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2022 University of Alberta Gordon F. Anderson DIALOG Graduate Scholarship in Structural Engineering Recipient Announced

January 26, 2022

We’re excited to share the selection of our 2022 University of Alberta Gordon F. Anderson DIALOG Graduate Scholarship in Structural Engineering winner, Maha Essa. A graduate from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, with First Class Honours with Distinction, Maha is currently working on a Masters of Science in Structural Engineering at the University of Alberta.

Established in partnership with the University of Alberta in 2001, this scholarship is intended to encourage students to pursue advanced study in structural engineering. It is awarded annually to a student entering the first year of a graduate program. Maha has been awarded $5,000, and will have the opportunity to participate in a two-week internship with the DIALOG Edmonton structural engineering team.

Maha was selected as the recipient based on an excellent academic record, work experience, and student research projects. Maha has given back to the community by volunteering in several science and technology based programs including WiSER (Women in Science, Engineering & Research) and GirlStart which empowers girls in science, technology, engineering, and math.

In addition to her strong academic record, Maha expressed a keen interest in building and bridge engineering. “The structure, geometry, design, and construction of bridges has always fascinated me,” says Maha. “Growing up, I became curious about the way in which the various elements of these structures fit together to create an object that performs a function and is simultaneously a work of art. Furthermore, I wanted to understand the safety behind the design of these structures that impact the lives of millions of people every day.”

“Naturally, I went into Civil Engineering at the University of Alberta with the specific goal to become a bridge engineer. When I had the opportunity in my fourth-year structural capstone design project (CIV E 479) to choose between designing a bridge or a building, I was ecstatic; we had not taken a course that focused on bridge design in all four years of undergrad……I strongly believe that research is an invaluable tool to structural engineers used to continuously improve the safety and efficiency of the design of our structures.” Maha co-wrote and published a conference paper on this research for the 2021 Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) Conference. The paper, titled “Applications of Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Optimization of Structural Steel Connections.

Congratulations Maha on this well deserved achievement!

About Gordon F. Anderson

Gord began his career in structural engineering after earning his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (with distinction) from the University of Alberta in 1962. He joined DIALOG (then Cohos Evamy) in the 90s, applying his creativity and design excellence to the conceptual and detailed structural design of public and commercial buildings, including landmark projects such as the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, and a remarkable five buildings for the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering.In addition to his role on projects, Gord was a beloved mentor to the structural engineering team, helping to groom and provide guidance to those following in his footsteps. Gord retired in 2016.