The excitement and anticipation of a job well-done permeated the air at the annual Engineers Week Banquet, held Feb. 24 at the Goodwood Museum and Gardens in Tallahassee, Florida. It was a celebration of proud moments as engineering students, faculty and alumni from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering received recognition from local professional organizations at the event.
“This is an annual event held for the Big Bend area for engineers, students, faculty and anyone who wants to celebrate the profession,” Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry, an associate dean and civil and environmental engineering professor at the college, said. “We are grateful for the folks who organize the event year after year. They put a lot of heart into planning it and bringing us all together as Engineers Week culminates.”
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Florida Engineering Society (FES) presented several awards to students, faculty and staff with ties or future ties to the college. Engineers in the community received awards, as well as Bryce Sawyer, a local high school student, who received the Future Engineer Scholarship.
Andrew Hedderman, a third-year undergraduate engineering student, was awarded ASCE Student of the Year and received a FAMU-FSU College of Engineering scholarship from the Florida Engineering Society. Hedderman, the president of the FAMU-FSU ASCE-FES student chapter, talked about how ASCE supports student success.
“The student chapter of the ASCE is a great way for students to get a hands-on engineering experience and try out engineering while they are studying it,” Hedderman said. “Projects like making a canoe out of concrete help students get closer to each other as peers and help build community and friendship.”
Emily Mank, who is earning her master’s from the college, received the Graduate Student of the Year Award. Drew Thomas, a 2016 alumna, received the ASCE Young Engineer of the Year award. Steven Squillacote is a lab engineer from the college who received the Faculty Advisor of the Year award.
Squillacote took a moment to explain the joy of working with students in the lab.
“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is student appreciation,” he said. “Most students are a little nervous when they get into a lab situation, so I like to push them above and beyond and help them gain confidence. When they succeed it’s great to see how happy it makes them.”
Kylie Augustine received the FES Student of the Year Award. Will Mechling was named FES Young Engineer of the Year, Jamie Graham received the FES Outstanding Service to the Profession Award, and Christin Gorman was named FES Engineer of the Year Award.
The Florida Structural Engineering Society (FSEA) honored several past presidents for their service, including Sean Martin, a professor of practice who served FSEA in 2016. Kamal Tawfiq, a professor of civil and environmental engineering since 1988 and former chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering, received the FES Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for his many years of service.
The Institute of Transportation Engineers presented the Professional of the Year award to Amy Wong, an FSU graduate.
The Florida Engineering Foundation presented a $2,000 check for student organization competitions that will go to support the ASCE-FES Student Chapter for their participation in March in the 2023 ASCE Southeast Student Symposium in Jacksonville.
Halff, Michael Baker International, BCEI, Kimley-Horn, EGS, HNTB, Ardaman & Associates, DRMP, America’s Home Place and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering sponsored the event.