Nomination Deadline: March 1st

The prize was established and endowed in 1939 by Daniel W. Mead, Hon.M.ASCE, a Society past president. The contest provides an opportunity for alert young civil engineers to further their professional development and gain national attention.


Up to 5 winners will be chosen. First place will receive a plaque. Other winners will receive certificates.

2023 Recipient

  • Eliyas Encarnacion, S.M.ASCE

Read the 2023 award-winning paper (PDF)

View all winners

2024 Topic

Per ASCE’s Code of Ethics, engineers govern their professional careers on the following fundamental principles:

  • create safe, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure;
  • treat all persons with respect, dignity, and fairness in a manner that fosters equitable participation without regard to personal identity;
  • consider the current and anticipated needs of society; and
  • utilize their knowledge and skills to enhance the quality of life for humanity.

Civil engineers are responsible for planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructure while protecting and advancing the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Technology, particularly the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), has the potential to change engineering in the future and design the built environment for generations. Ethical responsibilities of an engineer may or may not align with the use of AI on engineering projects.

Discuss how engineers need to evaluate their ethical responsibilities as they determine whether or how to use AI to aid in their work.

Entries for the contest shall be limited to 1 paper from each ASCE or AEI Student Organization and must be submitted through the Faculty Advisor.

Questions should be directed to ASCE Student Services.


  1. The Daniel W. Mead Prize for Students may be awarded annually on the basis of a paper on professional ethics. Each year the specific topic of the contest for the forthcoming year shall be selected by the Committee on Student Members for the Student Award.
  2. Members of Student Organizations of the Society who are in good standing at the time their papers are submitted are eligible for the contest, unless they have previously received the national award for which they are competing.
  3. Papers for the national contests shall (a) be limited to 1 paper from each Student Organization; (b) not exceed 2,000 words in length; (c) be written by only 1 person; and (d) not have previously been published in other school or Society publications.
  4. The Committee on Student Members shall review each submission and recommend the top five student papers as Society finalists, of which one may be selected as the national winner for approval by the Executive Committee.
  5. All finalists shall receive an appropriate certificate recognizing their achievements. If there is a national winner, they shall receive a wall plaque rather than a certificate.


To nominate, a completed submission will consist of a single .pdf file containing:

  1. Cover letter, from the Faculty Advisor stating the name, ASCE/AEI member ID number, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address for the paper's author.
  2. The paper being submitted.

The name of the file shall follow this format:

Mead Student Prize - Author's Last Name - Name of University.pdf

Submissions should be sent to [email protected] and must be received on or before 11:59 pm (EST) March 1.