Future Professionals on Display with ASCE’s New Faces of Civil Engineering–College Edition

January 22, 2015
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In her book, The 21st Century Engineer, past ASCE president Patricia D. Galloway, Ph.D., P.E., Pres.04.ASCE, writes, “Change is constant in society and engineering helps drive change and is driven by it.” As the civil engineering profession moves toward the goals of The Vision for Civil Engineering 2025, the makeup of engineering may change as well.

The professional civil engineer of the future will be the clear leader of projects, integrate technology and resources, and spearhead the interface with the owner and the public.

To recognize young engineering leaders who will  help drive that change, ASCE has selected 10 outstanding students as the New Faces of Civil Engineering–College Edition. Through their academic achievements and volunteer efforts they have demonstrated strong analytical skills, practical ingenuity, creativity, good communication skills, business and management knowledge, leadership, high ethical standards, professionalism, and flexibility.

The 10 students selected this year are:

 

BoddyCredentialed as a LEED Green Associate, Alexandria Boddy, S.M.ASCE, is excited about what the future of sustainable engineering holds in reducing our carbon footprint in the world.

“I cannot wait to see what technology becomes available in this fast-growing industry in order to make engineering more sustainable,” says Boddy, a student at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) majoring in civil engineering with a minor in sustainability. “[When I graduate] I would love to get involved with a company [involved in sustainability] in order to not only learn what is available now, but to help invent the future of this field.

“Sustainable civil engineering opportunities [are] what make me very excited to graduate and get started working on the improvement of this industry.”

A member of the United States Green Building Council Central Florida Chapter, and the Order of Omega Honor Society, Boddy first got involved with FIT’s ASCE Student Chapter as a freshman by learning how to make concrete mixtures for the school’s concrete canoe.

“This allowed me to be one of the prominent concrete designers [in] only my sophomore year,” she recalls. “These opportunities furthered my knowledge before I learned these processes in the classroom.

“In addition, I was also able to gain leadership experience. I was elected onto our executive board my second semester freshman year as secretary and co-banquet chair. Holding these positions allowed me to understand and grow my own personal leadership style. Now, I remain an active member of the [Student Chapter].”

Boddy has held 2 internships in the civil engineering field over the past 3 years. She interned for Neel-Schaffer as a traffic data collector and with the Bowman Consulting Group, where she wrote Site Investigation Reports (SIR) and worked with the professional engineers on permit submittals.

“This internship,” she stated, “truly showed me the steps needed to complete an engineering project from research to construction.”

 

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A member of two separate Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB) teams sent to Honduras to monitor the Los Sanchez water storage tank project and an assess the implementation of water distribution system in La Barranca, Katie Burns, S.M.ASCE ,says it was “truly a life changing experience.”

“The opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom to help those in need is extremely rewarding,” says Burns of the 2 EWB / University of Toledo Student Chapter projects. “Not only have I been fortunate enough to travel to Honduras to meet the communities that we serve, but I have been able to gain a global perspective of the challenges that engineers face.

“I have also improved my leadership skills through acting as EWB chapter officer [vice president of Membership, Health and Safety officer, and Public Relations chair] as well as through presenting at [EWB-USA] regional and national level conferences. EWB has helped shaped me into a globally conscious engineer and has helped me to decide on the direction of my career.”

Burns, who presently serves as ASCE North Central Regional Conference planning chair and a member of the University of Toledo’s Concrete Canoe Team, is excited to serve others.

“To me, it is extremely rewarding to work on projects that will have a direct impact on the public, whether that be a new wastewater treatment plant or cleaning a Brownfield site to allow for new use,” says Burns, who is majoring in civil engineering with a minor in business administration. “Engineers play a key role in communities as well as society, whether they are fully recognized for their contributions or not. I look forward to a fulfilling career where I can create and implement designs that will better the lives of the communities where I work.”

 

Alana CarmelAs a freshman at the University of Maryland, Alana Carmel, S.M.ASCE, was missing something.

