UTEP Professor Carlos M. Chang Wins the TSPE Excellence Award
FABIOLA TERRAZAS DUARTE | February 22, 2019
Professional Engineers presented the award to
Carlos Chang, Ph.D., at the NSPE-Tx meeting in El Paso.
Carlos M. Chang, Ph.D., associate professor of civil engineering and advisor of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers Student Chapter at The University of Texas at El Paso, received the TSPE Excellence Award on Nov. 14, 2018, for promoting engineering values in academic programs. Integrity, fair dealing, tolerance and respect are part of the engineer’s education in addition to the technical skills.
“TSPE is using our student Chapter as a model for other universities, because many times the values of being a professional engineer is not explicitly addressed in the academic programs,” Chang said.
UTEP engineering programs are very unique, Chang said, because they offer a number of opportunities to facilitate students’ transition from college to industry, making it easier for them to establish connections and practice engineering in a professional environment before they graduate. Chang said this pre-employment experience is attractive to potential employers. Chang also led sessions to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to middle and high school students.
“Dr. Chang was instrumental in re-establishing the Student Chapter, and it has flourished under his leadership. Through his guidance and encouragement, the students have grown to appreciate both the engineering profession and the networking opportunities it affords,” said John Ho, PE, former President of TSPE.
Chang mentioned that the activities developed by the TSPE UTEP student chapter, in coordination with professional engineering firms in El Paso, were a part of why he was awarded TSPE’s prize. The main goal of these activities is to enhance technical, networking, and social skills that will help them to advance in their future professional careers.
Through the TSPE Chapter, UTEP students practice these skills before they graduate, Chang said. “Most of them got good jobs right after graduation because our students knew what’s to be expected from a professional engineer and were ready to work in real-world projects,” he added.
Chang believes that his role, as an advisor, is to motivate the students to bring the best of them, being aware that it is never too early to behave professionally and contribute to the well-being of society. To Chang, it was not only him who won the award, but also everyone that is part of the TSPE UTEP Student Chapter and the professional engineer companies that support it.
“It’s a very well deserved award because Dr. Chang very actively promotes TSPE. He has been educating students about the importance of behaving professionally, having high ethical standards and the value of professional registration by involving students in real-life projects that help them develop professional skills.”
“This recognition to Dr. Chang gives visibility to what he does and also to what all faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering do,” said Carlos Ferregut, Ph.D., Department Chair for Civil Engineering. “Dr. Chang really believes on the value of becoming a professional engineer and transmits that belief to the students.”