UA Student Selected for International Engineering Program

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A University of Alabama engineering student will be part of an international summer engineering program in China after being selected for one of 30 seats in the program.

Thomas Moat, a senior in construction engineering from Newnan, Ga., will help the Chinese government in Beijing design and build a pedestrian bridge as part of the 2013 International Summer School of Structural Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The mission of the summer school is to supplement civil engineering education with a compressive, student-driven design competition that meets client specifications while emphasizing performance and cost. It exposes students to real-world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, serviceability, safety, aesthetics, construction processes and cost. Success requires not only application of engineering principles and theory but also innovation of structural materials, components, systems or technologies.

Of the 30 students selected from the program, only 10 were selected from outside China. Moat will be teamed with two Chinese students for the project. Tsinghua University promotes the opportunity as a chance for international students to work together, understand various cultures and build friendships. In addition, a series of academic lectures and technical visits to outstanding engineering projects will be offered by the summer school.

At UA, Moat is the president of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is an undergraduate research assistant over the University’s Large Scale Structures Laboratory, playing a critical role in transitioning the lab to its new state-of-the-art home in the South Engineering Research Center. He works under Dr. Wei Song, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at the University.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 3,900 students and more than 110 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Mitchell, Portz and Truman scholars.


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444,