Students earn Louisiana DOTD scholarships

Mar 11, 2022 | Engineering and Science, General News, Students

Louisiana Tech Civil Engineering students James Cowart and Zachary Hill have been awarded scholarships from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD), in conjunction with the Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC) and the Southeastern Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (SASHTO).

Cowart and Hill were among only 10 students in Louisiana to earn the competitive scholarship. They were selected based on their outstanding academic performance, their knowledge of the challenges within transportation engineering, and interest in applying their training as civil engineers to the field transportation engineers.

Hill says that his experiences as a Civil Engineering student and as an intern with the LADOTD in Winnsboro helped him hone skills that he will use to improve transportation systems for communities.

“I applied for the SASHTO scholarship because of my experience in the transportation field,” Hill said. “During the past two summers, I worked for the DOTD at the District 58 Chase Office in Winnsboro, and was allowed to visit construction projects and work in the design office under a licensed engineer. It was a great experience that will help me in my future endeavors. Transportation interests me because of its great importance to the public. I hope that my experience in the field and my knowledge gained through Louisiana Tech will allow me to improve transportation in the future.”

“I have an interest in traffic studies, and highway engineering, so this scholarship was right in my wheelhouse,” Cowart added. “I have worked for my dad’s engineering company for several summers. Over these summer jobs my interest in civil engineering has grown, and I have become more aware of transportation/highway construction problems. I often find myself being annoyed with transportation problems such as traffic signal timing and telling whoever’s in the car with me what could be done to improve the signal, knowing they probably don’t care.”

In addition to Louisiana, member states of the SASHTO include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The association was organized to encourage a balanced transportation system across the southern United States.

“I’m grateful for the support that SASHTO provides our students, especially in honoring outstanding students like James and Zachary,” said Dr. Hisham Hegab, Dean of the College of Engineering and Science. “These students exemplify the focus and dedication to excellence found throughout Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science. I’m proud of the work that our faculty puts into our Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology programs that prepare students to answer the challenges that arise in fields throughout the transportation sector and serve as leaders in developing solutions.”

“I found both Zach and James excellent students in highway engineering courses that I have taught,” Dr. Nazimuddin “Wasi” Wasiuddin, Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology, said. “At Tech, we encourage students to do internships, and the LADOTD and SASHTO appreciate that. These students have demonstrated their interest and preparedness for a transportation-related career through work experience and coursework, as well as their essays that addressed a preferred transportation problem. I congratulate these well-deserved award recipients.”