New York, NY – June 15, 2012 - The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation has named Daniel Lu, Cameron Ritchie and Barbara Simpson as the first recipients of its National Scholarship. Graduates from Cornell University, Princeton University and the University of Kansas, respectively, the three engineering students will each receive $10,000 to pursue a master’s degree in structural engineering.
The scholarship winners were chosen from 20 candidates at 12 universities across the country. Candidates were nominated by a university dean or department chair, and graded on factors such as career goals, academic accomplishments, and demonstrated interest in the integration of structural engineering and architecture. Recipients must intend to make an impact on the structural design of buildings, and practice structural engineering in the building field upon completion of their degree requirements.
The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation jury, which reviewed the submissions, included Chicago Managing Principal Joe Burns and senior principals Bruce Gibbons of Los Angeles, Steve Hofmeister of Kansas City, Gary Mancini of New York and R. Wayne Stocks of Washington, D.C.
Daniel Lu holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a minor in architecture from Cornell University.
He was previously a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) working on the development of a unified performance-based methodology to evaluate the fire behavior of structures.
Mr. Lu is interested in studying the behavior of materials to achieve innovative structural systems and building forms, energy efficient façade design, structural collapse investigation and architectural design principles to enhance collaboration between architects and engineers.
Cameron Ritchie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Princeton University.
For his undergraduate thesis, Mr. Ritchie compared the design of the John Hancock Center to a redesign of the Chicago landmark using an optimized diagrid form. He developed a computer algorithm that optimized the diagrid to compare the efficiency of a trussed tube structural system to a diagrid structural system.
Mr. Ritchie’s career aspirations involve the construction and design of large-scale projects and the integration of architecture into structural design systems.
Barbara Simpson has a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering with a concentration in structural engineering from the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Last summer, Ms. Simpson worked at Thornton Tomasetti’s Kansas City office as an intern, assisting on the tornado damage assessment at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and analyzing existing and new load cases for the south expansion of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. She is currently an intern in the firm’s Los Angeles office.
Ms. Simpson is focused on pursuing a master’s degree in structural engineering with an emphasis on seismic design.
“Daniel, Cameron and Barbara have bright futures ahead of them. We look forward to learning about the success and good fortune they come across in their graduate programs. The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation is proud to offer students the opportunity to fulfill their dream of attending graduate school and pursue a career in structural engineering.”
Richard Tomasetti, chairman, Thornton Tomasetti Foundation
The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation, a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization established in February 2008, has two primary missions including funding fellowships, scholarships and internships for undergraduate students, and those planning to pursue graduate studies in building engineering, design or technology and providing financial support for individuals and organizations pursuing philanthropic activities related to building engineering, design or technology. Key elements of the program are college scholarships, traveling internships, and grants to, and partnerships with nonprofit organizations.