Jay Banna SSEBE

Jay Banna is exploring ways to integrate training in leadership and teamwork skills into engineering courses. Photo by Rosie Gochnour/ASU

ASU senior Jay Banna is getting support from the American Association of Railroad Superintendents to help complete studies in the civil engineering program in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

The organization recently awarded him a $500 scholarship, due in part to his interest in transportation engineering.

He’s been gaining experience in the field through an internship he began in the summer of 2011 with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

ADOT is giving him opportunities to delve into various aspects of engineering, including geotechnical analysis, materials testing, construction planning and management, and traffic-control planning and design.

In addition, Banna is getting experience as an educator, serving as a teaching assistant for associate engineering professor Thomas Seager. His work with Seager has enabled him to be among co-authors of a research paper on the use of games to teach engineering ethics.

Banna is also conducting an independent research project in engineering education. He’s exploring ways to integrate training in “qualitative skills” such as communication, teamwork and leadership into the learning process in engineering courses.

He’s been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers for four years and is active in the  steel bridge group of the organization’s local section. The group brings together students to collaborate on designing and building a steel bridge model each year to enter in competitions with other student teams from schools around the country. Banna is the joint specialist for the ASU group.

Away from studies, the graduate of Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Ariz., is an accomplished practitioner of martial arts. He’s won high-level competitions and taught martial arts for several years.

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