CEE Students Garnered Most Illinois ASCE Scholarships

In the 2013 Illinois Section American Society of Civil Engineers President Elect/Student Scholarships Dinner held on April 10, 2013, five civil and environmental engineering undergraduate and graduate students were awarded with scholarships.  They were among the eight scholarship recipients given by five technical groups.

The scholarship recipients are:

Nicholas Brandis (civil engineering '15) and Derek Cheah (civil engineering '14) – Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI)

Abigail Christman (civil engineering '14) – Structural Engineering Institute (SEI)

Kristi Kern (Ph.D.) – Geotechnical Group/GeoInstitute (G-I)

Tiezheng Tong (Ph.D.) – Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI)

The T&DI Scholarship is awarded based on academic performance; education, career objectives, and a passion for the engineering profession; letters of recommendation; and community involvement and other extracurricular activities.   Brandis is majoring in civil engineering with an economic minor.  He is also pursuing the managerial analytics certificate from Kellogg School of Management.   Brandis is very interested in macro-construction and infrastructure projects, and someday wants to go into construction management.  Brandis is an active member of NU ASCE, fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and NU Club Baseball.  Furthermore, he is doing research under Professor Sinan Keten to study the structural benefits of cellulose in various materials at the nanoscopic level.

Cheah is double majored in civil engineering and economic with minor in transportation and logistics.  He is currently working with Professor Joe Schofer to develop a strategic plan for the National Cooperative Railroad Research Program (NCRRP).  Cheah is also a member of the NU ASCE steel bridge and concrete canoe teams.

The SEI Scholarship is awarded based on academic performance; work experience or involvement in community and other extracurricular activities; essay response; and letters of recommendation.   Christman is currently doing her coop with Ohio Department of Transportation.  While on campus, Christmas is a member of NU ASCE steel bridge and concrete canoe teams.  She is also a volunteer tutor at the Family Focus Center in Evanston.

Tiezheng Tong is a third year Ph.D. student in Environmental Engineering and Science.  Tiezheng is studying the unintended ecotoxicological effects of nanotitania in aquatic systems and is advised by Professors Kimberly Gray and Jean-Francois Gaillard.  

Kristi Kern is a Ph.D. student in geotechnical engineering.  Her research is to study the desiccated Chicago clay crust through a case study and laboratory testing.  The case study included instrumenting several buildings adjacent to an excavation with an autonomous monitoring system.  Professor Richard Finno is her advisor.  Kern obtained her B.S. in civil engineering at the University of Texas and M.S. at Northwestern.  She enjoys cooking, camping, hiking, and knitting in her spare time.