Bethlehem, Pa. – July 26, 2010 - The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation has awarded a $15,000 scholarship to Eddie M. Guerra, a student enrolled in the Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering program at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.
Mr. Guerra was selected for the scholarship for his academic excellence, strong leadership skills and in-depth undergraduate research experience. During his time at Lehigh University, he focused his studies on theory-oriented classes, which concentrated on the physical behavior of structures. For his master of engineering design project, he worked on the analysis of a 24-story building, while also conducting experimental research in steel design. He graduated in May 2010 with a Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering.
“Eddie has been an outstanding student in our program,” said Jennifer Gross, professor of practice and director of the Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering Program at Lehigh University. “He gained a wealth of experience interning at Thornton Tomasetti’s Philadelphia office. His keen interest in structures, architecture and sustainability was the perfect match for the firm’s background and practices.”
The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation has a strong history of supporting and encouraging education in engineering. The endowment will be used to provide scholarships to students who are enrolled in the Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering program at Lehigh University. The scholarship, in its second year, is awarded to a graduate student in structural engineering deemed by the department to have the potential to make an impact in the field professionally.
Mr. Guerra grew up in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, 75 miles west of San Juan. The swift urban development that characterized Puerto Rico in the late 1990s with projects like The Coliseum of Puerto Rico, The Puerto Rico Convention Center and The Tren Urbano, inspired his interest in architecture and engineering. He graduated magna cum laude in 2008 with a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. Since his last years at Puerto Rico, he has been devoted to the earthquake engineering research field, focusing on the behavior of self-centered concentrically-braced frames and side plate-reinforced steel moment connections.
“As a passionate supporter of art, technology and culture, I found structural engineering to be a profession that fills my heart,” Mr. Guerra said. “I have found a great joy in designing and analyzing earthquake-resistant structures, which I believe will transform this world into a safer place.”
While attending the master’s program at Lehigh University, he found inspiration in the legacies of Lynn S. Beedle and Fazlur R. Khan, which resulted in his commitment to the design of safer and smarter urban infrastructures. He is currently founding a society dedicated to the exchange of knowledge among young Puerto Rican engineers.
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.