RESTON, Va. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has announced the 2024 New Faces of Civil Engineering in the Collegiate category. The New Faces of Civil Engineering program highlights and celebrates the academic and professional achievements of up-and-coming civil engineering students. The New Faces honorees will be recognized during ASCE’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala in October which is held in conjunction with the 2024 ASCE Convention in Tampa.

“The engineers graduating and entering the workforce in the coming years will be designing infrastructure systems that will make life better for future generations,” said Marsia Geldert-Murphey, P.E., President, ASCE. “As America’s infrastructure sees the largest investment in a generation, civil engineers have the important task of designing systems that can handle the needs of today while preparing for the challenges of the future. This year’s New Faces of Civil Engineering have shown they are up for the challenges and hard work of this important career. Congratulations to the honorees, everyone at ASCE is excited to see what all of you will achieve in your careers.”

The 2024 New Faces of Civil Engineering in the Collegiate category

Aaliyah Benjamin-Roach

A student at Columbia University in New York, in addition to her participation with ASCE, Benjamin-Roach served as a co-project manager for Engineers Without Borders, where she worked on projects including an engineering report for a wastewater system in California and closing out construction of wells in Ghana. She also interned for an oil and gas company in her home country of Trinidad & Tobago, where she was invited to participate in in safety inspections and was trusted by the maintenance division to assist with the development of plans to address concerns at several gas stations.

Valeria Nunez Cantu

A student at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, Cantu served as president of her school’s ASCE student chapter. She served as captain of the school’s concrete canoe team twice and has also participated in several events to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM. Cantu has also been a part of projects that help renovate the homes of people in need. She was inspired to become a civil engineer after seeing infrastructure problems in her father’s hometown in Mexico.

Wayne Carter

Carter focuses on structural engineering at the University of Missouri, where he will graduate with a degree in civil engineering. He’s currently president of the university’s ASCE student chapter and is involved with concrete canoe and steel bridge competitions. Carter’s experience through three different internships gave him a firsthand look at the differences between the design and construction phases of projects. Carter helps mentor new engineering students at the University of Missouri and tutors middle and high school students.

Austin Cooper

At the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Cooper has taken leadership roles in several ASCE programs, including serving as Executive Chair of the 2023 ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championships held at the UW Platteville. He also served as co-captain of the Concrete Canoe team and participated on the Steel Bridge Team. Cooper plans to work as a Structural Engineer focusing on bridges. He says an internship helped shift his focus from water to structures. He says engineering is a rewarding and humbling way to give back to communities that helped shape him.

Leon Crawford

Leon is a student at the University of Virginia where he has served as president of ASCE’s UVA student chapter and team captain and project manager of the school’s concrete canoe team. His time interning with a structural engineering firm helped him better understand how his work in classes will apply once he starts working in the field. He looks forward to helping solve problems during his career as a civil engineer.

Lea Habr

Lea currently serves as the president of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers at the Lebanese American University (LAU), where she organizes diverse events and projects to enhance the student experience. Her internship with a national engineering company helped her apply what she’s learned at university in a practical setting. Habr was inspired to go into civil engineering because she was fascinated by math and physics, along with her father’s work as an architect. Her research on workplace gender equality demonstrates a strong dedication to increasing civil engineering competence while supporting inclusion and gender equality in professional settings.

Morgan Klover

At Southern Illinois University, Klover is a civil engineering major with a double minor in mathematics and physics. She served as president of the university’s ASCE chapter her sophomore year and is part of the concrete canoe and steel bridge teams. Her experience as a design engineer intern allowed her to design joists and joist girders for projects and solidified her plan to focus on structural engineering. She looks forward to helping change the way communities and cities are built.

Gregor Ethan Posadas

Posadas is a graduate research assistant at Boise State University in Idaho who plans to use his civil engineering degree to work on water and wastewater engineering projects as well as projects related to sustainability and resiliency. In addition to his involvement with ASCE and other student activities, Posadas serves as an enlisted combat engineer in the United States Army Reserves. His work as an intern with engineering firm Stantec gave him a first-hand look at the project management and design of water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Brianna Yu

A third-year student at Oregon State University, Yu is currently the secretary of the school’s ASCE student chapter. She also has a leadership role in the school’s steel bridge team. In addition to her civil engineering studies, Yu volunteers with programs that help with improving education and reducing health disparities. She looks forward to working on projects that will improve sustainability and restore urban infrastructure.

Jackie Zong

Zong is a third-year student at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He’s been active in the school’s ASCE student chapter since he was a freshman and currently serves as vice president of external relations. He leads the Solar Decathlon team from Georgia Tech designing and building the first net-zero energy home in Westside Atlanta. He serves on the advisory board of the Lifestyle Building Center, a non-profit that helps save usable construction materials from the landfill and repurposes those items for reuse in the community. He helped establish a workforce training program to improve construction and reconstruction practices. Zong looks forward to working on projects that focus on sustainability, efficiency, and safety.

For media availability and interviews with the 2024 New Faces of Civil Engineering, please contact ASCE Media Relations.

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 or and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.