UM Student Named Outstanding Senior by Mississippi Engineering Society

Shelby L. Bottin has worked as trainee at Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center

Shelby Bottin, a UM civil engineering student and Mississippi Engineering Society’s Outstanding Senior Engineering Student, is congratulated by Jacob Najjar, UM chair and professor of civil engineering. Submitted photo

While doing outstanding work and winning awards may be familiar experiences for Shelby L. Bottin, the University of  Mississippi civil engineering student was still thrilled to be honored as the Mississippi Engineering Society’s “Outstanding Senior Engineering Student of the Year” during the organization’s annual state winter meeting in February.

“After listening to all the other presentations given by such talented, well-deserving engineering students at Senior Recognition Day, I did not think I would be receiving the MES Award,” said Bottin, a Vicksburg native, who has consistently made the chancellor’s and dean’s honor rolls and received the Brown’s Civil Engineering Scholarship in her junior year. “It is very meaningful to me because it showed me that all my hard work over the years paid off and has been recognized.”

The award was weighted on academic achievement, community service and extracurricular activity that extends beyond the engineering field and promotion of the welfare of the engineer and the engineering profession.

A member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Bottin has worked as a trainee at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg in the structural mechanics branch of the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory. She said she gained valuable work experience during her employment with ERDC.

“I performed research and development and assisted professional engineers in writing technical reports and test plans, managing projects and collecting/analyzing data,” she said. “I also led a team of engineering students and technicians to successfully execute experiments under projects aimed to support the ERDC’s mission.”

At Ole Miss, Bottin was elected vice president of the Chi Epsilon Engineering Honor Society and treasurer of the campus chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

She has volunteered for the UM Big Event day of service and the Department of Outreach catapult competition, judged the Mississippi Regional Science Fair and participated in the Panhellenic CARE Walk benefiting breast cancer awareness.

Her professional memberships include UM’s ASCE Concrete Canoe Team, American Institute of Steel Construction, Engineers Without Borders, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Kappa Delta Alpha Mu Sorority and Gamma Sigma Alpha National Greek Honor Society.

Bottin said several of her engineering professors contributed to her success.

“I have enjoyed many undergraduate courses taught by great professors such as Dr. Ahmed Al-Ostaz, Dr. Chris Mullen, Dr. Hakan Yasarer, Mrs. Grace Rushing, Dr. Jacob Najjar, Dr. Waheed Uddin, Dr. Hunain Alkhateb, Dr. Yavuz Ozeren, Dr. Elizabeth Ervin and others,” Bottin said.

“One of the most challenging and most rewarding courses has been Civil Engineering Senior Design I and II with Dr. Hunain Alkhateb. This course incorporates so much that has been taught in the other undergraduate courses, allowing students to apply what they have learned to real-life engineering projects. I believe that it is a great course to better prepare students for engineering work after graduation.”

Najjar, chair and professor of civil engineering, said he found Bottin’s achievement extremely rewarding.

“Her award is a testimony to her professional achievements and makes her a great role model for UM engineering students,” he said.

Following graduation, Bottin plans to work as a research civil engineer at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center and continue her education through ERDC’s Graduate Institute.

“My long-term goals include becoming a licensed professional engineer, and obtaining a master’s degree and Ph.D. in civil engineering,” she said.

Bottin said she will always be grateful for Ole Miss engineering faculty and staff.

“My education from Ole Miss has given me a great foundation to continue to learn and grow my education,” she said. “I enjoy solving problems, and I want to use my problem-solving abilities to better the world we live in.”