Civil and Urban Engineering Students Reap the Benefits of Numerous Awards and Scholarships

Students at the 2017 Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) gala: (left to right) Mateusz Chrobak, Zoya Susan Benyaminov, and Bryan Kwiatkowski

When Elsa Kong took a class in geotechnical engineering with Professor Magued Iskander, who chairs NYU Tandon’s Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, she was intrigued. So when Iskander told her about the Donald J. Murphy Memorial Scholarship, awarded by the Deep Foundations Institute to those considering a job in environmental or geotechnical engineering, she readily agreed to apply and was delighted when she won.

Undergraduate Elsa Kong

Undergraduate Elsa Kong

“NYU Tandon is a very good place to prepare for various sub-disciplines within civil engineering because we have opportunities to take so many different courses,” she says. “I will be obtaining my bachelor’s degree in January 2019, and I am excited to explore more and practice the things that I have learned here.” In addition to the geotechnical and environmental areas, Kong also enjoyed transportation engineering, which she studied with Professor Joseph Chow. She notes that a research project on bus-route scheduling she did under his direction required her to learn coding for the first time, so she picked up another useful skill.

“Elsa is richly deserving of the Murphy Scholarship, which was established in 2015 to honor a distinguished late alum whose life and career served as an inspiration to all who knew him,” Iskander says. “While it’s among the most meaningful recognitions that can be won by Tandon’s aspiring civil engineers, it is only one of the many available to them.”

Students may, for example, also vie for the Moles Student Award and the Moles Scholarship, given to those interested in various aspects of the heavy construction industry. (The aptly named Moles organization is comprised of professionals involved in the construction of tunnel, subway, sewer, foundation, marine, sub-aqueous, or other heavy construction projects.) Bryan Kwiatkowski, who will be graduating this year, was one of the recent recipients of a Moles Scholarship, an honor based upon his stellar GPA and solid career goals. His plans are to become a project manager — a post for which he feels supremely prepared. “I’ll be dealing with budgets and financial concerns,” he explains, “and you can’t budget for the different phases of construction without a deep understanding of those phases, which I gained at Tandon.”

Kwiatkowski also garnered an award from the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), a group that counts Professor of Construction Engineering and Management Fletcher “Bud” Griffis as a valued member. (Griffis, a former national director of the organization as well as a past president and director of its New York City Post, received a SAME lifetime achievement award in 2015.)

“I deeply appreciate the scholarships and awards I’ve won,” Kwiatkowski says, “but the most valuable prize available to Tandon’s Civil and Urban Engineering students is the chance to study with the department’s amazing faculty members. Jose Ulerio, who advises us about course requirements, seems to know everything there is to know about the curriculum, for example, and I think there are probably few professors out there who care as much about students and their success as Alexey Sidelev. I could go on and on. Incoming students should definitely learn about all the monetary scholarships and prestigious awards they can win, but it’s more important that they recognize the value of everything else the department offers as well.”

Visit Civil and Urban Engineering Student Awards for more information.