Amazing Success Stories from Dr. Z’s Students at The University of the District of Columbia and George Mason University
We hope our readers had an enjoyable and productive summer. For us September means the beginning of another exciting academic year. We truly enjoy being “Engineering Educators” since we are continuously working with young minds, inspiring, motivating and most importantly educating them to become our future engineers.
For this month’s ASCE-NCS newsletter article, I’ve decided to share some amazing success stories of my students both at UDC and GMU. As you may already know, nothing gives us educators more joy than talking about our students’ success stories. For this article I’ve picked six amazing students among five hundred.
Victoria Church, unquestionably Dr.Z’s best student at UDC. She transferred from UVA, is the heroine of UDC’s Steel Bridge victory, and is the driver of UDC’s MARS ROVER of NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Competition. Victoria wrote “Dr.Z. thank you so, so much for supporting my Structural Engineering education and for being a HUGE ADVOCATE for me. You helped instill confidence in myself that I will take with me to my new job at Jacobs.” According to rumors, Victoria’s starting salary made some young colleagues envious! Good luck Victoria! You’ll be a great engineer; don’t forget your alma mater and keep making us proud. Also, it is not too early to start working for your PE exam. Let us know if you need any help.
Mutlu Gunduz, one of my BEST students at GMU who took my CEIE-400 class there wrote, “ I have a great news for you Dr. Z. Yes, I have CONQUERED my FE exam on my first try. I cannot tell you how happy I am. First I was a little nervous but having Dr. Z in my corner made all the difference. In the exam, on several questions, your well known “Guerrilla Methods” made all the difference and I easily solved them in no time. Even though a thousand words of gratitude would not be enough, I still want to say again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH Dr. Z. for your time, effort, and mentorship. By the way let me know when you are free. Because Starbucks coffee will be on me this time, as I promised.” We wish Mutlu good luck! We’ve already told him to start preparing for his PE exam immediately. Mutlu has our phone number; our commitment to our students is not for a semester, but for life.
Sandae Tait, one of our star students at UDC, took the FE exam while taking our FE Prep class (CVEN 418) at UDC and CONQUERED it on his first attempt. Yet, Sandae’s success story didn’t end there. He applied to COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY for his graduate studies in Civil Engineering and in May 2019 he received a full scholarship. We wish him good luck.
Samantha Babbitt, one of our best students in CEIE-400 classes at George Mason CONQUERED her FE exam on her FIRST try. Samantha sent us a note (including Mr. Simmons) and said “Your techniques and GORILLA formulas saved me lots of time in the exam. Also, your calculator shortcuts saved me a ton of time which we learned in your classes. Thank you.” I am glad our instruction and tools in CEIE-400 helped her to conquer her FE exam on her first try. We wish Samantha all the best.
Stacey Lockerman was UDC ASCE Student Chapter president and another star student from UDC. I met her first time back in 2013 as a Mechanical Engineering major in my Intro to Engineering freshman class. Immediately I knew that she was a very special student. At the end of that semester Stacey decided not only to switch to Civil Engineering but also decided to attend to our pro-bono Saturday classes for FE and PE exams at UDC. Back in 2013 she wrote “Dr. Z. Having just begun college this semester, I still have a long way to go, but for fun I already try to construct my own formulas based on different topics. When it comes to being creative, I am always trying to come up with new ideas by thinking of ways things can be done differently or looking at things from a different viewpoint.” In May 2019, Stacey graduated from UDC and received a full scholarship from COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. We wish Stacey all the best. She will be a great Civil Engineer.
Mera Shabti was a STAR student in our CEIE-400 class at George Mason. On March 29 and 30, Mason’s Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Sid and Reva Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering (CEIE) at GMU hosted the annual ASCE Virginia’s Conference and various competitions were organized. Amazingly, Mera was the 1st PLACE WINNER at Marr Technical Paper Competition, Hardy Cross Competition, and Geotechnical Challenge GMU Team. Department Chair Prof. Sam Salem and ASCE faculty advisors Profs. Liza Durant and Doaa Bondok provided guidance and support throughout the competition. We wish Mera all the best. She will definitely be a great Civil Engineer.
