Press Release - Scholarships, May 2019

ACEC New York awards scholarships to 21 New York engineering students

NEW YORK, May 14, 2019 — Twenty-one engineering students attending colleges and universities in New York State will receive $65,000 collectively in scholarships from member firms and regions of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York). Individual awards range from $2,500 to $7,500 and are given based on the students’ cumulative grade-point average, college activities, work experience and essays. Five of this year’s winners were also alumni of the ACE Mentor Program, which pairs high school students with mentoring teams composed of industry professionals (many of whom work for member firms) to introduce them to careers in the design and construction industry.

Since the program’s launch in 2002, ACEC New York has awarded 301 scholarships totaling $835,500. The scholarship program was implemented to support up-and-coming engineers, thereby guaranteeing a strong future for the profession in New York State. The Scholarship Committee’s goal is to reach a total of $1 million in collective scholarships by 2021 in honor of ACEC New York’s centennial celebration.

Students attending New York metropolitan-area colleges will be honored at ACEC New York’s membership luncheon on May 21 at the Union League Club. Scholarship recipients who participated in the ACE Mentor program will be honored at the Annual Meeting on June 5, as the ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York will be recognized with the Chairman’s Award at this event. Students attending upstate colleges will be recognized at the ACEC New York Winter Conference in Albany on January 26, 2020.

Two students were honored with ACEC New York Award of Merit Scholarships, each in the amount of $7,500, at the ACEC New York Engineering Excellence Awards Gala at the Hilton Midtown New York on April 13. Darren Lin was given an Award of Merit Scholarship in recognition of the NYS Thruway Authority, and Reaz Rahman was given an Award of Merit Scholarship in recognition of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The Award of Merit is given by ACEC New York to recognize agencies and authorities for outstanding achievements in service to New York communities.

Following is a complete list of the 2019 scholarship winners:

ACEC New York Merit Scholarship in recognition of the NYS Thruway Authority - $7,500
Darren Lin (Mechanical Engineering) | The City College of New York, New York, NY
Darren Lin grew up with an appreciation for hands-on learning through his time with the boy scouts. As he embarks on a promising career, his internships with solar energy and an innovation center gave him the hands-on experience he needed to confirm his future professional life as a consulting engineer. In the near future, he will be participating in an energy auditing project with Engineers Without Borders.

ACEC New York Merit Scholarship in recognition of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority - $7,500
Reaz Rahman (Electrical Engineering) | The City College of New York, New York, NY
As an electrical consulting engineer, Reaz is eager to enter a profession that will see a number of exceptional opportunities in the not-too-distant future, including autonomous vehicles and home automation. On the road to this exciting career, Reaz has interned with a number of companies, including work on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and consumer electronics, as well as research at RPI and an upcoming position at Northrop Grumman.

WSP USA Scholarship - $5,000
Aaron Fink (Civil Engineering) | Cooper Union, New York, NY
From Legos in the living room to sand tunnels at the beach, Aaron’s interest in building burgeoned into a prospective career during his studies at Cooper Union. His involvement with the New York Water and Environmental Association and Steel Bridge competition garnered him contacts in many engineering firms, as did his internship at WSP USA. He looks forward to a future career in water resources in New York City.

ACEC New York Eastern Region Scholarship - $2,500
Christina Pavlovsky (Engineering Technology) | Union College, Schenectady, NY
Christina made a fateful choice to take an introductory engineering class in high school, where her teacher, a retired professional engineer, encouraged her interest through group projects and applying principles to real-world scenarios. Christina plans to apply her enthusiasm and genuine interest in the versatile field of engineering to a career in New York, using what she has learned to improve lives in her home community.

ACEC New York Long Island Region Scholarship - $2,500
Britany D'Introno (Civil Engineering) | Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Britany was captivated by the Manhattan skyline, visible from her home in Long Island, and it wasn’t until she began to pursue engineering in earnest that she appreciated the efforts that made the city thrive. She knew the importance of sustainability, and as an engineer, Britany is determined to make her impact on the green infrastructure movement in New York.

ACEC New York Western Region Scholarship - $2,500
Wakil Pranto (Civil Engineering) | University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Wakil, the child of an immigrant family, credits the lessons of his father for instilling a love of academia, as well as confidence and discipline, which led him to engineering. His real-world field and office experience with his internships at HDR and the MTA confirmed this career path, and Wakil plans to pursue his EIT certification this summer, with the eventual goal of earning his PE license and a project manager role in New York.

AKF Group Scholarship - $2,500
Caitlin Stanton* (Electrical/Computer Engineering) | Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
In her future personal and professional life, Caitlin sees the immense impact of the evolution of smart technology, including biometrics, improved sensors and advanced software. She looks forward to the role she will play in this New York City of the future. For now, she is honing her skills through her studies and through positions at technology companies and organizations, such as Qualcomm and Girls Who Code.

Dagher Engineering Scholarship - $2,500
Lizzette Salmeron (Electrical Engineering) | The City College of New York, New York, NY
Lizzette is a self-motivated, aspiring engineer interested in power systems and ready to take on a challenging future career in consulting. Through her internship at Cisco Systems, as well as participating in research at the Smart Grid Interdependencies Lab at City College, she found the mentors she needed to build her confidence to encourage her to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering and beyond. Now, with her sights set on a Graduate degree, she will be an exceptional asset to the engineering community in the future.

Erich Arcement Creative Consulting Scholarship - $2,500
Jeahoung Hong (Civil Engineering) | Cooper Union, New York, NY
Jeahoung discovered not only the technical skills but also the excitement inherent in a career in engineering through a school group project on pink noise, overseen by an engineering consultant. His experience designing and constructing this project, bolstered by his succeeding internship at Arup, which was overseen by this same consultant, has confirmed his path and passion as a future engineer.

