RESTON, Va. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has announced the 2023 New Faces of Civil Engineering in the Professional category. ASCE’s New Faces of Civil Engineering program highlights up-and-coming civil engineering leaders from around the country and celebrates their academic and professional achievements, as well as their commitment to serving others. All New Faces honorees will be recognized during ASCE’s annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala in October 2023 in Chicago, IL.
“These driven, forward-thinking engineers are not settling for status-quo practices but are instead pursuing ways to enhance the way we do things, and communities across the country stand to benefit,” said Maria Lehman, P.E., President, ASCE. She added, “each of the engineers recognized as New Faces of Civil Engineering have dedicated their time and knowledge to helping other young engineers achieve their goals. We are lucky to have such innovative and collaborative leaders charting the future of our profession.”
The 2023 New Faces of Civil Engineering in the Professional category are:
Shofiq Ahmed, P.E.
A graduate of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and West Virginia University (WVU), Ahmed is a traffic engineer for HDR and member of ASCE’s West Virginia Section, Charleston Branch. In more than three years with HDR, Ahmed has worked on more than 60 projects including the I-77 renovation project in West Virginia to eliminate one of the most significant bottlenecks along the West Virginia interstate system. He also served as president of the West Virginia Section’s Younger Members Forum (YMF) where he has recruited a new wave of young engineers to the section.
Daniel Bressler, E.I.T.
With a degree from New York University (NYU) and currently pursuing a masters from the Grove School of Engineering, The City College of New York, Bressler is a structural engineer from York Tower Consulting Engineering and member of ASCE’s Metropolitan Section, which covers the New York City metro area. His YouTube channel is dedicating to encouraging students to pursue civil engineering and providing tips for how to be successful in the field. He currently serves as a topic moderator on ASCE Collaborate and as a mentor for ASCE’s Mentor Match program.
Bianca Eloisa Casem, P.E.
A graduate of Seattle University and member of ASCE’s Seattle Section, Casem is a design engineer for Degenkolb Engineers where she has worked on roughly 40 buildings that experienced damage due to a fire event, tree or vehicle or vehicle strike, water intrusion or snow impact. As a design engineer, Casem performs site visits to assess the damage extent, writes proposals, creates plan sets for reconstruction, works with local jurisdictions to obtain permits, and provides construction administration. She is currently president-elect if the ASCE Seattle Section Younger Members Forum.
Kerianne Chen, E.I.T.
Chen is a highway design specialist for Traffic Planning & Design, Inc. in Philadelphia, PA, and a graduate of Drexel University. She/they is a member of the Philadelphia Section of ASCE and is currently ASCE Philadelphia Younger Member Forum (YMF) K-12 outreach chair. At Drexel, Chen was president of the Drexel Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Professionally, Chen works on dozens of projects which include horizontal and vertical roadway design, cost estimates, stormwater analysis, and conceptual plans.
Shishi Chen, E.I.T.
A graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia, Chen is a project engineer with HVJ Associates in Austin, TX. Chen was inspired to pursue civil engineering when an earthquake in China in 2008 killed more than 100,000 people and countless buildings collapsed. Chen wanted to construct buildings that would be more resilient to seismic events. Chen is currently the student chapter liaison for the ASCE Austin Branch Younger Members Forum. Chen’s focus with HVJ and throughout her career is on transportation projects.
Ryan Duckett, P.E., MBA
Duckett received his B.S. in environmental engineering from North Carolina State University and his MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently a member of ASCE’s Virginia Section. Duckett is a senior engineer for Geosyntec Consultants in Richmond, Virginia, where he focuses on solid waste projects. His work includes areas of the industry often overlooked, such as methane capture/combustion systems, transfer stations, and compost sites.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Kirtland, P.E.
Kirtland is a structural engineer for Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., in Boston, MA and has a master’s in structural engineering from Tufts University. She has worked on challenging projects such as a movable bridge, multiple rail/trail projects, and multi-span curved girder bridges with integral pier caps. She served as chair of the Construction Institute of Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section of ASCE from 2021-2022 and has mentored more than 100 students.
Gurjot Kohli, E.I.T., ENV SP
A member of ASCE’s Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch, Kohli received a master’s of science In environmental engineering from University of California, Berkeley and is a civil engineer for Stantec in Pasadena, CA. Kohli served as ASCE Los Angeles Younger Member Forum (ASCE LA YMF) professional development co-chair from 2021-2022 and is currently its treasurer. His work focuses on sustainability, including helping the East San Gabriel Valley Watershed Management Group determine how to measure and manage pollutants after increasingly intense storms. He is currently working on cost-effective flood mitigation projects.
Claris Purasinghe, E.I.T.
Purasinghe is a civil engineering associate with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and has a master’s in structural engineering from California State University, Northridge. A member of ASCE’s Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch, Purasinghe is currently president of the ASCE LA Younger Member Forum, mentoring aspiring engineers to help them reach their goals. She currently manages over $300 million in critical infrastructure projects that ensure water reliability in Los Angeles, CA.
Saxena is a member of ASCE’s Texas Section, Austin Branch, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in civil engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, where he is also a graduate research assistant. Originally from Aligarh, India, Saxena focuses on geotechnical engineering and is currently working on mitigation of cracks in asphalt pavements with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), where the state’s surface transportation network is strained by increasing heat and where droughts impact the compaction of clay soil beneath roads and bridges.
For media availability and interviews with the 2023 New Faces of Civil Engineering, please contact Kevin Longley.
About the American Society of Civil Engineers
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.