Until next time,
Ahmet Zeytinci (Dr.Z.)
Advice to Engineering Students/Engineers:
How to Advance and be More Marketable in the 21st Century
You thought that graduating with a BS would open every door, but are surprised that the value of the degree has not kept pace with societal transformations. Quite often students and engineers find themselves in this situation and ask for advice.
Market developments, decaying infrastructure, cost overruns, schedule delays, new technologies, changes in legislation, scope changes, lack of data, loss of reputation, and cyber incidents are a few reasons why engineering organizations around the globe brace themselves against an era of greater uncertainty.
Engineering organizations need professionals trained in the risk analysis sciences to be prepared to respond to this risky environment. Fortunately, an online Master of Science in Risk Assessment and Management is offered at Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU). NDMU MS in Risk Management is a fully online program in Risk Management comprising ten 3-credit courses in the risk analysis sciences. The program has a post-baccalaureate certificate (six 3-credit courses). These stackable credentials are designed for engineering professionals who desire further professional qualifications in the emerging and fast-growing field of Risk Assessment & Management. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has chosen this program to educate its leaders since 2015. I invite you to learn risk management where USACE does.
I recommend the NDMU MS in Risk Management because I know the qualifications of the people running the program. This program is unique among risk management programs in its focus on risk analysis science (Aven, 2018), rather than on a more-narrow discipline-based approach to risk management. This assures that engineering professionals from any community of practice will gain practical, insightful, useful, and adaptable knowledge of risk analysis science including risk management, risk assessment, and risk communication. The MS in Risk Management provides students an in-depth education that prepares them to become risk management experts. Students are also empowered to introduce the practice of risk management into their organizations or to contribute in substantial ways to organizations that already practice risk management.
The program enables its graduates to:
- Introduce the best practice techniques of risk management and risk analysis science to their organizations;
- Acquire the skills required to manage risks to avoid loss and to take prudent risks for potential gain;
- Build qualitative and quantitative risk assessment skills;
- Communicate effectively in crisis and risk situations that threaten your organization or its constituents and stakeholders;
- Conduct one’s self-ethically in situations where systems breakdown and rules of conduct are challenged; and,
- Introduce a risk management framework to risk-management naïve organizations or to enhance the effectiveness of existing risk management practices.
Working online with other professionals from around the nation and world, students learn the principles of risk management, risk assessment, and risk communication in eight-week courses. Graduates will become risk experts in their chosen fields and may find new career opportunities that include Risk Management Director, Risk Assessor, Risk Manager, Risk Analyst, Risk Management Consultant, Risk Control Supervisor, Director of Corporate Risk Management, and Chief Risk Officer.
Courses are taken one at a time where the recommended sequence begins in the fall with Risk Management followed by Risk Assessment, spring courses are Uncertainty and Quantitative Risk Assessment. The two summer courses are Risk Communication and Ethics and Risk Governance. This sequence completes the certificate. The second fall comprises Enterprise Risk Management and Managing Together followed by Adaptive Leadership and Decision Making Under Uncertainty during the second spring to complete the MS.
Professor Charles Yoe, Ph.D., Director of the Risk Management program, has over three decades of domestic and international experience working on risk issues in over two dozen nations. He was a principle trainer for many U.S. FDA and Department of Agriculture risk analysts and is the author of a popular textbook, Principles of Risk Analysis Decision-Making Under Uncertainty, second edition. His experience includes work on over 50 risk-based engineering projects and over 25 years of teaching risk analysis methods to engineers. Program faculty have an industry-leading domain of experience in risk.
Here what some students have said about the program:
"I had almost no background in this field. I now have resources and knowledge that can assist me in my current job and possibly applying for jobs that require this knowledge…"
"I now have knowledge of uncertainty that I can apply in making recommendations to Risk Managers, especially in the ability to resist giving a one-dimensional answer."
"One obvious measure of course value is if the material can or will be used on the job. Not only have I applied the lessons learned at work but also have shared what I have learned with co-workers."
"Relevant, challenging, timely, so aligned with job, use content at work on daily basis.”
Until next time,
Ahmet Zeytinci (Dr.Z.)