|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
February 19, 2007
|Contact: Donald Lehr |
The Nolan/Lehr Group
(212) 967-8200 / firstname.lastname@example.org
New Faces Of Engineering: Stepping Up To Make A Difference
Engineers improve society’s quality of life, and this year’s recognition of young engineers at the cutting edge of their profession – the annual New Faces of Engineering – finds 15 women and men truly changing the world for the better in remarkable ways. From rebuilding infrastructure in Iraq to helping first responders communicate after Hurricane Katrina, America’s New Faces of Engineering are stepping up and making a difference.
Each year, the National Engineers Week Foundation – a coalition of engineering societies, major corporations and government agencies – asks its members to nominate colleagues 30 years old and younger who have shown outstanding abilities and leadership. From those nominees, the foundation selects the New Faces for Engineers Week, February 18-24, 2007, this year co-chaired by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and Tyco Electronics Corporation.
Engineers Week promotes New Faces to provide incentive to those in college and inspire even younger students to consider engineering careers. For 2007, there is inspiration aplenty.
Danielle Stephens, a structural engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, normally can be found designing bulkheads, and navigation and spillway gates in the Walla Walla, Washington area. But, when the call went out for engineers to help Iraqis repair their war-damaged infrastructure, Stephens was among the first in the nation to volunteer, managing sewer and water projects. Later, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, Stephens assisted with structural inspections and developing contracts to help municipalities restore their infrastructure.
Carlos Cordeiro, a senior research staff member at Philips Research North America in Briarcliff Manor, New York, also helped those on the front lines of Katrina relief as a pioneer in wireless technologies which can be installed quickly and efficiently in unpredictable environments. Cordeiro, who holds a Ph.D. in computer engineering and computer science, is at the forefront of work on Cognitive Radio technology, which allows wireless broadband services to be delivered to regions where wired infrastructure such as cable or DSL are unsuitable or not available. When disasters like Hurricane Katrina occur, communications among first responders become severely compromised but wireless technologies are able to make the critical connections.
In Florida, civil engineer Andrea Martinez, P.E., is tackling watershed management and flood control issues in a state where growing population, delicate estuarine systems and susceptibility to hurricanes make for daunting challenges. As project manager for PBS&J – a national consulting engineering firm – Martinez has created hydraulic and hydrologic modeling to assess existing flooding potential and water quality as well as alternatives analysis and project recommendations.
Further north on the Florida coast, another New Face making a difference is Harmony Myers, a NASA safety and reliability engineer at the Kennedy Space Center, who ensures the U.S. space shuttle program adheres to critical safety procedures and requirements. Myers reviews and manages risk analyses produced by contractors for the shuttle program. Her criticality assessments, and failure modes and effect analysis have helped guarantee a safer shuttle, as well as safer missions.
The travelers aided by Aviva Bieler may not go into space, but they, too, rely on the expertise of one of the New Faces of Engineering. As a mechanical engineer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Bieler works on ventilation infrastructure at the redeveloped World Trade Center site, including the air-conditioning and smoke control systems for the station platforms at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, a crossroads for hundreds of thousands of daily commuters.
Beyond the workplace, the New Faces serve as inspiration and role models for countless young people who may well be the next generations of engineers. Most volunteer as mentors to middle and high school students, participate in programs such as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and MATHCOUNTS, and provide support to college-level engineering students.
Others serve as role models on an even larger scale. When Merwin Yellowhair achieved his Professional Engineer (P.E.) license, it was a major step for an individual and an entire people, as he became one of the first members of the Diné (Navajo) Nation to ever do so. A chief engineer with AmericaBuilt Development in Tucson, Arizona, Yellowhair was determined to show engineering as a career option for Diné community members, acquiring Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees and becoming principal of an engineering firm – all before he turned 30. In reflecting on his success, he pays tribute to the strength derived from traditional songs and prayers of the Diné Nation.
Of course, engineering is also about fun, well represented in 2007’s New Faces by Ivan R. Diaz, P.E., who ensures ride safety at Walt Disney World Resort. Among his recent achievements was serving as a key member of the team that enhanced the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction. Diaz also plays an important role that few riders ever consider, such as his recent co-authoring of an automated system which verifies ride availability and improves maintenance efficiency.
The other 2007 New Faces of Engineering include:
- Sarah Arsenault, Ph.D., a senior research engineer at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut, develops safe, effective hydrogen storage systems for automotive fuel cells.
- Neil C. Decker, a reservoir engineer at BP in Houston, identifies and evaluates expected rates and reserves for new oil wells in the Texas panhandle.
- Jitamitra Desai, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor at the University of Arizona, develops theoretical and algorithmic processes for solving global optimization problems arising in transportation and emergency response management.
- Amanda Olesky, an applications engineer at Acument Global Technologies in Sterling Heights, Michigan, designs fasteners for automotive safety systems, including a new high strength and torque capability fastener for bolts used in the Cadillac SRX transmission.
- Theresa Schroeder, P.E., a design engineer at Whitman, Requardt and Associates, LLP, in Baltimore, provides critical mechanical system design for buildings at the vanguard of the green building movement.
- Asha Sharma, a project engineer at Draper Aden Associates in Richmond, Virginia, handles traffic planning, safety, calming and other transportation engineering challenges for the central Virginia corridor.
- Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Gregory Twohig, EIT, an assistant engineer on the USS Kentucky, helps develop radio software for lighter, more efficient communications technology in the field.
- Earl Valencia, EIT, a systems engineer at Raytheon Company in El Segundo, California, helps determine next generation technology for military defense, including missile defense radar and networked communication systems.
“It is exciting, and indeed appropriate, to recognize the contributions these ‘New Faces’ have made to what many consider to be an engineer’s highest calling – to improve our society’s quality of life,” says Richard C. Peters of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Engineers Week 2007 co-chair. “Leading by example, each has demonstrated a keen ability to bring such improvement ideas to fruition, even at relatively early stages of their careers. We applaud their efforts and look forward to future innovations that will no doubt emerge from the imaginations of these talented individuals.”
Information on all 59 New Faces nominations can be found at www.eweek.org.
New Faces of Engineering 2007 (listed by nominating society):
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Sarah Arsenault, Ph.D.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA
Carlos Cordeiro, Ph.D.
Society of Petroleum Engineers
Neil C. Decker
Institute of Industrial Engineers
Jitamitra Desai, Ph.D.
National Society of Professional Engineers
Ivan R. Diaz, P.E.
American Council of Engineering Companies
Andrea Martinez, P.E., CFM
Society of Women Engineers
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
Theresa Schroeder, P.E.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Danielle Stephens, EIT
U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program
LTJG Gregory Twohig, EIT
Chinese Institute of Engineers – USA
Earl Valencia, EIT
American Society of Civil Engineers
Merwin Yellowhair, P.E.
Engineers Week, a formal coalition of more than 75 engineering, professional, and technical societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies, was founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers. The program is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students and by promoting pre-college literacy in math and science. Engineers Week also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineers' contributions to society. Co-chairs for Engineers Week 2007, February 18-24, are the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and Tyco Electronics. Visit www.eweek.org.