Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering Research Fellowship

The SOM Foundation and its Board of Officers have been closely monitoring the unprecedented situation created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This spring, we had planned to launch the call for our 2020 SOM Foundation Structural Engineering Research Fellowship. After evaluating the current situation, we have decided to postpone the call until 2021. 

We have always valued the importance of supporting emerging practitioners and do not take this decision lightly. Due to the closing of academic institutions, the transition to online classes, and the strict global travel restrictions in place, it would be impossible to fully and responsibly achieve the goals of the two awards. We wouldn’t want to compromise our community of fellows and the impact of the awards in any way. 

We join communities around the world who continue to closely follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization and we hope that all of you remain safe and healthy. We will keep you updated about the call for submissions for our other two awards, the SOM Foundation Research Prize and the UK Prize, which we will announce this fall, and look forward to receiving your proposals then.


Congratulations to Samantha Eng, MS in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley (May 2019) has been Awarded  the SOM Foundation 2019 Structural Engineering Research Fellowship.

For her research proposal entitled “A Case Study of the Cities in Japan,” Samantha will study how these cities have coped with urbanization and the humanization of that density, which is representative of a global problem of overpopulated cities. She writes, “ is not the only consideration for humanizing the density of the cities. It is imperative to also maintain dignity.” Thus, her proposal will guide her through various Japanese cities, such as Tokyo and Yokohama, to study the infrastructure, which alleviates urban density in a dignified and humanistic manner.

Samantha is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to, she received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Samantha left her hometown on Long Island, New York to attend the University of Michigan and after completing her undergraduate degree in 2016, she went on to practice architecture in Chicago, Illinois for the next two years. It was during this time that she developed her interest in structural engineering and subsequently went on to achieve her M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Following her graduation from the University of California, Berkeley in May of 2019, Samantha will join the team of engineers at Thornton Tomasetti in San Francisco, where she will focus on developing her structural engineering foundation aided by her past experiences and education in architecture. She aspires to influence the architecture, engineering and construction industry through a holistic understanding and integrated practice of structure, materials and architectural design.