Press Release - Scholarships, May 2017

ACEC New York awards scholarships to 24 New York engineering students

NEW YORK, May 3, 2017 — Twenty-four engineering students attending colleges and universities in New York State will receive $67,500 collectively in scholarships from member firms of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York). Individual awards range from $2,500 to $5,000 and are given based on the students’ cumulative grade-point average, college activities, work experience and essays on consulting engineering.

Since the program’s launch in 2002, ACEC New York has awarded 261 scholarships totaling $708,000. The scholarship program was implemented to support up-and-coming engineers, thereby guaranteeing a strong future for the profession in New York State.

Students attending New York metropolitan-area colleges will be honored at ACEC New York’s membership luncheon on May 23 at the Union League Club. Students attending upstate colleges will be recognized at the council’s winter conference in Albany on January 28, 2018.

Two students were honored with ACEC New York Merit Scholarships, each in the amount of $5,000, at the ACEC New York Engineering Excellence Awards Gala at the Hilton Midtown New York on April 1. Joanna Zou was given an Award of Merit Scholarship in recognition of the Army Corps of Engineers, New York Division, and Aaron Appelle was given an Award of Merit Scholarship in recognition of the New York Building Congress. Awards of Merit are given by ACEC New York to recognize agencies and authorities for outstanding achievements in service to New York communities. Additionally, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Engineering Excellence Awards and past Award of Merit winners, a special $5,000 scholarship, underwritten by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff was given to Amanda Harrold.

Following is a complete list of the 2017 scholarship winners:

ACEC New York Engineering Excellence 50th Anniversary Scholarship, underwritten by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff - $5,000
Amanda Harrold (Environmental Engineering) | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Amanda has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and she chose to apply this drive to the pursuit of a career in environmental engineering. From building a rain garden in high school, in order to protect a nearby pond from excessive runoff, to performing laboratory tests on wastewater as part of her internship, Amanda’s eagerness to discover new and innovative ways to protect the environment continues to grow. New York will be lucky to have an engineer as committed as her in the near future.

ACEC New York Merit Scholarship in recognition of the Army Corps of Engineers, New York Division- $5,000
Joanna Zou (Civil Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
Joanna’s interest in engineering is matched only by her fascination with New York City. Originally from Missouri, she appreciates all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a large and dynamic city thrive and function – work that often goes unrecognized. Joanna aspires to remain in New York as a Structural Engineer not only by learning technical skills in school, but also by learning from the city itself and the urban challenges it faces. On her journey towards her future career, Joanna has donated her time to ASCE as the Columbia chapter president and Carleton Materials Strength Laboratories as a lab assistant.

ACEC New York Merit Scholarship in recognition of the New York Building Congress- $5,000
Aaron Appelle (Civil Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
Aaron’s love of science and math quickly grew into a flourishing interest in an engineering career as he learned more about the field. The experience he gained during his time at Columbia – performing structural analysis as an intern, overseeing a water systems project with Engineers without Borders, designing aircraft components for NASA with the Columbia Space Initiative – have all bolstered his decision to work as a consulting engineer in New York.

ACEC New York Eastern Region Scholarship - $2,500
Emily Mahana (Civil Engineering) | Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
While Emily knew she wanted to pursue civil engineering, it wasn’t until she spoke to a number of firms at her school’s career fair that she became truly interested in consulting. Her internship at Barton and Loguidice, during which she learned how to model alignments for roadways and calculate substructures for bridges, bolstered her confidence in her final decision. She knew that as a consulting engineer, she would dedicate her expertise as a consulting engineer to improving Central New York, her home community.

ACEC New York Long Island Region Scholarship - $2,500
In memory of Charles F. Vachris
Ahsan Sandhu (Civil Engineering) | Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Ahsan grew up in an engineering-focused environment, and he gained an early interest in the field through the experience he gained working with his father on geotechnical studies and surveying projects. This interest, bolstered by his natural talent for math and science, led to Ahsan changing majors to civil engineering, and he hasn’t looked back since. He plans to lend his skills to New York communities, as well as to developing areas of the globe.

ACEC New York Mid-Hudson Region Scholarship - $2,500
Natalie Mottl (Civil Engineering) | Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Natalie has always followed the “think big” motto when it came to her future career, and she was initially attracted to engineering by the sizable and visible projects that make up the NYC skyline. However, she is not afraid to start small, working in the field during her internship at Langan. She is excited to follow a dynamic career path to her final goal of being a project manager, but in the meantime, she is thrilled to have even a small part in projects that will improve the future of New York.

