Three engineering students honored by national honor society

by Nina Welding

Tau Beta Pi, engineering

Olga Beltsar and Laura Divel, juniors in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, along with Mark Pomerenke, a junior in the Department of Electrical Engineering, have been awarded scholarships for the 2010-11 academic year from Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.

Tau Beta Pi scholarships are presented to junior members of the society on a competitive basis of high scholarship, campus leadership, service and the promise of future contributions to the engineering profession. A total of 102 students received scholarships this year.

Beltsar, currently in Budapest as part of her summer internship with the Mott MacDonald firm, will return to the University this fall as a student research assistant studying the seismic design of buildings. A member of the Notre Dame Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, she has served as a co-chair for the University’s steel bridge competition for the 2009 Great Lakes Conference and participated in the concrete canoe competition. In addition, she is a trained fitness instructor for fitness classes at Notre Dame Recsports and has participated as a volunteer for the University’s Appalachia Service Learning Seminar and Expanding Your Horizons Program for middle school girls interested in math and science. Beltsar is from Pleasanton, Calif.

Divel is serving in her second engineering internship with Bechtel Corporation, where she has been working on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. Last summer, she spent her break as part of the company’s Design-Build Permit group, and this summer she is working with the Civil Engineering group. A native of Rockville, Md., Divel also serves as an undergraduate research assistant for Ahsan Kareem, the Robert M. Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, in the NatHaz Laboratory. A committee chair of both SWE-ND and McGlinn Hall Council, she is a member of the Notre Dame Equestrian Team and the American Society of Civil Engineers and has also served as a volunteer for the Appalachia Service Learning Seminar.

Pomerenke, an Eagle Scout from Springfield, Mo., is working as an intern for GE Energy in the Renewable Division this summer, where he serves as wind training lab projects coordinator. He has two other internships and a semester of laboratory research in the Department of Electrical Engineering as a student research assistant under his belt. This fall, when he returns to the University, he will be working with Professor Peter Bauer on hybrid and electric vehicles. Pomerenke also participates in interhall sports and has served as dorm athletic commissioner and social commissioner.

Tau Beta Pi is the world’s largest engineering society. Membership represents the highest honor to be obtained by an engineering student and is awarded on the basis of high scholarship and exemplary character.