Named the CEO of Bridges to Prosperity while still in her 20s, Avery Bang is an inspirational civil engineering leader. In this interview, Avery shares the “eureka” moment she had while serving in a third-world country that showed her the impact that one engineer, or team of engineers, can have in helping people around the world.
Avery believes that every person has a right to safe access—and she has built an innovative, scalable approach to act on that belief. Since joining B2P as a volunteer in 2006, Bang has developed a team of leaders and game changers who, in partnership with isolated communities around the world, provide safe year-round access to education, health care and markets through pedestrian bridge building and training.
As one of ENR’s Top 25 Newsmakers of 2012, Avery was also honored on ENR Mountain Region’s Top 20 Under 40 list in 2013, and was selected as one of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) New Faces in Engineering in 2011, recognizing the top ten Civil Engineers under 30. Avery is a Distinguished Young Alumni of The University of Iowa, recipient of the Recent Alumni Award from The University of Colorado at Boulder, and received an honorary doctorate degree from Clarkson University in 2014.
Avery spoke at TEDx Boulder, was a keynote speaker at the ASBI Annual Convention, USGBC’s Greenbuild Nation, the International Footbridge Conference, the IABSE International Conference, the CURT Annual Convention, SEAOI’s Midwest Bridge Conference and the D80 Conference at Michigan Technical University, and has spoken at many other conferences and events including ENR’s Women in Construction, International Bridge Conference, ASCE’s International Conference, Engineering for Change (E4C)’s Webinar, the Engineers Without Borders -USA (EWB) International Conference among others. She has written for Engineering News Record’s Future Tech Blog, and was an invited Guest Editorialist for ASCE’s Structure Magazine.
Avery teaches Cable Supported Pedestrian Bridge Design at the University of Colorado in the Mortenson Center for Engineering in Developing Communities (MC-EDC). Avery received a BSc. in Civil Engineering and a BA in Studio Art from the University of Iowa, and later completed a graduate degree in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her graduate research was conducted with National Academy of Engineering member Bernard Amadei, which considered locally-appropriate geotechnical survey and pedestrian bridge design for rural applications.