ASCE selected 10 dynamic, young engineers as 2010's New Faces of Civil Engineering. The Society's New Faces program is part of the National Engineers Week's annual New Faces of Engineering program, recognizing outstanding young engineers from all engineering disciplines. Of the 10 civil engineers ASCE chooses as New Faces, the EWeek Foundation selects one to represent the profession in its overall New Faces of Engineering, drawing from each of the Foundation's member engineering groups.
At the ASCE and the national level, each program shines the spotlight of achievement on accomplished young engineers, highlighting their professional contributions and effect on society, as well as putting a face on what has been referred to as "the stealth profession."
Meet ASCE's 2010 New Faces of Civil Engineering:
John Barry, P.E., M.ASCE
Project Engineer, Thornton Tomasetti
John Barry, 28, joined Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. in their New York office in 2005, after having received his Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he had completed a thesis on steel frame construction in high seismic regions. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. One of his earliest and most important jobs at Thornton Tomasetti was MGM City Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. John designed three iconic structures on the project, including a 45,000 square foot hung glass curtain wall. During this process he was on site biweekly, coordinating with architects, contractors and the owners. City Center is an $8.5 billion project expected to have a great impact on the Nevada economy. City Center employed 12,000 people. upon opening in December 2009. Beside this massive economic contribution, the project will be LEED Certified Silver, making it one of the largest certified projects in the world.
In addition to the City Center project, John has worked on the core wall and mat foundation for
the Ping An Financial Center and the façade system of the Shanghai Center, which will be recognizable as the 2nd and 3rd tallest buildings in the world when completed. John was also lucky enough to spend six months working for Leif Hansen in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he designed the spire for Vertigo, the newest ride at Tivoli Gardens, which is piloted by the rider with acceleration up to 4G. Tivoli is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks, and John got to test out his new ride before returning to New York.
Outside of work John has used his engineering skills in Off-Broadway theater, building sets and
designing a pump system to allow it to rain on stage for one particular production. John is also an active member of the ACE mentoring program and has a P.E. license from California, as well as being LEED certified.
Yaye-Mah Boye, P.E., M.ASCE
Project Manager, AECOM, New York
Yaye-Mah Boye provides technical and strategic advice to financiers, developers, contractors and other major players in the infrastructure finance market.
Boye, 29, started her engineering career eight years ago. One of her first projects involved converting old polluting coal-burning heating plants into cleaner and more efficient gas-burning plants. The program was successfully implemented in 46 New York City public schools, resulting in energy savings and less pollution. Today, as a licensed professional engineer, Yaye-Mah, currently a project manager with AECOM, focuses on public-private partnerships in infrastructure. As a leader, she provides technical and strategic advice for PPP bids and works on projects with capital investment values exceeding $500 million.
Boye has received awards of recognition for her exceptional leadership skills and academic aptitude from ASCE and the Women's Transportation Seminar, both where she is an active member. Boye was also featured on the cover of ENR magazine in the October 2006 issue on the importance of internships. She earned her bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York and is currently pursuing a master's degree in finance from Fordham University.
Outside her engineering passion, Boye is fluent in French and Wolof and thrives to help underprivileged people. She is an active member of many humanitarian organizations, including SENEPRONET and The Global Syndicate. She has fundraised for children of leprosy victims in Senegal, volunteers for ASCE's Future Cities and has worked on helping the hurricane victims of Haiti.
Veronica Cedillos, P.E., M.ASCEProject Manager, GeoHazards International
Veronica Cedillos, 26, has been actively involved in promoting earthquake safety in developing countries for the past several years. She spent the summer of 2007 in northern India investigating the earthquake-resistant features of vernacular architecture in the Himalayas, in an effort to disseminate locally appropriate construction techniques that also mitigate the earthquake risk. During this time, she worked under a local NGO and represented the Stanford University Chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World.
In 2008, Cedillos joined a U.S.-based nonprofit that focuses on promoting earthquake safety in the world’s most vulnerable communities and participated in earthquake risk mitigation activities for projects in India and Pakistan. Since the beginning of 2009, she has been leading a project in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia where her work has focused on promoting tsunami preparedness using an interdisciplinary approach. Fluent in Spanish, she is working with an international project team – earth scientists, structural engineers and community organizers from academia, governmental agencies, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations – to develop infrastructure solutions for evacuation during a tsunami.
Veronica earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in structural engineering from Stanford University. She was chosen to be part of an Earthquake Engineering Research Institute reconnaissance team of engineers and scientists that will go to Sumatra to evaluate the damage after the September 2009 earthquake.
