Two CEM students recognized for excellence

Author: Joseph Fowler
Each year, the College of Engineering recognizes students across the engineering disciplines for excellence in their fields with the Outstanding Student Award. Each engineering discipline in Purdue University’s College of Engineering presents this award to one senior and one graduate student.

Elected by the faculty, the criteria for winning the award is not just grades or project work but overall achievement and contribution to an engineering major. For the seniors, the award is one more way to mark their success as they prepare for graduation. For graduate students it is a sign of Purdue’s faith and investment in them. The Division of Construction Engineering and Management has chosen two of its finest student-leaders to receive the award this year. These students are senior Alex Hahn and graduate student Nader Naderpajouh.

Alex HahnHahn has been eagerly pursuing his future in CEM since his freshman year. After getting his start in the Freshman Engineering program, Hahn quickly discovered his passion and enjoyment for the major.

“Purdue does a very good job of telling you about every type of engineering,” said Hahn. While he was interested in many different disciplines, CEM caught his eye because of the hands-on aspect. “I heard that in Construction Engineering you got to go out into the field a lot and there’s a lot more focus on management and coordination; as opposed to just straight design. That’s the reason I joined and since then I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Hahn’s reasons for attending Purdue are three-fold: his parents are alumni, he has held a long-term interest in math and science, and the university’s relative closeness to his Indianapolis home. “It’s a great engineering school and combined with all those other factors, it was an easy choice,” said Hahn.

Hahn has been busy. His junior year he was the banquet chair for the CEM Spring Banquet and this year was part of the student crew that constructed a wheelchair ramp for the Lafayette Habitat for Humanity store. Hahn is vice president of Beta Tau, the fraternity for CEM, and is active in Tau Delta Pi, the engineering honors fraternity. After graduation Hahn will be taking a month off for travel and in June he starts as a project coordinator at Shiel Sexton, an Indianapolis based contractor.

Nader Naderpajouh, originally from Tehran, Iran, is both a student and teacher in CEM. He is pursuing his PhD after getting his bachelor’s in civil engineering and his master’s in construction management. Before returning to work on his PhD, Naderpajouh worked in the private sector. At Purdue his research is focused on global construction, projects that involve multiple stakeholders from different institutional backgrounds. He is a teacher for such courses as CE 22O, 221, 497, 524. “It’s very exciting to receive the COE award,” said Naderpajouh.

Inspired by his father—also a civil engineer—Naderpajouh is very happy to be at Purdue. “I enjoy the international environment and meeting new friends from different countries.” He is planning to continue his research at Purdue and hopes to graduate in a year or so. His advice for incoming CEM students was to embrace mathematics and logic, “In an interdisciplinary major, you have to be diverse to cope with problems in your work.”