During the height of the pandemic, most things shut down or tried to adjust to a “new normal.” Carrie Tam, a 2022 candidate for a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering & Architecture, instead forged ahead, convincing 30 undergrad students that they could design a net-zero energy building—producing a set of structural and architectural construction documents in the process. This, she believes, is her most significant achievement to date—and that’s from among a plethora of achievements.
“Carrie stands out as one of the top students in the Civil Engineering Program, with a 3.76/4.0 in her rigorous combined major,” says Gregory Abowd, Dean, College of Engineering. She has already received several scholarships and grants and participated in study abroad programs in Denmark and Australia.
While at Northeastern, Carrie founded the Northeastern Solar Decathlon team, which encourages members to design an affordable, resilient and net-zero energy building for the Department of Energy’s multidisciplinary collegiate competition. Her team made it to the competition’s national finals—unusual for a first-year entry. Since 2018, Carrie has been a research assistant at the STReSS Laboratory in Boston, where she assisted with the construction and testing of a full-scale composite steel deck diaphragm subjected to cyclic loading to study the failure mechanisms and investigate the impact of structural resilience in steel buildings. She is currently interning at E4H Environments 4 Health Architecture, a national company that specializes in healthcare and health sciences architecture. Her previous co-op experience was at Walker Consultants, a civil engineering consulting company.
Carrie has worked closely with her advisor, Professor Hajjar, on several research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Institute of Steel Construction, the American Iron and Steel Institute, and other industry organizations. Professor Hajjar says, “Carrie is a highly intelligent, creative, poised, driven student and an exceptional leader among her peers. She is excited about her studies and her future in civil and architectural engineering.”
Speaking of the future, Carrie plans to attend graduate school in the fall and pursue an M.S. or PhD in structural engineering. Her desire is to “design unique structural systems worldwide.” Dean Abowd says, “As Carrie looks forward to graduate school, her top-notch scholarship, leadership capabilities, and technical expertise are sure to lead to her success.”
Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
College of Engineering
As Carrie looks forward to graduate school, her top-notch scholarship, leadership capabilities, and technical expertise are sure to lead to her success.”College of engineering Dean Gregory Abowd