Cedillos was chosen by the National Engineers Week Foundation for its 2010 New Faces of Engineering as ASCE's representative.
Kenwarjit Dosanjh, P.E., M.ASCE
Water Resources, Dams and Hydraulic Structures Engineer, HDR Engineering, Inc.
Afraid of heights? Kenwarjit Dosanjh, 30, is definitely not. Dosanjh's position at HDR in Folsom, Calif., requires him to use rope access techniques to inspect aging infrastructure that includes dams and bridges. While inspecting structures that no one has seen in decades, he excels at attention to detail and focus. From inspections in the field to analysis and design and construction management, Dosanjh thrives in the do-it-all atmosphere.
During inspections, he is able to find himself within arm's reach of structural members he will eventually analyze. Using finite element modeling to simulate observed behavior in the field, he evaluates the integrity of some of our most vital public safety and infrastructure systems. His field work includes safety issues such as working at height, confined spaces, electrical hazards, and moving vehicles. His design projects include tunnel rehabilitations, levee modifications, fish ladder design, and flood control and irrigation structures.
Dosanjh earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from University of California, Davis and a master's in civil engineering from California State University, Sacramento. Dosanjh is the vice president of a local young professionals group that organizes educational seminars on technical and managerial engineering topics.
Raissa Douglas Ferron, M.ASCE
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
University of Texas at Austin
Raissa Douglas Ferron, Ph.D., 29, joined the University of Texas at Austin's department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering in January 2009, and made an immediate, significant impact on the UT Austin program, according to department chairperson Sharon L. Wood.
Ferron’s research and teaching interests are in the area of concrete materials. Her dissertation research linked the structural changes in fresh cement paste to formwork pressures of self consolidating concrete. Her research was novel -- she was the first to directly examine the flocculation mechanisms of sheared cement paste suspensions. At UT Austin, Ferron's research addresses challenges facing the future of concrete materials. She was awarded a highly competitive National Science Foundation grant to conduct research on in situ characterization of understanding of the flow behavior of concrete. Ferron is also developing a biocementitious fresh state microstructure; the results of this work have the potential to transform our composite material, which is aimed at providing sustainable residential materials for developing countries.
Ferron is active with ASCE, the American Concrete Institute, The National Society of Black Engineers, American Society for Testing and Materials, including serving as an Associate Editor for ACI Materials Journal and the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, among others.
Ferron earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineering, specializing in structures, from Howard University, plus a master’s and a Ph.D. in civil engineering, specializing in materials, from Northwestern University. She is collaborating with an all-girls public school in Austin that educates girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Not only does Ferron serve as a role model for the students, but she is working with the middle school's teachers to develop instructional materials to excite the girls about the diversity of career paths within civil engineering.
Alexandra 'Alex' Iannitelli, E.I.T., M.ASCE
Engineer, Thorton Tomasetti, Inc.
Alexandria "Alex" Iannitelli, 25, has been working at Thornton Tomasetti since January 2005. For the past two years she has been a part of the forensic investigation of the collapse of the I-35 West bridge in Minneapolis. She spearheaded the development of tools required to integrate forensics information about any structure with a forensics analog to building information modeling. The resulting three-dimensional model and associated tools helped consolidate, access, and display the information relevant to the August 2007 collapse, based on the documentation Iannitelli helped compile.
Her developing expertise in forensic engineering and information gathering and display in particular have been invaluable to the subsequent investigation of parking garage and pedestrian bridge collapses in Atlanta and a riser system failure in a tall building in Toronto. The forensic information models that Alex has been instrument in developing help to sort and store disparate information which existing buildings gather over their lifetimes, from original drawings, to inspection findings, photographic information and displacement measurements. This information allows for faster, more accurate assessments as to the cause of a catastrophic failure and in turn may help to indentify structural weaknesses before they result in disaster.
Alex earned her bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering with a structural concentration from Drexel University and is pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering and engineering mechanics, with a structural concentration, at Columbia University. She is a member of the Drexel University chapters of Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon.
Jennifer Jacka, E.I.T., M.ASCEHighway Engineer, HDR Engineering
Jennifer Jacka balances her exciting career as a highway engineer at HDR Engineering in Kansas City with a dedication to educating students and providing public awareness about the importance of civil engineering.
