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oung Local Engineer Named New Face of Civil Engineering


Media Contact(s):
Tracy Withrow,, 703-295-6326

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reston, Va.—Mehri Paydar, a 25-year-old project controls specialist with the RISE Group in Chicago, was recently named a New Face of Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Paydar was recently invited to the Society’s annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala, held March 22, 2012, at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va., to receive this honor. This premier black-tie event brought together the most recognizable names in civil engineering.

An integral part of ASCE’s 2012 National Engineers’ Week initiatives, the program promotes the achievements of young civil engineers by highlighting their contributions and impact on society.

Once a professional ballet dancer, Paydar has managed to integrate her arts background into her engineering knowledge. She always had a heightened awareness of space and understanding of movement. Paydar brings her love of aesthetic lines and keen understanding of the way a body moves through space into her engineering design ideas.

Before a recent move to Chicago, Paydar was employed as a field engineer in the Washington, D.C., office of Mass. Electric Construction Company, where she worked on a project to rehabilitate the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Red Line. Her responsibilities included field engineering, design reviews, subcontractor management and project documentation for the construction upgrade of the electrical system for the Red Line’s stations.

Outside of work, Paydar was a cofounder and copresident of the Northwestern University chapter of Global Architecture Brigades, and she organized and led a week-long trip to Honduras where members constructed a school.

Paydar has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Northwestern University. She is a resident of Chicago, Ill.

ASCE names 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering each year, some of whom 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 were featured in a USA Today ad during Engineers Week (Feb. 19-25) and were profiled on the National Engineers Week Web site at, as well as at

As an addition this year, ASCE recognized the tremendous strides that civil engineering students are making to improve the quality of life for all with its first annual New Faces of Civil Engineering - College Edition. Read more about this year’s college honorees at
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit