Two Undergraduate Students at Illinois Tech Win ASHRAE Illinois Chapter Scholarships


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Two undergraduate students in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Illinois Tech have been awarded prestigious scholarships from the Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers).

Zahra Khuwaja

Zahra Khuwaja, a junior studying architectural engineering at Illinois Tech, was awarded the second-place scholarship. Khuwaja shares, “I am passionate about buildings and infrastructure, and the high-end technologies being incorporated to enhance the built environment. My interest in HVAC, business, as well as data analytics makes me excited about entering the industry with a skillset that will equip me to address problems caused by climate change and natural disasters.”

Khuwaja’s passion for teaching and promoting women in STEM led her to volunteer as a summer intern at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. As a member of the student group Engineers Without Borders USA, she has participated in a sanitation project in La Paz, Bolivia. Khuwaja is the current treasurer for the Illinois Tech chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers’ Future Leader program.

Alouki Shah

Alouki Shah, a senior and co-terminal graduate student studying architectural engineering, was awarded a third-place scholarship (tie). Shah says, “I have always had an interest in engineering and aesthetics. When combined, these two principles create beautiful environments. Sustainability is a vital component of buildings in the struggle to preserve Earth.”

Early in her college career, Shah joined UNICEF USA as a volunteer for KEEN Chicago, a local nonprofit organization where she interacted with children with disabilities “who don't have the opportunity to explore and be active every day.” In addition, she is the current corporate chair for the university’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. Shah also served as the manager for Illinois Tech's women’s volleyball team. More recently she assisted as a referee and supervisor for Illinois Tech Recreational Sports & Fitness.

Scholarships were awarded to both students for their outstanding academic achievements and endeavors outside of the classroom. Each student will receive $1,500 to assist with education costs and will be recognized at a future Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE meeting.