Louisiana Tech students Gordon and Nolasco earn trenchless technology scholarships

May 25, 2023 | Engineering and Science, General News, Students

Doctoral Engineering student Stephen Gordon of Keithville and Construction Engineering Technology senior Emily Nolasco of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, earned Michael E. Argent scholarships for their work in trenchless technologies.

Gordon works at Louisiana Tech’s Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at the Advanced Materials Research Lab, where he researches rapid curing techniques of fly ash-based geopolymers for 3D printing applications. He is a member of Louisiana Tech’s Associated General Contractors/ North American Society for Trenchless Technology (AGC/NASTT) student chapter and has earned numerous awards for his research, including the 2022 Trenchless Research Competition award for a novel technique to create pipes for underground construction from low-carbon emission geopolymer materials.

Nolasco was the President of the AGC/NASTT over the last year and led several initiatives, including a fundraiser that helps the organization provide Christmases for local families. She has attended multiple research and industry conferences on behalf of Louisiana Tech. She has completed internships with Gilchrist Construction Company, LLC, and Sustainable Design Solutions, LLC, where she gained experience in wastewater and heavy civil engineering sectors.

“It is gratifying that NASTT, an organization of working professionals and academic researchers, finds value in the work I am doing and has provided me with the opportunity to represent my school and afford me the means to continue my studies and research,” Gordon said of the award. “I am very grateful to my mentor and faculty advisor Dr. Shaurav Alam [SWEPCO Endowed Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology and Associate Director of Research at the TTC], for his guidance in my studies as well as his encouragement to apply for this scholarship. I am thankful to Dr. John Matthews [Director of the TTC], Dr. Collin Wick [Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research for the College of Engineering and Science], and Dr. Leland Weiss [Director of Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Technology, and Mechanical Engineering] for their kind support.”

“Being president of the NASTT organization opened many doors in the trenchless sector of construction. I can not be more grateful to my professors who pushed me during my term to better my education and expand my network,” Nolasco added. “They definitely played a major role in being granted this scholarship. I want to thank this organization for allowing me to attend various conferences put on by NASTT, which allowed me to dive deeper into my career. Being able to win the Argent Memorial Scholarship is an honor. Hard work truly pays off.”

The North American Society for Trenchless Technology awards up to five Michael E. Argent scholarships to student members of the organization each year. The scholarship is named for one of the organization’s founding members and an early leader in the trenchless technology industry. It is awarded to students who have the potential to make transformative contributions to trenchless technology. Awardees must submit a 500-word essay on the industry and attend the No-Digg conference to qualify.

The students received the scholarships at the No-Dig Show 2023 in Portland, Oregon.