The $20,000 Structural Engineering Fellowship is awarded annually to a graduating student who specializes in structural engineering to conduct independent travel and research that contributes to the SOM Foundation’s current topic and has the potential to influence the practice and teaching of how structures can positively impact our built environment.
The built environment is defined by human-made decisions that have long-lasting impacts on our society. Today, we are in the midst of a critical conversation about how structural racial injustices, discriminatory policies, and uneven access to resources have shaped our society and our built environment for decades. Challenges like the current global health crisis reveal and amplify conditions that have always been present. These injustices and policies are manifested in both subtle and explicit ways across many areas—from housing, education, economy, and safety to public transportation, public space, health, and the environment. Governments, civic institutions, private organizations, professionals, and citizens continuously define, respond, and contest these conditions. Exploring and identifying long-term policies, immediate actions, and comprehensive plans have the potential to shape a more equitable and sustainable future.
Applicant must be graduating with a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD in civil and environmental engineering or architectural engineering with a specialization in structural engineering from a professionally accredited degree program in the United States between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. US citizenship is not required.
Applicant must intend to enter the professional practice of structural engineering.
Application materials, as outlined in Section 5, must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (CDT) Monday, March 15, 2021. Applications received later than 5:00 p.m. will not be considered.
An identification number will be assigned to each applicant upon receiving the application. This number is random and does not reflect the order in which the application will be judged. The identification number is to assure the anonymity of each applicant.
The jury will meet in April 2021. The winner will be notified no later than Friday, April 23, 2021.
A completed Cover Sheet (download).
A Letter of Recommendation on the school letterhead by one faculty member or department chair familiar with the applicant's work. The letter should be no longer than two pages and should address the applicant’s specific strengths and how the award will further their growth. The letter should be sent directly to email@example.com. The email’s subject should follow the format “2021 Structural Engineering Fellowship - Name of Applicant.”
A Proposal using the following guidelines:
All proposals submitted should be:
A link to the application should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5:00 p.m. (CDT) Monday, March 15, 2021. The email’s subject should follow the format “2021 Structural Engineering Fellowship - Name of Applicant.”
A jury, chaired by Charles Besjak, will be responsible for selecting one winning application most suited to the SOM Foundation’s current topic. The intention is to award one Structural Engineering Fellowship, but the SOM Foundation reserves the right to choose not to award, to co-award, or to split the prize as the jury deems appropriate. The 2021 jury includes:
Charles Besjak Director of Structural Engineering, SOM, New York City (Chair)
Justin Davidson Architecture and Classical Music Critic, New York magazine; Author, Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York
David Farnsworth Principal and Americas Tall Buildings Business Leader, Arup, New York City
Sabrina Kanner Executive Vice President and Head of Design & Construction, Brookfield Properties, New York City
The winner will be notified no later than Friday, April 23, 2021.
By accepting an award, the recipient agrees to:
Any changes to the proposal, including the itinerary and budget allocation, need to be submitted in writing and approved by the SOM Foundation.
Upon itinerary approval, the award recipient will receive 70% of funds; the remaining 30% is payable upon receipt and approval of final report. A minimum of four weeks is required to prepare and mail funds.The winner will be notified no later than Friday, April 23, 2021.
Final report should be submitted in PDF format, 8.5" x 11" portrait orientation.
In addition to the final report, the recipient should provide a selection of high-resolution digital images to be posted on the fellow page of the SOM Foundation website. Images should be submitted as JPGs (minimum width of 3000 pixels) with appropriate captions.
Final 30% of funds will be forfeited to the SOM Foundation if a final report is not completed within four months after completing travel and research, unless written approval is obtained from SOM Foundation Executive Director.
The winning submission will become part of the SOM Foundation’s archive. The SOM Foundation reserves the right to use the winning submission—and winner’s monthly progress reports and final report—or any portion of them in press releases, presentations, exhibits, history books, and similar publications, as well as for public access for student and educational purposes in all media, including online. Authors will retain the copyright of their work.