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Oregon Tech Civil Engineering Student Wins National Engineering Scholarship

Jul 26, 2018
Civil engineering student Kurtis Pipkin received a scholarship from the American Society of Civil Engineers

Civil engineering student Kurtis Pipkin received a scholarship from the American Society of Civil Engineers.A senior in the Oregon Institute of Technology “Oregon Tech” Civil Engineering degree program, Kurtis Pipkin of Banks, Oregon, was awarded the Eugene C. Figg, Jr. Civil Engineering Scholarship in the amount of $2,750 from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He was one of only two students from Oregon to receive an award from the organization.

“[Kurtis] is an absolute standout in our program academically, in his extracurricular activities, and ethically,” said Oregon Tech’s Dr. Charles Riley, a professor of civil engineering. “He is a student who goes above and beyond to make the most of an academic experience, exploring experiments in the laboratory beyond the requirements to learn that little bit more, building spreadsheets to conduct parametric analyses of problems he finds interesting, and asking the question that takes the classroom discussion to the next level.” 

Pipkin began his freshman and sophomore years involved at Oregon Tech as an academic tutor, goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team, and working 40 hours a week at two jobs. His experience as a tutor gained him a recommendation to work with a local mentoring company, Friends of the Children, where he helped high school students struggling with math. Entering his junior year, Pipkin reduced his outside work hours and became dedicated to tutoring 20 hours a week and participating more in Oregon Tech’s ASCE-AGC student chapter.

One of the projects Pipkin helped the chapter spearhead was working with a local middle school to bring younger students onto Oregon Tech’s campus for involvement in designing and constructing a concrete bridge on campus. Teaming up with local businesses who donated their time, Pipkin and the chapter installed the bridge in June 2017.

“Working with the kids, it’s cool to show them the interesting parts and all that goes into an engineering project,” Pipkin said.

Pipkin is also a participant in the Civil Engineering Cooperative Program, known as CECOP, an internship that allows students to work for companies in the Pacific Northwest over two, six-month periods.

Concrete bridge

“For my first internship, I worked for the City of Eugene Public Works Department,” said Pipkin. “I worked on a variety of road reconstruction and pedestrian improvement projects. I gained experience in Civil3D, surveying, and construction inspection. After working in Eugene, I started my second internship with HHPR in Portland, Oregon. HHPR is a private civil/structural engineering firm with multiple offices around the Pacific Northwest. I will continue to work at HHPR until I start my senior year in Fall, 2018.”

Nominating Pipkin for the scholarship, Dr. Riley shared, “He will do amazing things for the civil engineering profession by representing us well, succeeding in increasingly responsible positions, and leading the way for many. I have the utmost confidence in him, his abilities, and his future.”
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