January 28, 2010
GeoHazards International Engineer Receives Honor from American Society of Civil Engineers
Reston, Va. – Working in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, a region with one of the highest tsunami risks in the world, 26-year-old engineer Veronica Cedillos leads an international team promoting tsunami preparedness. The project manager for the Palo Alto, California-based GeoHazards International was recently named a New Face of Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). An integral part of ASCE’s 2010 National Engineers’ Week (Feb. 14-20) initiatives, the program promotes the achievements of young civil engineers by highlighting their contributions and impact on society.
In 2009, Cedillos’ team evaluated the need for developing Padang’s tsunami evacuation infrastructure including earthquake-resistant bridges and structures that rise above the maximum tsunami water level and withstand the expected levels of earthquake and tsunami forces. The 2009 project team created and led a course at Stanford University and undertook several field investigations in Padang. In the wake of the September 30, 2009 earthquake that devastated Padang, killing over 1,000 people, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) selected Cedillos to join the team of engineers and scientists that evaluated the damage.
Cedillos has also participated in projects to promote earthquake safety within communities in developing countries. In 2007, she investigated earthquake-resistant features of traditionally built structures in the Himalayas, in order to develop techniques that could decrease the risk of earthquakes devastating structures.
Cedillos earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her master’s degree in structural engineering from Stanford University. She is a resident of San Francisco, California.
ASCE’s top five New Faces of Civil Engineering were also submitted to the national New Faces of Engineering program run by the Engineers Week Foundation. This program includes representatives from the civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, industrial and manufacturing engineering professions. Selected New Faces profiles, including the top civil engineer chosen by the Engineers Week Foundation, will be featured in a USA Today ad during Engineers Week and will be profiled on the National Engineers Week Web site at www.eweek.org, as well as at www.discoverengineering.org.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 144,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.
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