NGSEA Wins 2021 SEI Graduate Student Chapter of the Year
The Northeastern Graduate Structural Engineering Association (NGSEA) was selected by the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Local Activities Division as the Graduate Student Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row. The 2020 and 2021 awards recognize the engagement of the group members and the leadership of Nicholas Briggs (current NGSEA president), Fangzheng Sun (current NGSEA Vice President), Andrew Summerfield (past NGSEA President), and Professor Mehrdad Sasani (NGSEA’s Student Organization Advisor).
A year of virtual engagement and meetings did not stop Northeastern’s Graduate Structural Engineering Association’s (NGSEA) progress, as the student group earned the 2021 Chapter of the Year award from the Structural Engineering Institute Local Activities Division.
Fangzheng ‘Andy’ Sun, the NGSEA’s president, said consistent events and learning opportunities made the award possible. Northeastern’s NGSEA shifted all its meetings online and continued to offer the same research presentations, coffee hours and guest speakers that it offered before the pandemic caused some disruptions.
“Our frequent meetings and activities are essential for this achievement,” Sun, a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Engineering, said. “They have increased membership retention and involvement, even in the virtual environment. NGSEA members used our meetings to stay connected with each other throughout the year. The leadership makes a point to stay active in SEI and attend the monthly meetings, events, and training.”
The NGSEA’s leadership includes Sun, and Vice President R. Bailey Bond. Nicholas Briggs served as the group’s president in 2020 with Sun as vice president. NGSEA’s Student Organization Advisor is Professor Mehrdad Sasani, civil and environmental engineering.
“NGSEA has been striving to meet the various needs of structural engineering students at Northeastern ever since its foundation,” Sun said. “It gradually made larger impacts within the department and promoted interdisciplinary engagement through PhD research presentations from sectors other than structures students.”
The group includes 15 PhD students and 29 master’s students. Activities include guest speakers from industries or external academia, mini town hall meetings, research presentations and documentary nights. NGSEA also includes social activities such as coffee hours and an architecture tour. The group went on a Charles River kayaking trip this year to see a floating wetlands project by Max Rome, civil and environmental engineering PhD candidate.
“In addition to valuable professional connections, we continue to grow a positive social culture necessary for an active student body at any university in any major,” Sun said.
Visit the COE NGSEA website.