(New York, NY – April 29, 2013) – The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation endowment to the University of Illinois Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering awarded its fifth Eli W. Cohen Scholarship recently to Alexander Lakocy, a UI civil engineering major with a focus on structural engineering.
The $25,000 Thornton Tomasetti Foundation - Eli W. Cohen Endowment was established in 2008 in memory of the structural engineering pioneer who helped shape the Chicago skyline. The long-time Thornton Tomasetti principal passed away in May 2007 at the age of 80.
The $1,500 scholarship was presented to Mr. Lakocy by Robert M. Stadler, S.E., P.E., a vice president in Thornton Tomasetti’s Chicago office, at the 2013 Civil and Environmental Awards Convocation Luncheon, Saturday, April 6 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, Ill.
The scholarship selection process is based on a review of all applicants by a scholarship committee at the University of Illinois Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Mr. Lakocy was chosen because of his study of structural engineering and outstanding academic record, which includes a 3.99 GPA.
The endowment is used annually to provide scholarships to undergraduate students who are enrolled in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The annual scholarship award is given to a structural engineering student deemed by the Department to have the potential to make an impact in the field professionally.
Eli Cohen graduated with a civil engineering degree from the University of Illinois in 1955. He joined Paul Rogers Associates, a structural engineering firm in Chicago, became partner in 1965, then president and principal of Cohen-Barreto-Marchertas (CBM) in 1969. In 1993, CBM merged with Thornton Tomasetti.
Born in Germany in 1927, Mr. Cohen and his family fled the Nazis and moved to Palestine in 1935. After high school, he served as a communications officer in the Haganah, fighting for Israeli Independence in 1948. Mr. Cohen moved to the United States in 1953, and after receiving a civil engineering degree from UIUC, went on to become a leading member of the Chicago engineering community.
Mr. Cohen also spearheaded numerous philanthropic efforts, particularly his firm’s involvement with the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Newhouse Architectural Program, which gives high school students the opportunity to enter the field of architecture and design. He served on the board of Congregation Beth Emet in Evanston and led a tour in Israel that included, among other sites, a building named in his honor at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
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.