National Society Recognizes College of Engineering as “Academic Ally”

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania – On behalf of the Penn State College of Engineering, Justin Schwartz, Dean Harold and Inge Marcus of the College of Engineering, and Esther Adhiambo Obonyo, Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Architectural Engineering and Director of the Global Building Network, received the Academic Ally Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) on December 2, 2021.

The award was one of five “best of the best” honors given out at the fifth annual ASME Engineering for Change (E4C) Impact.Engineered. This meeting celebrates the sustainable development ecosystem that brings together leading engineers, philanthropists, academics and social entrepreneurs working to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and improve the quality of life in the world. world.

“The E4C program facilitates critically important work, and we are proud and grateful to be strong supporters,” Obonyo said during the virtual ceremony.

Recognized for its ongoing partnership with the ASME and E4C programs and its shared mission to train the future workforce together, the college has demonstrated a commitment to social innovation with meaningful programs and faculty who are encouraged and supported, according to ASME. Specifically, ASME highlighted thelatest impact project between E4C and Penn Stateon assessing barriers preventing the effective application of housing solutions to improve housing resilience to flooding using Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as a case study. E4C selects an annual cohort of fellows from various graduate programs at universities across the country to pursue research projects related to supporting the SDGs.

Obonyo advised and mentored two Penn State teams E4C Fellows related to resilient housing:

  • 2020: Sun Hwi Bang, PhD student in materials science and engineering, and Julio Diarte, PhD student in architecture, who developed design and material concepts for resilient social housing in Kenya and Tanzania

  • 2021: Tiffanie Leung, graduate student in architecture, and Ali Ghazvinian, doctoral student in architecture, who advanced the concepts by examining barriers and enablers to scale up the deployment of affordable and resilient housing strategies in Dar es Salaam.

“Much of our work is channeled through our Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program and, more recently, through the Global Building Network, formed as a partnership between Penn State and the United States Economic Commission. United Nations for Europe, and led by Professor Obonyo, to implement solutions for the built environment worldwide,” Schwartz said at the ceremony. “With participants from all facets of Penn State and beyond, we enthusiastically support projects that apply engineering in ways that improve the lives of everyone. We design for humanity, and we are proud to partner with E4C in this pursuit.

Kendra Sharp, Head ofNational Science Foundation Office of International Science and Engineering, presented the award to Schwartz and Obonyo.

To see the full list of rewards and learn more about the event, read the original press release here.

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