News & Features

Graduate Student Wins Prestigious Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship

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Apr. 12, 2018

Alumnus Paul Biju-Duval was selected to receive the 2018 SOM Foundation Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship. The $20,000 award enables a gifted graduate to experience works of architecture and engineering first hand. 

The SOM Foundation was established in 1979 by the Partners of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and launched its Traveling Fellowship Program in 1981 to enrich the education of the nation’s most promising young architecture and engineering students.

The fellowships offer recent graduates the opportunity for travel in connection with carrying out in-depth research, to collaborate with other professionals, and to pursue independent study outside the established patterns of formal education. The foundation’s hope is that the student will gain a critical appreciation of the aesthetics of structures, thus influencing the teaching and practice of structural engineering in the future.

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After working in Dubai, Paris and Lima, Paul came to UT to earn his doctoral degree and was supervised by structural engineer Dr. Todd Helwig.

Paul earned a doctoral degree in civil engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in 2017. His research focused on the development of UT Bridge, a finite element program that is now being used by bridge engineers across the country to quickly and accurately evaluate the stability and behavior of curved steel bridges during construction.

Born in Paris, France, Paul developed a passion for architecture and engineering as a young man. “Structural engineering at its best is also an art,” he said. The Fellowship will allow him to appreciate works of structural art worldwide and the aesthetics inherent to structural materials such as steel, concrete, and glass. 

The last time a student from the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering received the SOM Foundation Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship was in 1999.