Louisiana Tech Student Earns UCA Scholarship

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Louisiana Tech University doctoral engineering student Seyedsaleh “Saleh” Behbahani has received a scholarship from the Underground Construction Association of SME (UCA).

The scholarship provides a $5,000 monetary award in addition to covering Behbahani’s travel to Washington, D.C., for the North American Tunneling Conference in June. While there, he will represent Louisiana Tech at networking events and technical sessions.

The scholarship was established to promote the study of tunneling and underground construction and careers in the field. It is awarded to students who demonstrate a desire for and a probability of success in a career in underground construction and tunneling.

As Louisiana Tech’s Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) manager of the Certification of Training in Asset Management and the Underground Infrastructure Training Competence Center online training, the coordinator of the TTC Specialty School programs including the Auger Boring School and the Utility Investigation School, Behbahani’s experience in the field is well documented. Dr. John Matthews, director of the Trenchless Technology Center and associate professor of civil engineering and construction engineering technology at Louisiana Tech, says that these duties are vital to the Center.

“Saleh is so much more than just a Ph.D. student,” Matthews said. “He is a critical team member for many of the initiatives within the TTC.”

“I am delighted to see Saleh honored with this award,” added Dr. Tom Iseley, international program director for the TTC and Saleh’s Ph.D. supervising professor. “He has worked as my teaching and personal assistant for almost four years. His educational background and experience in mining and tunneling are well suited for this award, and his performance with the TTC certainly demonstrates that he qualifies for such an honor.”

Behbahani says that working at the TTC has helped him develop his skills through research and practical experience.

“Since I came to the Trenchless Technology Center at Louisiana Tech University, I have been honored to work under Dr. Iseley as my direct supervisor,” he said. “Dr. Iseley’s enthusiasm, energy and passion for excellence are contagious. He and the TTC have helped me continue to grow my research programs and expand my collaboration network.”

Behbahani also received the Rapid Excavation & Tunneling Conference Student Attendance Scholarship in 2017. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mining Engineering and has been a member of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) since 2010.

RELATED: North American Tunneling Conference Returns from Hiatus

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