Engineering doctoral candidate Milana Cimesa has won the University Transportation Centers (UTC) Annual Outstanding Student of the Year, awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). She is one of 34 students nationwide to win the award.
UTC honors students for their notable contributions to the body of research in multi-modal, public transit, rail and road transportation, as well as their academic performance, professionalism and leadership. Cimesa accepted the award on Jan. 7 at a national ceremony in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting.
Cimesa is a part of the University’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC) program in the College of Engineering’s Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) department.
“The USDOT Student of the Year Award means the world to me,” Cimesa said. “This was a thrilling moment in my life and I am truly honored to have been selected by ABC-UTC. This award is a testament to all the effort and hard work I have put forth in earning my Ph.D.”
Cimesa’s dissertation is “Advancing Design and Detailing of Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) Axial Columns.” According to UTC’s program, UHPC is a relatively new generation of concrete with superior mechanical and durability properties when compared to conventional concrete. UHPC has the potential to revolutionize concrete structures and the construction industry. The success of this research project would allow UHPC for longer service life usage due to its high strength durability. This is particularly interesting in the bridge community, where a new-generation of precast UHPC bridge columns can be realized, offering additional benefits in high-seismic areas and harsh and coastal environments.
“She is very dedicated and passionate about concrete and experimental structural engineering research, with the highest standards of work ethics and professionalism,” CEE Associate Professor Mohamed Moustafa said.
Moustafa has been Cimesa’s Ph.D. advisor since she joined the graduate program in Fall 2020.