Chairing the government and public relations committees of the Kansas City Section, Jennifer worked to promote "Liquid Assets," a documentary on the importance of our nation's water infrastructure, by organizing a public viewing and working to make the program available on local PBS stations. She also organized educational booths for three local water festivals and teamed up with the Blue River Watershed Association, an organization that educates young people about the quality of water, to participate in classroom discussions and activities. Jennifer's efforts raised more than $20,000 to support the campaign to promote the documentary.
Jennifer has also mentored middle school students designing projects for Future City competitions -- an event where students design their own cities using SimCity computer software, then build a live scaled model. She continues to volunteer and mentor students while serving on the board of directors for the Blue River Watershed Association.
Jennifer earned her bachelor's degrees in business administration and civil engineering from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
Erika Jensen, E.I.T., M.ASCE
Civil Engineer, CRW Engineering Group, LLC
Erica Jensen, 29, is the future of civil engineering in Alaska -- a rising star within her company and profession. Ironically, she began her career studying a Florida icon, conducting research and analyzing the Kennedy Space Center's coastal recession and accretion for NASA as part of the Space and Life Sciences Training Program.
Jensen began her present job as a design engineer bringing clean water, sanitation, and power sources to six rural native Alaskan villages. Erica is now designing upgrades to five local schools, designing infrastructure for airport and law enforcement training facilities, and upgrading seven of Anchorage’s major neighborhoods to enhance pedestrian safety and usability.
Jensen designs her projects and assists project managers and construction administrators in the design and decision-making process. She is also involved in designing and developing new energy-efficient lighting standards for Anchorage, earning the city national recognition for green practices and environmental merit. She has provided exceptional engineering design and is a key member of the public involvement team. She is an exemplary student and has spoken publicly on behalf of industry-wide advocacy groups to successfully secure votes and funding for vital infrastructure projects in Anchorage.
Jensen earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineer from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is currently pursuing her master's in engineering management from University of Alaska Anchorage. She also volunteers through trail and road cleanup programs, United Way Day of Caring, and Engineers Without Borders-USA.
Todd Wilson, E.I.T., M.ASCE
Engineer II-Bridges, AECOM
Todd Wilson, 25, is working to change deficient infrastructure around the world to ensure that historic bridges are upgraded and not destroyed. Through promoting sustainable, green methods of converting bridges into community assets such as trails, parks, and attractions, Todd created the 2009 National Historic Bridge Weekend and Conference, bringing together engineers, historians, and community groups. He travels America, documenting thousands of bridges. See his website, http://www.bridgemapper.com, for an interactive bridge map.
In 2009, Wilson was published in a historic society's newspaper and was interviewed by a radio station, five newspapers, and a magazine. In addition to his passion for engineering, he is an adjunct teaching assistant at Carnegie Mellon University. His students are studying incorporating a threatened bridge into a trail network.
On the job, Wilson is a traffic engineer at AECOM, specializing in intelligent transportation systems to manage freeways by using technology to decrease congestion and emergency response time. He is a task manager for traffic control, signing, pavement marking, and highway lighting projects.
The youngest individual to serve on the Carnegie Mellon Civil Engineering Advisory Council, Todd earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Section Institute of Transportation Engineers, Intelligent Transportation Society of Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation.
Melissa Wu, P.E., M.ASCE
Associate Engineer, CH2M Hill
Melissa Wu, 28, has had a significant impact on all the projects on which she's worked, consistently reflected in positive feedback from clients. She has taken on large projects including the King County, Wash., Brightwater project, and small projects that requires business development and a different approach.
Wu's skill at building relationships led to Pierce County requesting options from CH2M HILL for design-build of a $300M wastewater treatment plant upgrade. She applies sustainable options whenever possible, such as developing beneficial uses for both reclaimed water and biosolids on projects, including an innovative phased approach to treatment and disposal that was both feasible and acknowledged the client's budget. On a recent project for Fort Lewis, Wu was instrumental in developing a new equalization scheme that not only better handles peak flows, but also reduces the cost of the treatment works.
Wu is currently working on the Spokane Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility Program Management Project as project engineer for the Headworks Odor Control task, responsible for updating the conceptual design for odor control at the Headworks facility, helping to make the plant a better neighbor for the community.
Wu earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan and her master's in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkley. Involved with her local community through the Younger Member Forum of ASCE, she has volunteered for Rebuilding Together and helped at a local food bank distribution center. Wu also has participated on the CH2M HILL team for Seattle Works Day, and has done K-12 outreach with colleagues to help inspire young students to pursue science, technology, math, and engineering and to understand how much "fun" engineering can be.