Logo: University of Southern California

Astani Department Standout Senior Wins ASCE Regional Prize

Engineer without borders, concrete canoer, fundraiser, program builder and much more.

January 19, 2010 —

Kyle E. Burnham, a Viterbi School civil engineering undergrad who has excelled in research, leadership, scholarship, and commitment will go to Sacramento February 9 to receive an Outstanding Student Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers Region 9 (California).

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Kyle Burnham: Valedictorian of his Oregon high school, he continues to excel at USC

The Award “is intended to recognize student contributions to Civil Engineering, ASCE and their studies.”

Burnham’s ASCE ties are not recent or shallow. The Oregon native came to the Viterbi School in 2006, and immediately joined the USC ASCE chapter; become Freshman Class Representative shortly later, followed by a stint as Concrete Canoe Captain, culminating in his election as President of the Society in 2008.

At USC-ASCE, he has among other activities encouraged a ’big sibling’ mentoring program for entering students, and has successfully fundraised to send ASCE students to regional conferences, including one in Hawai’i -- efforts that raised the profile of USC chapter considerably.

Beside his ASCE activity, Burnham is also heading up this year's Design-Build team, and last year worked on the USC Engineers Without Borders water project in Honduras.

He has spent his recent summers as an intern for the Hoffman Construction Company in his native Oregon, working on a series of building projects.

His distinction goes back to high school, where he was valedictorian of Beaverton High School and captain of the Cross Country and Track Teams.

"Kyle has that rare combination of leadership and scholarship," said Professor Hank Koffman."He makes friends very easily and is very successful in all his endeavors. He has great communication skills, both verbally and written. He is a very high achiever being active in many student organizations while maintaining a very high GPA.

"He currently serves as the Class Mentor for our CE 469 - Sustainability class. We have been trying to persuade him to enter our PhD Program. He certainly falls in the top 1% of all our students, past and present. He has a great future ahead of him."

Burnham’s plans are to receive his B.S. this May (his GPA so far: 3.82 overall), and then continue of the fast track degree program that will give him a M.S. with specialization in construction management (Koffman’s specialty) the following year,