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New Face of Civil Engineering
Alumnus Groeneweg one of 10 nationally
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has named Trine University graduate Ben Groeneweg a New Face of Civil Engineering, an award ASCE presents to only 10 civil engineers each year. The program is designed to recognize young talent under the age of 30 by highlighting their contributions and impact on society.
Groeneweg is an engineer for Fort Wayne City Utilities, where he monitors sewer and water operations for Fort Wayne, Ind. A contact made through Dr. Tim Tyler, chair of the Reiners Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, led to two summer internships with the city, and then a full-time engineering position.
The excellent education and close, one-to-one relationships with professors prepared him well for the job. “Academically, Trine put me in position to be a good engineer, and I enjoyed the one-on-one with the profs. I took full advantage of it all four years,” he said.
Favorite professors Dr. Desharnais, Dr. Tyler, and professor emeritus Dr. Meeks brought to the classroom real world experience and an emphasis on academics that contributed to a balanced education, he said.
“In my junior and senior year at Trine, I concentrated on hydraulics in environmental engineering. So once I got to the city, the Trine academics gave me the scientific background and foundation on which my specific duties are built.”
Growing up, Groeneweg said he always loved math and science and now he gets to use it every day. “Civil engineering is definitely a rewarding field… you’re always doing things to improve society,” he said.
He was chosen for the honor because of his role in the planning and design of water resources, his involvement in the city's long-term control plan to reduce combined sewer overflows, and his efforts in trenchless pipe rehabilitation.
ASCE also recognized his efforts outside the job, including volunteering at his church as a Sunday school teacher, working as a tutor with the Fort Wayne Community Schools Study Connection program, and volunteering to serve meals at the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission every Monday.
“This is a tremendous honor for Ben. He’s an outstanding young man and an outstanding engineer. In this time when it’s critical for communities to retain and attract young professionals we are honored and fortunate to have employees like Ben here in Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Tom Henry.
“I definitely feel honored,” Groeneweg said. “I think it’s reflective of the opportunities given me by my Trine education and then by the city of Fort Wayne and its excellent engineering staff. Both shaped and molded me.”