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Senior Nathan Tregger ’03 (Niantic, Conn.) is honored as one of the nation’s top undergraduate engineering students in the December issue of the national magazine CE News.

Tregger is among 34 civil engineering students described in an annual feature called “Spotlight on Star Students.”

The article recognizes the honorees as exceptional students and excellent candidates for employment, says Shanon Fauerbach, editor of CE News. The award also indicates that Lafayette’s civil engineering program is seen as one of the nation’s best by the civil engineering industry, she adds.

“It’s obviously a credit to the school as well as the student to be named in this feature. It’s an example of the prestige that your school has in the industry,” says Fauerbach. Subscribers to CE News include 50,000 private practice owners, firm principals, project managers, and other licensed professionals in the civil engineering industry.

Tregger is undertaking an honors thesis on the structural analysis of cooling towers in a hyperbolic shape under the guidance of Ed Saliklis, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. Tregger says the project is familiarizing him with membrane and bending theories. “I’m getting a feel for higher-level analysis,” he adds.

As an EXCEL Scholar, Tregger worked with Arthur Kney, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, to study non-point source pollution in the Bushkill Creek and local wetlands. In Lafayette’s distinctive EXCEL Scholars program, students assist faculty members with research while earning a stipend. The goal was to monitor pollution, identify contaminants, and design simple processes for removing the impurities. Tregger presented his findings last April at the 16th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

He says that his EXCEL work greatly improved his research and documenting skills, which should be helpful in graduate school.

“Also, I learned much about water quality and wetlands, which is an important part of the civil engineering field,” adds Tregger. “EXCEL provides research opportunities that are not available in most undergraduate programs. Therefore, Lafayette students have an advantage over others entering graduate programs or even the work force.”

The student also excels in music, performing selections by Beethoven, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff in a solo piano concert on campus this fall. In addition, Tregger plays violin in the orchestra and chamber orchestra. He is a recipient of the John D. Raymond Music Award, given annually by the music department to a deserving music student. Tregger has been meeting with Alexis Fisher, part-time instructor of music, once a week since his first year at Lafayette.

“I’ve learned a lot of technical things during my lessons,” he says. “I’ve learned fingerings and techniques that have made playing a lot easier.”

Tregger was a member of the Lafayette Concrete Canoe team that finished just one point shy of first place among seven schools in the Pennsylvania-Delaware Region of the 2002 National Concrete Canoe Competition. As a participant in the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications, Tregger and another Lafayette team earned Honorable Mention for work on the ecology and survival prospects of the Florida scrub lizard.

Categorized in: Academic News