ACEC New York Western Region Scholarship - $2,500
Tyler Langbein (Mechanical Engineering) | University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Tyler sees himself as the head of his own company one day, but until that future success comes to pass, he has gained a copious amount of real world experience in support of a career in engineering. His father would often bring him on construction projects, which instilled an early interest in the built environment. His interest was firmly established during his summer work with NYS DOT, performing a variety of on-site inspection tasks and learning from consultants already in the field. Despite experiencing many different places, Tyler is confident his future will take place in New York State.

AECOM Scholarship - $2,500
Mark Perelmuter (Civil Engineering) | The Cooper Union, New York, NY
Mark doesn’t take for granted the vast network of infrastructure that makes our daily lives possible. Starting with small home repairs and graduating to building a balsa wood bridge during a summer engineering program, Mark has had an interest in seeing behind the scenes to discover how modern marvels actually work. His interest in a career in transportation was confirmed after an internship with MTA New York City Transit analyzing data trends. He plans to lend his skills to aid New York City in facing numerous challenges in the future.

AKF Group LLC Scholarship - $2,500
Maxum Smith (Mechanical Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
It’s an understatement to say that Maxum has an interest in math and science. He first became interested in the inner workings of the universe after learning Einstein’s theory of relativity, and the application of science and math to real-world applications held great promise for his future career. It wasn’t until he started studying engineering, however, that he realized that teamwork is just as important to building the foundations of society. It is Maxum’s plan to remain in New York after graduation, giving back to the community that has set him on this exciting career path.

AKRF, Inc. Scholarship - $2,500
Mazen Elashrafi (Civil Engineering) | City University of New York, New York, NY
Mazen clearly sees the impact of engineering in the world around him, and he wants to be a part of a profession that touches so many lives. He is interested in applying efficiency principles to his work not only on the technical side but also on the business side of the profession. In his internship at Con Edison, he has already completed money and time-saving research, leading to the replacement of the material for anchors in the Manhattan steam system. It is important to Mazen to be an effective member of society, and as an engineering professional, he knows he can reach that goal.

Dagher Engineering, PLLC Scholarship - $2,500
Winnie Wong (Mechanical Engineering) | SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY
Winnie is passionate about her future, and when she began the search for a career path, she wasn’t just looking for a job but rather seeking a calling, one that would allow her to be creative and contribute to her community. She discovered engineering during her first semester, and she has found a profession that fits these criteria. She is determined to work in a field promoting the use of renewable energy and reducing the impact of climate change. She knows this is a large goal, but Winnie is excited to play even a small part in a sustainable future for New York.

HAKS Engineers, Architects and Land Surveyors, P.C. Scholarship - $2,500
Stephanie Berrios (Civil Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
Stephanie knows that an interest in math and science is not enough to make engineering an attractive career. Growing up in NYC, she noticed not just the awe-inspiring modern structures that were built all around her but also the way these projects integrated themselves into and improved their communities. Stephanie has made it her goal as a future consulting engineer to bring sound infrastructure to those communities that need it most, both in New York and across the globe.

Hazen and Sawyer Scholarship - $2,500
John-Michael D'Andrea (Civil Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
John-Michael had a hazy picture of his future in the civil engineering profession, but it wasn’t until his various internship opportunities that his career path began to come into focus. During his internship with the California Department of Transportation, as well as an engineering consultancy in Singapore, John-Michael received a glimpse into the successes and challenges in an engineering career, including navigating regulations and the importance of collaboration and compromise. John-Michael plans to follow this path to a position with a firm in New York.

HDR Scholarship - $2,500
Samantha LoVerme (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY
Samantha is not becoming an engineer for the glory. She knows that bridges aren’t often named for the engineers that design them, and that many times, the hard work and long hours go unremarked and uncelebrated. However, she is eager to take on this role to ensure a safe and sustainable future for her home community. Besides the motivation of impacting life as we know it, Samantha is excited to join an ever-evolving career where she will never stop learning new methods and trends.

Jaros, Baum & Bolles Scholarship - $2,500
Ariel Golshan (Mechanical Engineering) | Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Ariel wasn’t always sure why he chose engineering. At first, he was intrigued by how little he knew about the job. In the end, Ariel wanted a career he would enjoy and would allow him to make a difference. The ever-changing nature of engineering – with new projects, new methods, and new challenges – meant that Ariel would always be engaged and interested throughout the years he plans to dedicate to his career. In the end, Ariel eagerly anticipates becoming a future engineer who is tasked with improving and building New York.

