Society Honors Nguyen, Santos and Zamiran

ASCE has honored Don Nguyen, P.E., M.ASCE; Noe Santos, P.E., M.ASCE; and Siavash Zamiran, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, with the 2019 Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement. They are cited for professional achievement in service to the advancement of the profession, evidence of technical competence, high character and integrity, and contributions to public service.

Nguyen is a leader in the Society and in the industry. He has moved up the ranks of the YMF and has held many roles, from community service chair to president. Always willing to step up and help any way he can, he was led to develop and run the mentorship program for the Seattle Section. Nguyen has always been an advocate for community service. In 2017 he went to rural Panama to build a pedestrian bridge with Bridges to Prosperity. Devoting his time, energy, and money, he also raised some of the funds through a fundraiser, which helped to promote awareness of the program. He has also been taking on increasing responsibilities at work with his change of role on the Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge project to deputy project manager. When the opportunity arose to lead the project, he gladly accepted the challenge. With a multidisciplinary team and ever-changing scope, he can respond to the needs of the client. Nguyen never seems to turn down a chance to promote the engineering profession, as is evidenced by his long list of accomplishments. He personally mentored a University of Washington student and provides opportunities for students of all ages through his involvement in resume review nights, mock-interview nights, K-12 outreach events, university outreach events, lunch-and-learns, construction tours, and networking and professional development events. It is clear he believes in making a positive change in the local and global communities he lives in.

Santos is a driven and talented practicing professional civil engineer whose significant service, contributions, and leadership to the local and national civil engineering profession are both noteworthy and vast. Because of his distinguishing leadership qualities and professionalism, he continually embodies and advances ASCE’s vision: being a global leader in building a better quality of life. He is a champion for bridging the transitional gap between student and younger member chapters. He was the pivotal person in the oversight of all financial matters for the 2018 Western Region Younger Member Council (WRYMC) conference, where he served as treasurer for the 2018 WRYMC Planning Committee and 2018 LV YMF. Santos oversaw a combined budget of close to $85,000, and under his meticulous bookkeeping, both budgets remained balanced till the end of the fiscal year. A graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), he served as a student chapter officer and board member for the Southern Nevada Branch Younger Member Form (LV YMF), where he is currently PE review chair. At the Society level he serves on the Member Communities Committee (MCC). He has received the 2016 ASCE WRYMC Outstanding Young Civil Engineer in the Public Sector and the 2017 ASCE Young Government Civil Engineer of the Year awards. His completed master’s thesis project allowed for the first ever wide-scale application for massive solar distillation using artificial intelligence methods, which could benefit rural communities without access to potable water. His in-progress Ph.D. dissertation will help water resources managers better understand which global climate models are best suited to their geographical area. Santos currently works as a civil/hydrologic engineer at the U.S. Department of the Interior–Bureau of Reclamation.

Zamiran is a very talented, highly motivated, and skilled researcher and professional who has done several investigations in the area of geotechnical, petroleum, and mining engineering. Specifically, he has conducted different research and professional projects regarding retaining walls, soil nailing systems, tunneling, levee erosions, deep foundations in expansive walls, subsidence due to underground mining, and soil-pipe interaction analysis. He has won several awards, including the Itasca Education Partnership Award, International Association of Foundation Drilling’s ADSC Award, ASCE Geo-Confluence Research Scholarship, and ASCE Young Engineer Award, St. Louis Section. He earned his B.S. in civil engineering from Azad University, in Kurdistan, his M.S. in geotechnical engineering also from Azad University, where he was ranked second among master’s graduates, and his Ph.D. in civil engineering–geotechnical from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he won the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Zamiran is the founder and former president of the SIUE Geo-Institute Graduate Student Organization. Additionally, he has been a first or cooperative author on more than 25 publications in the field of civil and geotechnical engineering. He is committed to excellence in civil engineering. He currently serves ASCE on the Geo-Institute Deep Foundations Committee, where he is organizing a scanning tour to European universities and industries for investigation of offshore foundations. For the same Geo-Institute, he also serves on the Rock Mechanics Committee, the Geophysical Engineering Committee, the Computational Geotechnics Committee, and the Earth Retaining Structures Committee.

The Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement is made to younger members of ASCE (35 years of age or below) who are judged to have attained significant professional achievements by the degree to which they have served to advance the profession; exhibited technical competence, high character, and integrity; developed improved member attitudes toward the profession; and contributed to public service outside their professional careers.


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