UTSA student named New Face of Civil Engineering by ASCE

Paul Martinez

Paul Martinez

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(Feb. 25, 2013) -- University of Texas at San Antonio student Paul Martinez has been named one of the 2013 New Faces of Civil Engineering -- College Edition by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Martinez is one of only 10 college students across the nation to receive this recognition.

Martinez, a first-generation college student in his third year in the UTSA civil engineering program, was selected from a field of talented college students nationwide whose academic and extracurricular achievements demonstrate their promise as future engineers and leaders in their profession.

"Paul is not only a very good student but also a natural-born leader," said UTSA civil engineering professor Albert Arroyo.

In addition to being strong academically, Martinez recently was inaugurated as president of the UTSA ASCE chapter and is an active member of the UTSA ASCE Steel Bridge team that won first place at the Texas-Mexico regional steel bridge competition in January. He also is interning at the San Antonio office of Terracon, a national firm of consulting engineers and scientists.

Martinez recently became a member of the UTSA McNair Scholars program, which prepares students for doctoral studies by experiencing graduate work and faculty-led research. As part of the program, Martinez will participate in a 10-week summer research-intensive session, during which he will conduct research on a topic of his choice and work extensively with a faculty mentor.

Additionally, Martinez is a member of the UTSA Wrestling Club and instructs students in wrestling, no-gi jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts as a coach at Evolution Combative Sports in San Antonio.

"To be recognized by ASCE as a future leader in engineering is an honor almost beyond belief for me," said Martinez. "I credit my hard work ethic to my parents. Engineering, just like sports, requires perseverance and a never-give-up mentality."

After high school, Martinez almost joined the Navy out of his desire to serve his country. His cousin, however, who had graduated with an electrical engineering degree, encouraged him to pursue a college degree and study engineering.

"By becoming an engineer, I realized that I could apply science and research to the complexities of today's world and really make an impact on humanity," said Martinez. "In essence, it feels like I'm fulfilling my dream to serve my country by being an engineer."

As an ASCE New Face, Martinez is eligible for selection as ASCE's representative for the national New Faces of Engineering -- College Edition recognition program, sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation. If chosen, he will be recognized along with the top students from other engineering disciplines in a national media campaign and receive a $500 cash scholarship from ASCE. The announcement will be made April 1.

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE received its student chapter charter at UTSA in 1989 and has since been one of the most active organizations in the College of Engineering.

The UTSA chapter's goal is to promote interest and participation in civil and environmental engineering by interacting with professionals and faculty as well as facilitating involvement in student team competitions. UTSA ASCE actively participates in regional and national student engineering competitions such as the steel bridge and concrete canoe competitions.