Marquette University wins 2015 NCEES Engineering Award

Civil, construction, and environmental engineering department takes $25,000 prize for vehicle bridge

NCEES is pleased to announce that the Marquette University Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering is the grand prize winner of the 2015 NCEES Engineering Award for Connecting Professional Practice and Education. The award jury met June 2, 2015, in Clemson, South Carolina, to select the $25,000 grand prize winner.

The department received the top prize for its submission, Sechum Vehicle Bridge. For the project, civil engineering students worked as part of a team that also included faculty, professional engineers with specific technical backgrounds to support each discipline on the project, other professionals, and more than 100 community volunteers from the Mayan community of Sechum in Guatemala. The team designed and constructed a vehicle bridge, which impacted three rural communities seeking safe, reliable crossing of the Rio Pasaguay to access education, markets, and health care.

The jury praised the project for its strong interaction with professional engineers as well as its improvements to the quality of life in this community.

The jury selected five additional winners to receive awards of $7,500 each:

  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering
    American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas Seismic Retrofit Feasibility Study
  • The Citadel
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Rehabilitation Design of Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  • George Mason University
    Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering
    Water Supply, Distribution, and Storage Sabana Grande, Nicaragua
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
    Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction
    Multidisciplinary Vertical Farm Design
  • Seattle University
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Seismic Analysis and Retrofit Design of a Historic Substation Control Building

The NCEES Engineering Award recognizes engineering programs that encourage collaboration between students and professional engineers. EAC/ABET-accredited programs from all engineering disciplines were invited to submit projects that integrate professional practice and education.
A jury of NCEES members and representatives from academic institutions and professional engineering organizations selected the winners. The 11 jury members considered criteria such as

  • Successful collaboration of faculty, students, and licensed professional engineers
  • Protection of public health, safety, and/or welfare of the public
  • Multidiscipline and/or allied profession participation
  • Knowledge or skills gained
  • Effectiveness of display board, abstract, and project description

“I am impressed that the students were able to coordinate the bridge construction so that it could be completed in such a short time frame. The use of a local labor force of community members to construct the bridge was equally impressive,” said NCEES Engineering Award jury chair Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry, Ph.D., P.E. “This project will have a huge societal impact and positive long-term effects on the community.”

Profiles of the winning submissions are available online at