Clemson, S.C. — The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) announced that the Dordt College Engineering Department is the grand prize winner of the 2017 NCEES Engineering Education Award. The award jury met June 6, 2017, in Clemson to select the $25,000 grand prize winner.

The department received the top prize for its submission, Liberia Farm Bridge. For the project, undergraduate civil engineering students worked closely with professional engineers, construction management professionals, and other consultants to design and construct the bridge. The team designed and constructed the Liberian Farm Bridge near Harbel, Liberia, to connect a farm and three communities to civilization and the market.

The design team also performed the construction, assisted by others from the school with construction management experience and by 30 local Liberians. Liberian participation was crucial to the project’s success and created community ownership in the project. To ensure that the bridge remains functional long into the future, the design team also created a regular maintenance schedule.

The jury praised the project for incorporating both the design and build to respond to the true needs of the local Liberians.

“This project provided a sustainable solution to needed infrastructure and contributed to the economic vitality of rural communities in Harbel, Liberia,” said NCEES Engineering Education Award juror Sallye Perrin, P.E. “The collaboration between the students and P.E.s is commendable.”

The jury selected five additional winners to receive awards of $7,500 each:

  • George Mason University, Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering — Design and Construction of a Reliable Drinking Water System for an Orphanage in Central America
  • Marquette University, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering — El Bosque Pedestrian Bridge
  • North Carolina State University, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering — Belltower Medical – Urinary Catheter Solutions
  • Seattle University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering — Design of a Care Facility for Young Mothers in Uganda
  • Seattle University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering — Restoration and Replacement Options for Utility Company Bridge

The NCEES Engineering Education Award recognizes engineering programs that encourage collaboration between students and professional engineers. EAC/ABET-accredited programs from all engineering disciplines were invited to submit projects that integrate professional practice and education.

A jury of NCEES members and representatives from academic institutions and professional engineering organizations selected the winners. The jury members considered criteria such as

  • Successful collaboration of faculty, students, and licensed professional engineers
  • Protection of public health, safety, and/or welfare of the public
  • Multidiscipline and/or allied profession participation
  • Knowledge or skills gained
  • Effectiveness of display board, abstract, and project description

Profiles of the winning submissions are available online at