Langan Engineering, Environmental, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, DPC - $2,500
In memory of Maria Isabel Ramirez (09-11-01)
Monte Cardenas-Metal (Civil Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY
Monte isn’t afraid of hard work, especially watching his father, a Mexican immigrant, build his own construction business from the ground up. Monte is motivated by the opportunity to learn and apply a wide variety of skills to a difficult but rewarding career as a consulting engineer, representing his proud Hispanic heritage within the field. Fully aware of the importance of people and other skills to a successful consultant, he plans to pursue his Master’s in business after earning his civil engineering degree.

Loring Consulting Engineers, Inc. - $2,500
Daniel Sampong (Electrical Engineering) | City University of New York, New York, NY
Even as a biology major, working with the Lehman Computer Science and Mathematics club to get their robotics program up and running, Daniel’s interest in a career in engineering was quickly growing. His internships brought a real-world point of view to his interest, offering insight as to how different engineering backgrounds can work together to work towards a common goal of improved modern life and conveniences. Coming from a country where these conveniences were not always guaranteed, Daniel is motivated to apply his new skills to constantly improving his home state of New York.

Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers Scholarship - $2,500
Arielle Mayourian (Civil Engineering) | The Cooper Union, New York, NY
Arielle – bolstered by a strong interest in math, science and art – originally investigated a possible career in architecture. However, the hands-on experience gained during her internships, including analysis and research for Skanska Koch on the Brooklyn Bridge project, opened her eyes to new possibilities of a challenging yet rewarding career in consulting engineering. Arielle looks forward to lending her skills and temperament to working with a variety of professionals in a role at a consulting engineering firm.

Pennoni Engineering and Surveying of New York, LLC Scholarship - $2,500
Jaclyn Marchetta (Chemical Engineering) | Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY
Jaclyn is the youngest of triplets, and she was motivated to follow an alternative path for her future from her siblings. She was attracted to the broad range of applications of chemical engineering, and her internship at Air Products only deepened her interest. She gained knowledge of various environmental regulations, as well as learning the importance of attention to detail and successful teamwork. Jaclyn looks forward to a career in consulting where she can work on a variety of projects and impact the lives of a wide range of people.

Sam Schwartz Engineering, D.P.C. Scholarship - $2,500
Kseniya Davydova (Civil Engineering) | The City College of New York, New York, NY
Kseniya is a natural leader, and she will not be swayed from her future goal of leading an engineering team in New York, working tirelessly to support and rehabilitate the infrastructure she greatly admires. Her experience with Engineers without Borders, as well as on the BQE and Queensboro Bridge projects during her internship with Thornton Tomasetti, gave her a taste of the real-world responsibilities of an engineer and further strengthened her resolve. Kseniya will be a guiding force behind the New York City of the future.

Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Scholarship - $2,500
Adam Perlmutter (Civil Engineering) | Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Adam was disillusioned with engineering at first. Portrayals of engineering in movies and television were much more exciting than the spreadsheet-rich field in which he found himself. However, Adam knows that, while it might not be glamorous, engineering is essential. Small tasks have real-world benefits, such as the traffic study that halved his morning commute. To Adam, there is no more exciting place to practice engineering than New York, and he plans to work on this city’s iconic landmark infrastructure in his future career.

STV Group Scholarship - $2,500
LisaMarie Nilaj (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY
As a first generation college student, LisaMarie is eager to demonstrate her potential as a leader in consulting engineering. She participated in the ACE Mentor program in high school, which offered a unique insight into the profession, but it wasn’t until her internship with Turner construction, and her subsequent work with Syska Hennessy and WB Engineers, that she was confident she chose her path well. LisaMarie is eager to continuously grow and develop her skills in the consulting industry and give back her community in New York.

Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. Scholarship - $2,500
Alexandra Kawecki (Mechanical Engineering) | New York Institute of Technology, New York, NY
After obtaining her degree in mathematics and actuarial science from University at Buffalo, Alexandra realized she was looking for a more dynamic career. After deciding to pursue a mechanical engineering degree, she had the privilege of touring the East Side Access Tunnel project. This exceptional experience, demonstrating the various roles and duties that go into the essential-yet-unseen infrastructure beneath her feet. Alexandra knows she will flourish and find a satisfying career as a consulting engineer in New York.

Thornton Tomasetti Scholarship - $2,500
Miles Barber (Civil Engineering) | The Cooper Union, New York, NY
As a New Jersey native, Miles is no stranger to infrastructure in desperate need of repair. Unlike most individuals, who take these issues for granted, he wants to be part of the process that makes strong and resilient infrastructure a reality. His experience with the Cooper Union ASCE student chapter gave him the opportunity to interface with engineering professionals, and he learned that consulting engineering was a clear path to supporting strong, resilient and efficient infrastructure in New York, where he plans to live and work in the future.
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ACEC New York is a proactive coalition of 280 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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