Ipshita Thomas, a civil engineering graduate, has received a $10,000 scholarship from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the top prize in ACEC’s 2009 national scholarship program.  Earlier this year, Thomas received a $1,000 scholarship from ACEC of Tennessee, which qualified her to compete with engineering students from throughout the United States in the national scholarship program.

Ipshita Thomas

“Ipshita’s application was the clear and unanimous winner in both the state and national competition,” said Everett Cowan, PE, F.ACEC, Gresham, Smith and Partners, Nashville, who chaired ACEC of Tennessee’s 2009 Scholarship Committee. “She, of course, had the requisite college GPA, but her essay is what really won the day. It was very well written and clearly articulated the issues that engineers face in today’s new green environment.”

Thomas, age 20, is a resident of Chattanooga.  She recently graduated from the University with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.  This year, she led the UTC team in its senior design project of an intermodal transit center for Chattanooga, a project that placed second in a National Council of Examiners of Engineering and Surveying competition, winning $7,500 for the university. As a graduate student at UTC in Civil Engineering, she will focus her research on infrastructure health monitoring.  She anticipates receiving her Master’s degree by December 2010.

Thomas is a 2005 graduate of both Hamilton County Middle College High School and Chattanooga State Technical Community College with an Associate of Science degree. She was an Environmental Compliance and Dam Safety Intern with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).  She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served as student president in 2008. Thomas is also a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and the Society of Women Engineers. In addition, she tutors local elementary school students and helps organize the “Engineering a Future” event for the local Girl Scouts.

ACEC of Tennessee has awarded a scholarship to a Tennessee engineering student since 2003. Past winners were students at Tennessee Tech, Vanderbilt and UT-Knoxville.

About ACEC
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the voice of America’s engineering industry. Council members – numbering more than 5,500 firms throughout the country – are engaged in a wide range of engineering works that propel the nation’s economy, and enhance and safeguard America’s quality of life. ACEC’s roots date back to 1909 when a loosely organized group of engineers in private practice established the American Institute of Consulting Engineers (AICE), the forerunner of ACEC. Today ACEC is a large federation of 51 state and regional councils representing the great breadth of America’s engineering industry. ACEC member firms employ hundreds of thousands of engineers, architects, land surveyors, scientists, and other specialists, responsible for more than $200 billion of private and public works annually. Member firms range in size from a single registered professional engineer to corporations employing thousands of professionals.

About ACEC of Tennessee
Founded in 1968, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee (ACEC of Tennessee) is a statewide organization of more than 110 engineering firms.  ACEC of Tennessee has chapters in Nashville, Chattanooga, East Tennessee and Memphis.  The organization works to improve business practices of engineering firms and to enhance public awareness and understanding of the value of engineering services.

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