MILWAUKEE – Students from Marquette University’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering in the Opus College of Engineering received the 2015 NCEES Engineering Award for Connecting Professional Practice and Education for its submission, Sechum Vehicle Bridge. The project was designed and constructed to aid three rural Guatemalan communities in safely crossing the Rio Pasaguay to access education, markets and healthcare. The department received the top prize of $25,000 for their submission.
“We will use the award to support future projects –most likely our next project which will be a pedestrian bridge also in the Joyabaj area of Guatemala that will be student designed during the 2015-16 academic year and built during May or June of 2016,” said Dr. Mark Federle, associate dean for academic affairs, professor and McShane Chair of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, and lead faculty member on the project.
The group of engineering students worked alongside faculty members, professional engineers, other volunteers and more than 100 local volunteers to design and construct the bridge, which was completed in February.
“I am impressed that the students were able to coordinate the bridge construction so that it could be completed in such a short time frame. The use of a local labor force of community members to construct the bridge was equally impressive,” said NCEES Engineering Award Jury Chair Dr. Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry, P.E. “This project will have a huge societal impact and positive long-term effects on the community.”
The NCEES engineering award recognizes engineering programs that encourage collaboration between students and professional engineers.