Graduate student receives American Society of Civil Engineers award


By Tim Schley

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Min Liew, a doctoral candidate studying civil engineering at Penn State, has been named a recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Central Pennsylvania Section 2020 Student Award.

Liew is one of four students to receive the $2,000 scholarship, presented annually to students who attend a college or university, or maintain permanent residency, in ASCE’s Central Pennsylvania Section. The section supports the development of members in the civil engineering and construction industry throughout central Pennsylvania.

Recognition for the award was determined based on a combination of grade-point average, activities and honors, a personal essay and a recommendation from an adviser.

“Min is instrumental in several multidisciplinary and multi-institutional National Science Foundation grants that I received as a principal investigator,” said Ming Xiao, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. “She provided critical assistance during the proposal writing and is now leading two Navigating the New Arctic projects and participating in a Signals in the Soil project. Min is always willing to spend time helping fellow students, whether as an experienced researcher or a lab instructor. I think she will make an excellent faculty member upon graduation next year.”

As a member of Xiao’s research team, Liew studies the performance of civil infrastructure in response to permafrost degradation and coastal erosion in the Arctic. She said this award gives her the confidence to keep striving for excellence while finding solutions for the ever-present threat of climate change.

“I believe we, as civil engineers, are obligated to identify challenges and provide solutions in improving infrastructure facing climate change,” Liew said. “We also need to communicate effectively with decision makers and the public to solve such pressing issues. I am grateful that the awards committee has recognized my efforts in doing so.”

In addition to the $2,000 scholarship, Liew will receive recognition of the award at a virtual lunch meeting on April 14, hosted by the ASCE Central Pennsylvania Section.


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