Civil Engineering Students, Staff, and Faculty Honored at SOE Awards

April 18, 2011

What is it that leads UNM’s outstanding students to success? A passion for civil engineering, firm goals, and a supportive community are only a few of the factors that foster academic achievement. To gain further insight into CE student success, the 2011 Outstanding Student award winners shared their thoughts on school, personal goals, and civil engineering.

Eslam Soliman, Outstanding Graduate

eslamEslam’s studies in civil engineering have cultivated a deep interest in materials and structures. He has learned about interesting areas of research, like nanotechnology, and their applications within civil engineering. The knowledge he has gained in studying different fields of science has allowed him to understand the vital role that each plays in improving engineering design.

In the long term, Eslam wishes to teach and advance his research. Through research, he sees an opportunity to apply theory, work closely on state-of-the-art engineering projects, and gain invaluable experience.

Eslam is grateful for the opportunities he’s had as a student. “Having received education in different places,” he said, “I have been exposed to different cultures which have enriched me on both professional and personal levels.”

Michael Peterson, Outstanding Senior

petersonAs a high school student, Michael had an interest in architecture but realized that he was drawn more to the structural aspect of the field, and not so much the aesthetic design. It was for this reason that he chose to study civil engineering.

Michael has enjoyed being a part of the CE community; everyone in the department, he said, is very friendly and the faculty is always accessible and supportive. As a result of his hard work, Michael received a research assistantship with the Air Force Research Laboratories, through which he will have the opportunity to study composite materials. The opportunity will not only afford Michael significant experience, it will allow him to pursue his academic goals as a graduate student studying Structural and Materials Science at UNM.

David Bonham, Outstanding Junior

bonhamLike his fellow award winners, Dave is an incredibly accomplished CE student who attributes his success to UNM’s community of engineers. “The professors and students in the CE Department,” he said, “are outstanding. Any success that I have had in this program is due to the passion and dedication of the professors and staff that lend help and inspiration every day.” Dave has felt a tremendous amount of openness and camaraderie within in the department, an atmosphere that he thinks fosters great success.

Dave is excited about civil engineering because, as a professional engineer, he will have the o pportunity to work on projects that are diverse, challenging, and leave a lasting impact on society. “Civil engineers are in a position to make a real change. During our careers, every one of us will be faced with decisions that will affect the community. We are inspired to build, repair, and create. No other profession has a greater impact on the world in which we live.”

Navid Sakhavand, Qforma Award

navidNavid, a CE student, was the winner of this year’s Qforma Thesis Award, which is given to the most outstanding computational M.S. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation within the current academic year. Qforma is a provider of advanced analytics and predictive technologies for the health sciences industry. This is a truly impressive accomplishment, as Qforma considers technical depth, sophistication, innovation, and problem significance when selecting a winner.