UF Engineering alum Madeley Arriola Guerrero (B.S., 2017) was selected as a 2019 New Face of Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
This program recognizes notable achievements of young, distinguished civil engineers. Only 10 extraordinary professionals in the nation were honored with this prestigious award this year.
Growing up in Nicaragua, Arriola Guerrero knew at 16 years old that she’d pursue a career in civil engineering.
“I lived in a country where infrastructure and global water systems are messed up and disorganized,” she said. “We had so much flooding and people would lose their houses.”
Arriola Guerrero recognized from that point on, she will try to improve the living conditions in similar communities. At 17, she moved to Norway to attend UWC Red Cross Nordic (UWCRCN) on a $50,000 academic scholarship to complete her high school studies. During her time at UWCRCN, she received a grant to complete a water infrastructure project in Granada, Nicaragua.
“With the help of the community and the monetary funds, we built the well and the drain,” Arriola Guerrero said. “This is something that can be replicated to a bigger extent.”
Upon receiving her high school diploma from UWCRCN, she attended the University of Oklahoma, and ultimately transferred to the University of Florida. During her final year at UF, Arriola Guerrero asked Florida Water Resources Research Center Co-Director Dr. Mark Newman to serve as her mentor as she worked on her undergraduate honors thesis. Her thesis focused on evaluating and making recommendations to solve stormwater flooding issues at Matherly Hall and the surrounding area on campus.
“She jumped at the chance to do some applied work for her thesis,” Dr. Newman said.
Dr. Newman stated that Arriola Guerrero was an exceptional, self-sufficient student who thrived at problem solving.
Arriola Guerrero wrote Dr. Newman after receiving news that she will be honored by ASCE.
“I am really proud of her,” Dr. Newman said. “It’s amazing the amount of things she can do at one time – how motivated she is, and she will do well no matter where she goes.”
Before graduating from UF, Arriola Guerrero was recognized for her service to the global community, and received the “Attributes of a Gator Engineer” award from the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. She also received the “Roy W. Likins Scholarship” from the Florida Section American Water Works Association.
Currently, she is an associate engineer at Chen Moore and Associates in West Palm Beach.
“So far, I’ve been working on stormwater modelling,” Arriola Guerrero said. Some of her responsibilities include creating and designing construction plans.
She plans to pursue her master’s degree and her Professional Engineering license. Her ultimate goal is to become a project manager where she will focus on improving water systems in developing countries.
Arriola Guerrero and the additional honorees will be recognized during ASCE’s annual Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Gala, on March 14, in Arlington, VA.
She stated this award is both a personal and professional accomplishment. She credits her success to the support system of her parents, boyfriend and friends.
“My parents have been my strongest base and cheerleaders,” she said. “Without them I wouldn’t be where I am.”