The Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) recognized Dr. Guillermo A. Riveros and Mariely Mejias-Santiago at its 23rd Annual Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Riveros was selected for the 2011 Civil Engineering Distinction Award while Mejias-Santiago was chosen as a Luminary Honoree for this year.
Riveros and Mejias-Santiago are researchers with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg.
Born in California and raised in Puerto Rico, Riveros is an integral part of the staff in ERDC’s Information Technology Laboratory (ITL), specializing in lock and dam infrastructure modeling. In 1990, he earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, followed by a master’s in 1994. While finishing his graduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico in 1992, he was hired at ERDC (then the Waterways Experiment Station) as a civil engineer. In 2002, he completed a master’s in engineering mechanics from Mississippi State University. He earned his doctorate in civil engineering (structural mechanics) from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005 through the ERDC long-term training program.
Born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Mejias-Santiago attended the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. She earned her bachelor’s in civil engineering in 2005 and her master’s in 2011. She was selected to attend the ERDC summer internship program during 2006, and in 2008 she accepted a position at ERDC as a research civil engineer with the Airfields and Pavements Branch of the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory.
Mejias-Santiago conducts research in certifying asphalt pavement materials and developing guide specifications for their use for military airfield pavements. Other research studies include development of a non-nuclear combined soil and asphalt density gauge for the military; evaluation of earth anchoring systems to aid vehicle barriers in defeating Large Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (LVBIED); and, evaluation of foam backfill materials for bomb crater repair on military airfields. She has spoken at national and international conferences and has been mentoring Hispanic minority students from the UPRM every summer as part of the ERDC/UPRM summer internship program.