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American Society of Civil Engineers name UTA’s graduate student chapter tops in 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 • Media Contact: Herb Booth

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The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Structural Engineering Institute honored The University of Texas at Arlington’s ASCE Graduate Student Chapter as its graduate student chapter of the year. 

The awards were announced in STRUCTURE magazine.

SEI said the UTA chapter offers software training sessions, structural workshops and site tours of existing structures and buildings under construction.

SEI graduate student chapter

UTA's American Society of Civil Engineers Graduate Student Chapter were honored as ASCE's chapter of the year.

Nur Yazdani, civil engineering professor and adviser for the chapter, said students learn vital, cutting-edge information and technology in the classroom at UTA and that is one of the strengths of belonging to the group, which numbers about 64. The group regularly undertakes networking activities with professionals, and volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.

“In addition, these graduate students have the opportunity to work alongside distinguished professors and researchers on projects, grants and research areas that help them land jobs in the real world once they graduate from UTA,” Yazdani said. He commended the students involved for their hard work in making the chapter a national leader.

Yazdani is a fellow of ASCE, SEI and the American Concrete Institute. He is the author or co-author of more than 160 articles in journals and proceedings, and an invited speaker at conferences and seminars. He is well known for his research on concrete/timber bridge design and rehabilitation, hazard mitigation in civil infrastructure, nano-concrete and engineering education.

Mina Riad, doctoral student and president of the chapter, said, “Chapter officers and members plan and implement activities to enhance the student knowledge in structural engineering and ensure a smooth transition from college to the workplace. This will help us to excel in professional life, contribute to structural engineering and be positive proponents in society.”

Ali Abolmaali, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Tseng Huang Endowed Professor, said Yazdani is a fundamental part of the chapter’s success.

Nur Yazdani

Nur Yazdani, civil engineering professor and adviser for the chapter

“Dr. Yazdani has motivated our graduate students to do more than just come to class,” Abolmaali said. “Once those students are in the chapter, they thrive. They do better in the classroom, in the lab and secure better, higher-paying and more fulfilling jobs once they enter the workforce.”

Abolmaali said the chapter’s success could increase numbers of diverse graduate students, prepare them to lead in their specific disciplines and foster sustainable urban communities, which is major theme of UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020 Bold Solutions | Global Impact