PhD Student Proposes Vision for the Future of Engineering in Utah

Mina Golazad, Construction Engineering PhD student, has been awarded second place in the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum Scholarship program for her vision of engineering in the future state.

Mina’s response to the prompt, “Be Future Ready,” garnered recognition from the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum. This year’s prompt challenged participants to envision the challenges new civil engineers will face in designing resilient structures for the future and predicting the changes Utah cities will undergo in the next 50 years. Scholarships were awarded based on participants’ proposal to addressing these challenges.

In her response, Mina outlined a vision for the future of civil and construction engineering, emphasizing the necessity for resilient and sustainable infrastructure to combat the impacts of climate change and accommodate population growth—two predominant issues Utah will face in the future. She highlighted key challenges, including preparing for extreme weather events, managing limited water resources, building smart cities, and integrating new technologies.

Specifically, she underscored the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in optimizing smart city operations. Mina outlined her intention to specialize in leveraging AI and big data to model urban systems, predict infrastructure failures, and enhance city management.

Furthermore, Mina emphasized the importance of collaboration and interdisciplinary engagement in addressing Utah’s growth challenges. She advocated for engineers to work alongside economists, ecologists, public health experts, and marginalized communities to develop holistic and multifunctional infrastructure solutions.

Mina’s forward-thinking response earned her the second-place award in the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum Scholarship program, accompanied by a $1,000 scholarship. She will be honored at the ASCE Utah Section Annual Meeting on Friday, June 28th, 2024. The achievement reflects the dedication and innovation of our students in tackling pressing civil engineering challenges.

Mina is among the passionate individuals in our diverse Construction Engineering cohort, which proudly includes significant female representation, all committed to building a better future. Women make up a higher percentage in construction engineering than any other engineering field, making it a unique opportunity for women to thrive. The field also allows women to assume more leadership positions compared to other engineering disciplines, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a dynamic and inclusive career path.

Join us in congratulating Mina Golazad on this remarkable accomplishment. We look forward to witnessing her contributions to the advancement of construction engineering and its future in Utah.