Five Armour Engineering Students Win Statewide ASCE Undergrad Scholarships



By Mary Ceron-Reyes

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ASCE student story

Five undergraduate students from Armour College of Engineering’s Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) were recently recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and professional pursuits by the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

George Beck

George Beck (M.Eng. STE 3rd Year), a student in the accelerated master’s program, says that his career goal is to help make a more efficient and resilient power grid so that communities will be able to react better to natural disasters and technical issues that would typically cause outages.

“Although many people in my program plan to do something in traditional buildings or bridges, I see myself eventually pursuing a career in energy and grid infrastructure,” he says. “This ranges from power plant design and structural analysis, planning of electric power transmission systems, and energy management.”

Beck shares that he has always seen the grid and its supporting infrastructure as the backbone of everything communities need. “This scholarship reminds me that what I envision for my life's work is realistic,” he adds.

Jackob Behnke

Jacob Behnke (CE, M.Eng. STE 4th Year) is interning with Collins Engineers, Inc., where he is working on highway and railroad bridge projects across Chicago. He has been active in leadership positions with Illinois Tech’s student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society, and Cru, as well as working as the public address announcer for Illinois Tech Athletics. 

“Winning this scholarship is a high honor, especially considering the list of Illinois Tech students that have won these scholarships in recent years,” says Behnke. “It is an exciting exclamation point to my years of involvement with ASCE— years that have provided me with many great experiences and opportunities as I begin my career.”

Alyssa Hauert

Alyssa Hauert (AE 2nd Year) is the president of the Illinois Tech student chapter of ASCE. She is also part of the leadership teams for Cru and Athletes in Action, and hopes to use her degree “to help developing communities advance.”

Hauert notes that her interest in architectural engineering may have begun as a child while playing with LEGO toys as well as watching her father work as a project manager. She shares that she has always enjoyed helping people and would like to use her interests and education to do just that. She has volunteered on mission trips and is interning in the real estate solutions department of IFF, a nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofits with the construction process.

“This scholarship will help me continue to gain knowledge and experience that will help grow me into an engineer who can change the world one project at a time,” says Hauert.

Carlos Soto

Carlos Soto (CE 3rd Year) is interested in structural engineering and construction management, and says that he hopes to find himself in a design-build firm where he is able to work on either side of the project.

“From design to analysis to build, each step is fundamental, and knowing that I can contribute to the process instills in me a sense of importance to the team,” shares Soto, who admits that one of his favorite pastimes is strolling through downtown Chicago admiring all of the buildings and, indirectly, all of the civil engineers, architects, and contractors that have come before him. “One day, I hope to contribute to the iconic Chicago skyline in an attempt to pay homage to the city that raised me, educated me, and inspired me,” he says.

Juan Zambrano

Juan Zambrano (CE 3rd Year) is specializing in construction management, and shares that his past internships have exposed him to the fields of highway management and roadway construction. Zambrano says, “I currently intern at the Wells-Wentworth Connector project, which is a new road that will serve the future development ‘The 78.’ I'm excited to see all of the different projects in Chicago's soon-to-be new neighborhood.”

He adds that this scholarship will have a positive contribution on his academic success by relieving some financial stress, and that he could not be more grateful to ASCE.

Associate Professor and CAEE Chair Brent Stephens, who is also director of the architectural engineering and environmental engineering programs, shares, “I am absolutely thrilled but not necessarily surprised to see this excellent group of students earn these illustrious scholarships. The fact that Illinois Tech CAEE students won five of the 12 scholarships awarded by the chapter is a tremendous accomplishment and a testament to the great strengths and talents of our students.”

Stephens adds, “I am deeply proud of their accomplishments and look forward to seeing these students develop into leaders in their profession.”