“One day, as I was waiting outside my advising office, … a senior civil engineering student struck up a conversation with me about a strange[-]sounding club he was involved with named Concrete Canoe,” recalled Carmel, who is also majoring in civil engineering. “My heart jumped with excitement and curiosity. I marched straight to concrete mix practice after my advising appointment.

“Today, I am proud to say I found that ‘something’ I had been missing. Two years later, I am now the procurement officer for Concrete Canoe and an active member within ASCE. ASCE has become my support system for both my studies and [my] friendships at the university. I have learned to value the reciprocal relationship I have with fellow society members. From giving or receiving homework help, to advice about career paths, I can always count on my peers to lead me in the right direction.”

As a field work and project management intern with the Cianbro Corporation in the summer of 2014, she worked on a project cutting slabs of wood to be used for concrete form-work along the Potomac River.

“I found myself on a construction site with communication barriers,” says Carmel, who volunteers with Friendship Circle International, a Jewish organization for children with special needs. “Jargon such as pile driving, spud, and cost report were all foreign concepts to me. At the end of the summer, my communication skills vastly improved, I could comprehend all construction and project management terminology.”

Past Philanthropy and Community Service chair for Alpha Epsilon Phi, Carmel says her interest in civil engineering is growing.

“As a child, I surpassed the normal by building towers up to the high heights of my basement ceiling,” she notes. “In the future I want to build to higher heights [and] eventually lead a team of engineers building the most efficient highway, the longest bridge, or the tallest building to amaze the world.”

 

Colom JoverAs resident of Alicante, Spain, Fernando Colom, S.M.ASCE, has taken advantage of several international student exchange programs, including the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESE) and the Erasmus Student Network.

“[IAESE] is all about empathy and globalization,” explained Colom, who is presently attending the University of Alicante, where he is majoring in construction engineering with a minor in structural engineering. “I participated in this program to improve [my understanding of] people’s lives [in other countries], [in terms of] both working and socializing. The idea is to get the same feedback once I go abroad for a temporary work placement.

“I enrolled in the Erasmus program last year in Budapest, Hungary, and it was a great experience [being] far from my country. Meeting new people, [seeing] new places, and studying in a recognized university of civil engineering at BME [the Budapest University of Technology and Economics]; I will keep those friends forever and every experience I got there.

“Since then I realized my home is the whole world, and [the] synergy between different cultures, ethnic groups, and countries is fundamental.”

Summing up his interest in civil engineering, he says, “For me, [the] future as an engineer means future problems being solved. Therefore, new opportunities for problem solving worldwide means [there is a] real chance to shape a better world, [where] underdeveloped countries develop [into] developed ones.”

 

DiCarloMorgan DiCarlo, S.M.ASCE, wants to see the gender gap closed in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Employed as a civil engineering curriculum coordinator by the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program at Stony Brook University in the summer of 2013, DiCarlo designed and implemented curricula to engage young women in engineering through hands-on projects.

“This program impacted four classes of Long Island high school girls, and continues to expand,” states DiCarlo, who majors in civil engineering with a minor business management at Stony Brook. “My mentorship and outreach for WISE led to my seat on the STEM Advisory Board at the Intrepid Museum.

“Working with the Intrepid Museum, I’ve gotten to share my ideas and have a broader impact on New York City public schools, including on Teachers’ Professional Development, by instructing a [2014] summer workshop on hands-on STEM education. These involvements have developed my communication skills and are extremely fulfilling for me. I feel that I can make an impact on closing the gender gap in STEM fields.”

A recipient of the ASCE Metropolitan Section’s Scholarship Award in May 2014, she was the founder of the ASCE Stony Brook Student Chapter, and today serves as president. A Stony Brook Concrete Canoe team leader, DiCarlo also received the ASCE Long Island Branch Student Outreach Committee’s Certificate of Recognition.