Hazen and Sawyer Scholarship - $2,500
Kristen Wainwright (Environmental Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
Kristen was unsure of her choice of major at first, but the real-world experience she gained from her internships at Langan not only confirmed but bolstered her interest in engineering. The variety inherent in the profession, including the need for a wide skill set and the myriad roles played by the professionals at the firm, confirmed her choice to become a consulting engineer in New York City.

HDR Scholarship - $2,500
Austin Reese (Chemical Engineering) | University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
From his internship experience at a small firm, Austin sees himself not only as a future member of the engineering profession but also an owner of a small firm. His skill set spans both civil and chemical engineering, and he hopes to apply these skills to a variety of projects, such as ensuring safety in chemical plant design, which will improve his community and the lives of the public.

Jaros, Baum & Bolles Scholarship - $2,500
Aidan Smolar* (Mechanical Engineering) | Cooper Union, New York, NY
Aidan, a lifelong New York City native, grew up around some of the most iconic landmarks in the nation. Inspired by these achievements, and encouraged by his cousin, a recent engineering college graduate, and his grandfather, a mechanical engineer at AKF Group, Aidan is sure of his career choice in Project Management, reinforced by everything he’s learned at his internships at VHB, Welkin Mechanical, and Tishman Speyer. In the Fall of 2020, Aidan intends to complete his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from The Cooper Union.

Langan Scholarship, In Memory of Maria Isabel Ramirez (09-11-01) - $2,500
Katherine Wegleitner (Environmental Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
Katherine has always been motivated by a desire to help those around her, which led her to the field of environmental engineering, a natural outlet for this passion. She was inspired and encouraged by her professors, who gave her not only the technical skills needed to get the job done but also the crucial skills to communicate this information effectively. She plans to apply these skills to a career in New York State.

Loring Scholarship - $2,500
Denise Claire Calungsod* (Engineering Technology) | NYC College of Technology, New York, NY
Denise fully intended to pursue a career in medicine before she and her team were declared the winners in the ACE Mentor Construction Roundtable National Design Competition in high school. Inspired by her win and the words of an impressed construction manager at the competition, Denise decided to apply her newly tested and triumphant knowledge to a career path in the world of engineering.

Mueser Rutledge Scholarship - $2,500
Zhixuan Zhao (Mechanical Engineering) | The City College of New York, New York, NY
Zhixuan arrived in the U.S. at the age of 18. His father, who worked as a mechanic in China, wanted a rewarding career and easier life for his son, and encouraged him to pursue higher education. Zhixuan is proud of his accomplishments and enthusiastic about his future career as a mechanical engineer, improving lives in his new home in New York City.

Pennoni Scholarship - $2,500
Amitesh Prabhudayal (Civil Engineering) | The City College of New York, New York, NY
There is no doubt in Amitesh’s mind that his future holds a successful career in engineering. While currently interning with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, he clearly sees a future in geotechnical engineering, planning to earn his LEED certification and his professional license. Amitesh looks forward to a hard-earned but rewarding career working in and for New York City.

Sam Schwartz Engineering Scholarship - $2,500
Gisselle Barrera (Civil Engineering) | NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY
Gisselle was introduced to engineering through an unusual source – her favorite soap operas. She saw the protagonists leading interesting careers alongside the drama of the show. This media portrayal encouraged a desire to pursue this unique career, working with a team to address challenges to create amazing projects. Growing up in New York City, she now dreams of dedicating her skills to improving her home.

Stantec Scholarship - $2,500
QiTong Han (Civil Engineering) | Cooper Union, New York, NY
QiTong knows that this moment in history is critical for U.S. infrastructure. With the ASCE Report Card in mind, she is dedicated to a future career designing sustainable, efficient and resilient infrastructure in New York City. Besides her studies, QiTong has received experience through her internships, as well as her involvement in a number of organizations, including ASCE, SEAoNY, Chi Epsilon and the Steel Bridge competition.

STV Group Scholarship - $2,500

Michevi Dufflart* (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, Bronx, NY
A tour of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the story of the woman behind its completion, inspired Michevi to pursue a career in engineering. Her fascination with the “how and why” of the built environment, as well as her desire to help others, was reinforced by her internship at Sullivan Engineering. There, she saw the importance of teamwork, and she looks forward to joining the profession in New York City.

Syska Hennessy Group Scholarship - $2,500

Patrick Varuzza (Chemical Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
Patrick’s career path was in flux until he participated in a 5-week program of sample classes that included a tour of global design firm Arcadis. Seeing the day-to-day activities of the firm made a future in this profession not only possible but desirable. Since then, Patrick’s love of engineering has continued to grow. He is currently looking for an internship, his next step towards a successful future in consulting in New York.

Thornton Tomasetti Scholarship - $2,500
GinaMarie Napoli* (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, Bronx, NY
GinaMarie’s need to remain active and seek out challenge is not limited to the volleyball court – it also engendered a passion for engineering. Through family, friends and teachers, as well as an introductory program at Manhattan College and the ACE Mentor program, GinaMarie found a future career that not only offered a multitude of opportunities but would also make a tangible impact on her community.

*ACE Mentor of Greater New York alumnus

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ACEC New York is a proactive coalition of nearly 300 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment—civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, geotechnical—and affiliated companies. Our shared goals are to further the business interests of our membership, enhance the quality and safety of the environment we live and work in, and help ensure the vitality of our communities. For more information, visit

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