The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation (TTF) has awarded four college students—Tamika Bassman, Diego Rivera, Lorenzo Ferrari, Sooraj Kumar A.O. Nair — with scholarships and research fellowships for use during the 2019-20 academic year.
8th Annual National Scholarship
Bassman, Rivera and Ferrari are the recipients of the TTF National Scholarship. Each will receive $10,000 to pursue graduate studies in building engineering, design or technology.
Students were nominated by a dean or department chair and submissions were reviewed by a jury of Thornton Tomasetti Managing Director Peter DiMaggio, Managing Principal R. Wayne Stocks, Senior Principal Peggy Van Eepoel, and Principal Robert Sinn. Winners were chosen based on academic achievements and an interest in the integration of engineering and architecture.
Bassman graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, College of Engineering in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering This fall, she will pursue a master’s degree in structural engineering, focusing on seismic design and risk analysis. Bassman was the design lead for the UC Berkeley Steel Bridge competition for three years, and was also part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, leading a research project investigating the compression behavior of confined hybrid fiber-reinforced concrete.
Rivera graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a 4.00 GPA and will pursue a master’s degree in structural engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall, researching topology optimization and studying the synthesis of architecture and structural engineering from a more computational perspective. During his senior year at CalPoly, Rivera was project manager for the year-long Capstone Senior Design Project, where he managed a multi-disciplinary team of seven in the structural design of an engineering building, parking structure and transit center on the CalPoly campus.
Ferrari received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in May 2019 from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, graduating among the top two of his 30-person class. Ferrari’s graduate studies will focus on the mechanics principals that govern behavior of structural engineering and systems to deliver inspired architecture. While at Columbia, Ferrari led a team of three students in producing a design proposal for the AISC’s student steel bridge competition. He was also a member of the Tau Beta Pi honor society and vice president of the school’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
4th Annual Student Innovation Fellowship
As recipient of the Student Innovation Fellowship, Nair will receive $5,000 to fund a research project that furthers innovation in the structural engineering and applied mechanics practice. Students were nominated by a dean or department chair and submissions were reviewed by a Thornton Tomasetti jury of Senior Principal Elisabeth Malsch, Vice Presidents Andrew Blasetti and Liling Cao, and Senior Engineer Dongming Feng.
Nair is a doctoral student in Arizona State University’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, where he has been working on the 3D printing of cement-based materials and is in the process of developing a robotic-arm-assisted concrete 3D printing system. The TTF fellowship will allow Nair to procure the parts and carry out the trial experiments needed to integrate a functioning robot with a concrete pump and delivery system that is able to control the robotic arm to delivery continuous concrete delivery at the rate and volume required.
Nair is working towards his Ph.D. in civil engineering at ASU. He also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Calicut, India.
“The recipients of this year’s scholarships and fellowships are truly expectational young minds that are already having an impact on the AEC industry. TTF is proud to support Tamika, Diego, Lorenzo, and Sooraj as they develop into the next generation of engineers that will lead us into the future.”
Richard Tomasetti, chairman, Thornton Tomasetti Foundation
The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation, a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization established in February 2008, is focused on funding fellowships, scholarships and internships for undergraduate students and those planning to pursue graduate studies in building engineering, design or technology. It also provides 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.