“Acting as ASCE [Student Chapter] president had reshaped my college experience, by giving me the opportunity to know my peers and network with professionals,” she says. “I believe that by obtaining an education in civil engineering, I am gaining the tools to shape the society I live in. I am excited to make an impact on the gender gap in STEM and create a positive example for other girls in my field.”

KearneyAfter hearing about Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), a nonprofit organization that builds pedestrian bridges in third-world countries to provide isolated communities access to basic needs, Jennifer Kearney, S.M.ASCE, decided to not only start a B2P chapter at Penn State but also lead a 10-member team in Caimital, Panama.

“Without the support and encouragement of many ASCE members, our B2P Chapter would not have been able to construct a 250-foot suspended pedestrian bridge in Panama this past summer,” says Kearney, a civil engineering student at Penn State who has since gone on to be president of the B2P Penn State Chapter. “I learned many skills through leading a B2P team that I will continue to use in my future as an engineer.

“I started by leading a team to build a much-needed bridge in a rural community in Panama. 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.”

Aside from ASCE and B2B, Kearney is active with Engineers Without Borders–USA, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the American Concrete Institute, the American Institute of Steel Construction, Tau Beta Pi, and Chi Epsilon. She also serves as Logistics and Funding officer for Penn State’s Steel Bridge team, the overall orientation lead for over 180 first-year students in the Women In Engineering Program, and chairperson for the SWE Stayover, involving more than 70 high school women.

“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,” she says. “I cannot wait to see where I go in my career and how I am able to use my skills to impact others.”

 

KustecIn a volunteer effort Andrew Kustec, S.M.ASCE, had the opportunity in March 2014 to help rebuild houses damaged in New York City from Superstorm Sandy.

“While we were there, our main task was to insulate the floor, walls, and ceiling of a house,” recalled Kustec, a civil engineering student at the University of Akron. “This meant accessing the crawl space and attic. Of course, being an engineer, I was paying attention to the foundation and the trusses; giving a personal inspection for structural integrity.

“Yet, my vivid memory from that trip was the gratitude we saw in the homeowner; it was overwhelming. Whether or not I realized it at the time, my experience in New York was greatly applicable to the engineering community. I had learned the meaning of integrity and what it meant to serve others. The attitude of selflessness is something I will take to work for the rest of my life.”

A member of the University of Akron’s Concrete Canoe Design Team and the Steel Bridge Design Team, Kustec says being a member of ASCE has impacted his college experience immensely.

“My initial reason for joining was to meet people and form a core group of friends,” he remembers. “Through the years, I have gotten more involved [with ASCE] and taken on more responsibilities within the design teams. In taking our designs to competition, I have developed a sense of pride for the university I represent.”

On how Kustec sees the future of the profession, he says, “I am excited to see how the field will become more innovative. In an age where everything is crumbling around us, civil engineers have a golden opportunity to reinvent infrastructure.”

 

Victor_Murillo_New_Faces_2A member of ASCE for the past 3 years, and currently president of the ASCE Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) Student Chapter, Victor Murillo, S.M.ASCE, says his involvement in the Society has made a “big impact” on his college experience.

“ASCE gave me a sense of belonging ever since I joined [in my] sophomore year,” says Murillo, who has also been a member of both the school’s Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge teams. “It taught me the importance of being involved and staying organized [and] it has taught me how to work in a team and how to be a responsible individual.

“I have learned to meet deadlines and work as hard as possible in order to achieve what you put your mind to. Teaching the underclassmen while designing and constructing the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe made me feel like I [was] making a difference in their future, and they are learning more of the hands-on process of a project.”

A volunteer at ASCE’s Texas Section Centennial Conference in Corpus Christi, where his University hosted the Concrete Canoe Competition in 2013, Murillo also currently serves as a student liaison / TAMUK student representative for the ASCE Corpus Christi professional branch board, in addition to being part of ASCE’s Leadership Development Sessions this past summer.

Additionally, Murillo is a member of the team performing professional design services for the TAMUK / City of Kingsville partnership to renovate infrastructure in the historical downtown district.

