Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) student David Coghiel ’22, a civil engineering major in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), is among four Syracuse University students awarded prestigious graduate research fellowships through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).
The NSF fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in the US. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support, including an annual stipend of $34,000.
LSAMP—part of School of Education’s Center for Academic Achievement and Student Development—is dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students graduating with baccalaureate degrees in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Coghiel’s interest in civil engineering blossomed as he was growing up in New York City, where construction projects were a constant presence. He recalls being curious about what was being developed and excited about seeing the finished products. “I realized that all projects were meant to keep people safe and healthy—and as I got older, I decided that I wanted to use my passion for engineering to help create a safe and sustainable future for all,” he says.
With the support of his NSF fellowship, Coghiel plans to conduct research on the environmental impacts of carbon dioxide emissions from construction sites and determine whether there are more sustainable practices to implement in construction scheduling.
During his undergraduate career, he participated in mentorship via the WellsLink Leadership Program and worked as a lab assistant under ECS professors Cliff Davidson and Svetoslava Todorova—both experiences, he says, will positively impact his career.
“Working directly with engineering professors taught me numerous practices that I plan to implement in my own research project and future engineering career,” Coghiel says. Through his research, he is seeking ways to provide healthier airspaces for all, especially underserved communities that are often adversely affected by construction pollution.