is the Hankin Chair of Residential Building Construction in the Departments of Architectural Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center at Penn State University. He holds B.S., M.Eng., and Ph.D. civil engineering degrees from, respectively, the University of Houston, the University of California, Berkeley, and Penn State University, and is a registered P.E. in Pennsylvania. He has over 25 years of teaching and research experience, as well as several years of part- and full-time consulting activities. His teaching in recent years has included the following subjects: structural analysis, concrete design, masonry design, earthquake resistant design of buildings, and building enclosure science and design. Dr. Memari’s research over the past decade has concentrated on experimental and analytical evaluation of nonstructural or architectural building components and light-frame and masonry structural systems under different environmental and earthquakes. The systems/topics considered in these studies have included glazing systems, brick veneer systems, cladding panels, wood and steel stud walls, structural insulated panels, prefabricated foundation walls, various types of masonry wall systems, residential building construction systems such as modular construction, energy performance of windows, and development of innovative residential wall systems and commercial building panel systems. He is the author of over 160 publications. Currently, he is -president of the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI), chair of the AEI Committee on Curtain Wall Systems, and founding editor of the Special Section on Housing and Residential Building Construction in ASCE’s Journal of Architectural Engineering.

Brian J. Leshko, P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, is a vice president, principal professional associate, and bridges and structures inspection, management, and operations program leader for HDR, based out of Pittsburgh, PA. He received his BSCE from the United States Air Force Academy in 1985, an M.S. in structural engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1990, and a master of civil engineering with an emphasis in structural dynamics from Johns Hopkins University in 1994. Following graduation from the Air Force Academy with a regular commission in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Leshko served 7 years on active duty as a civil engineering officer with assignments as a construction engineer, quality assurance evaluator, and instructor of civil engineering at the Air Force Academy. He has devoted the last 21 years of his career as a bridge engineer and inspector. His experience includes in depth bridge condition inspections, rehabilitation designs, and ratings by working stress and load factor methods. He is an NBIS-certified bridge safety inspector and a former SPRAT-certified Level I rope access technician with extensive rope access and structure climbing experience inspecting large and complex structures, including tunnels, water control structures, pipeline structures, and plate girder, box girder, arch, suspension, cable-stayed, segmental concrete, and various truss bridges (highway and railroad). Mr. Leshko has held numerous leadership roles with ASCE/SEI, including 2013 Structures Congress co-chairman, editorial board member for STRUCTURE magazine, treasurer for the National SEI Board of Governors, member of the Pittsburgh Section of ASCE Board of Directors, and bridge inspection, management, and rehabilitation committee member.

Christopher William Letchford, DPhil, CPEng, F.SEI, F.ASCE, worked for Arup Consulting Engineers in Australia and London for 4 years before undertaking graduate studies in wind engineering at Oxford University. With Arup he worked on the Renzo Piano design of the Menil Collection Museum in Houston. He has held academic leadership positions in Australia (Universities of Queensland and Tasmania) and in the U.S. (Texas Tech and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or RPI) and currently serves as head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at RPI. As associate director in the Texas Tech Wind Science and Engineering Center, he helped manage an annual research budget in excess of $1 million, with which he was responsible for developing physical model simulations of thunderstorm downbursts and tornadoes. He has been active professionally, serving on the Standards Australia committee responsible for the ANZ wind load code from the late 1980s through to the present day, and he currently serves on the wind load subcommittee of ASCE 7, preparing the 2016 edition. He also represented ASCE on the International Standard committee responsible for ISO4354, the international wind load code He served as chairman of the Australian Wind Engineering Society (AWES) and chaired the 4th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Wind Engineering. He has keynoted at several international conferences on wind engineering in Asia and Europe. In Tasmania, he headed the School of Engineering and also chaired the Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management, which promoted leadership building activities for engineers entering management positions. He has published over 150 refereed journal and conference papers and graduated over 50 master’s and doctoral degree students. He became a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia in 2007.

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