Student from Calera wins Student Civil Engineer of the Year

Published 4:05 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Playing cars as a child in Calera, Lane Morrison always enjoyed building cities and streets. He never imagined that it would turn into a career.

July 22 Morrison, a senior at the University of Alabama, was named the Student Civil Engineer of the Year by the Alabama Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Morrison beat out six other students from around the state to win the honor.

Morrison is majoring in civil, construction and environmental engineering and plans to graduate next May.

As the civil engineering student of the year, he received a $3,500 scholarship that was presented at the annual meeting of the Alabama Section of ASCE at The Wharf resort in Orange Beach.

Dr. Ken Fridley, professor and head of the civil, construction and environmental engineering department, was one of the professors who nominated Morrison for the award.

“He’s one of those students who performs well in class as well as out,” Fridley said.

Morrison is currently the student chapter president of ASCE for the university. Fridley said it was Morrison’s leadership skills, academic abilities and co-curricular activities that made him the perfect candidate for the award.

“They were looking for actively well-rounded students,” Fridley said. “Not just good grades, but an overall good student who will contribute to the profession. “

Morrison met all those criteria, Fridley said.

Besides his 4.0 grade point average, he has also been active on campus, participating in the student advisory council for the engineering department in an attempt to help improve the college for future students.

He gained real-world experience by working three co-op semesters at the construction company Robins & Morton.

“I got to work on some pretty large-scale projects,” Morrison said. “One was a hospital expansion project in South Carolina. I got to see the way the big projects are built, organized and managed.”

He has also worked with the city engineer in Pelham, both this summer and last, where he enjoyed exposure to a myriad of disciplines within civil engineering, he said.

After graduation he hopes to continue working in and around Birmingham doing civil design work and possibly go into water resources.

In the meantime, he said the $3,500 scholarship will help him manage living expenses for the remainder of his college career.

“It was a great honor and I really appreciate it from the ASCE,” he said.