Civil Engineering Senior Honored with ASCE Industry Awards

Sept. 8, 2021

By Holly Hinson
Sophie Lipomanis

Sophie Lipomanis

Sophie Lipomanis, Senior, Civil Engineering, has been given two separate prestigious awards from American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Her selection as recipient of the 2021 William Wisely Award by the President of the National ASCE is a recognition of dedicated service she has given to students and the profession over the recent years.

“It was a great surprise to see a student win this prestigious award,” said Mark French, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering. “I don’t know if one ever has. I looked back through available records through 1986 and a student has never won,” he said. “Sophie exemplifies the best in student character through her vision for building professional credentials and involvement in co-curricular student organizations such as ASCE student chapter, Speed School Student Council, and more,” said French.

In the William Wisely Award letter Lipomanis received, ASCE President Jean-Louis Briaud noted, “Your leadership and creativity with the Student Presidential Group has been remarkable and deserving of outstanding recognition. You are an example to all of us for selfless service as well as energy, and I am convinced that your impact on our profession will be broad and far reaching.”

“I didn’t know the Wisely Award was even an option for me,” said Lipomanis. “Usually, in ASCE, our industry professionals are recognized for services and amazing accomplishments, building things to help communities,” she said. “The fact that they even thought I was doing something of that caliber is just so humbling,” said Lipomanis.

The civil engineering senior was also recently recognized as an individual recipient of the 2021 ASCE Student Leadership Award from the ASCE’s Committee on Student Members. In addition, the senior currently serves as an ASCE National Student Ambassador, 2021-2022, Chair of ASCE National Student Presidential Group and the current President, University of Louisville ASCE Student Chapter.

In her work as the president of the Student Presidential Group (SPG) at ASCE, Lipomanis has participated on national and international panels to help students transition to professional civil engineers. “We try to connect all student chapter presidents, not just American but across 16 countries,” she said. “We want chapter presidents opening lines of communication so people don’t feel like they are starting chapters on their own. We give them a pathway for chapters to grow faster and to have access to top ASCE professionals.”

Dr. Zhihui Sun, Chairperson and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, congratulated Sophie on her latest kudos. “Her achievements make a great contribution to our department. Sophie is exceptional because of her personality and dedication. She is a team player at the same time as a great leader.”

After her graduation in May 2022, Lipomanis plans to continue her civil engineering career in the U.S. Navy. Before she leaves Speed School, she said her goal is to pass on her knowledge and enthusiasm for civil engineering to other students. “I want to get every civil engineering sophomore into ASCE. COVID-19 robbed them of that traditional college experience,” she said. “Civil engineering is about connecting communities and connecting worlds. I’m still learning, and always so excited to learn more. I want those students equally excited.”