“The designs,” say Murillo, who is majoring in civil engineering with a minor in mathematics, “include improved road surfaces, [a] drainage network, and other infrastructure work. The project will be the catalyst to securing private investments that can revitalize the historic downtown area.

“[Being a civil engineer] allows me to make the world a better place for everyone and make life easier for them by solving problems.”

 

A.NorsbyAs a volunteer at last year’s Sky’s the Limit Engineering Outreach program, designed to introduce young women in 7th to 12th grade to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, Alyssa Norsby, S.M.ASCE, wanted to show girls what it is like to be an engineer and help them develop their problem-solving skills.

Part of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Engineering Math and Science Engineering Expo, Norsby developed an activity with the Sky’s the Limit program that gave the girls an opportunity to measure and calculate slopes of a sidewalk on campus. This, she explained, “allowed participants to learn about designing infrastructure for people with mobility impairments and the importance of slopes in infrastructure design. Participants personally used wheelchairs on the sidewalk slopes to experience the strength needed to propel a user on ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] designed slopes.”

Vice president of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Student Chapter in 2013, as well as past Marketing and Publicity Committee chair, Member Involvement Committee chair, and member of the 2012 and 2013 Steel Bridge team, Norsby is also a member of Chi Epsilon and the Society of Women Engineers Fundraising Committee.

“Participating in ASCE has been one of the best and most rewarding experiences I’ve had in college,” says Norsby, who is majoring in civil engineering with a minor in mathematics. “Not only have I met lifelong friends and professional connections, I have developed as a person and engineer through my experiences.

“While serving as ASCE vice-president, I developed my leadership, organizational, and public speaking skills. Additionally, my involvement with ASCE has afforded me the opportunity to network with professionals, and attend conferences where I have received invaluable education not available in a typical classroom setting, including the 2014 ASCE Global Engineering Conference in Panama.”

 

RoySocially conscience, Yuvraj Roy, S.M.ASCE, initiated a program at the Birla Institute of Technology in Jharkhand, India, called REVA (Right of Education and Vision for All), through which he organized a march through a slum area of the city, to convince parents to send their children to school.

“I love helping underprivileged children,” explained Roy, who is majoring in civil engineering. “It is my ambition to one day open a school for these children.”

In addition to organizing and volunteering for a blood donation camp at the Birla Institute of Technology, Roy also started a campaign program with a nongovernmental organization in India named PRATHAM, where during his college vacation he taught math and science to children attending 6 schools in nearby slum areas.

“[At the conclusion] we gave the children a survey to find out what they had learned,” says Roy. “And the data that came back was surprising; the improvements in their study skills were drastic.”

As a volunteer with the Bihar (India) State Disaster Management Authority, Roy helped educate people in their community about the dangers of natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and fire so that people could develop a resiliency plan.

“In this campaign program,” he said, “I interacted with the people and showed them how they should construct homes in order to protect themselves from an impending disaster.”

Addressing what makes him excited about the future of engineering, he says, “Making the tallest buildings, longer bridges, and dams; and keeping our environment clean to serve our society at its best.”

6 Comments
  • Aswald Brainard Chappidi

    Welcome to the Royal Civil Engineering Profession

  • It is very exciting to see a UW-Platteville student on the list! Go Pioneers!

  • How passionate are these young Engineers. Driving personalities

  • Hello dear
    As a penn state gratuate and working overseas right now i was very happy to read the info about new engineers
    Good luck to all of you especially to my friend from psu

  • Yeung Hing Kau Gordon

    After read the New faces of civil engineering journal, I felt very enjoyed and appreciated.
    Wishing I can try my best to continue my effort to study and devote myself in the engineering
    field. Really, I am happy to join into the American society of civil engineering group.

  • We are proud of our granddaughter, Jennifer Kearney, who displays an outstanding ambition and drive to understand the dynamics of engineering and her unselfish desire to help people as displayed in her two trips to panama as part of bridges to prosperity to make life more productive for several communities.

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