Civil Engineering student to receive Howard G. Ferguson Award

By Agnes Chick | May 26, 2011

Western Civil Engineering graduate student Reid Halpenny will receive the Honorable Howard G. Ferguson Award upon graduation, which is intended to recognize a student who has shown the highest achievement during his or her university career in athletics, scholarship and university life.

Civil & Environmental Engineering professors Mike Bartlett and Jon Southen proudly supported Halpenny’s nomination for the award. “Reid is an ideal recipient of the Howard G. Ferguson Award,” says Bartlett. “He is a volleyball star who has made outstanding academic achievements throughout his program in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Western.”

Southen is proud of how far Halpenny has come along throughout his career at Western. “Reid is a strong ambassador for Western. He has achieved academic excellence and demonstrated a strong work ethic, exceptional leadership, and teamwork skills.”

For his final year design group project, Halpenny and his fellow group members designed a road bridge that won first place in the Western Design Competition and second place in the 2011 City of London Design Competition. “Their design was both accurate and complete,” praises Bartlett, who compares the design to the quality of a professional engineer’s work.

Throughout his volleyball career, Halpenny has been recognized as an Academic All-Canadian for maintaining an 80 + average while competing in a university athletic team. He recently received the 2010-2011 OUA’s Dale Iwanoczko award that distinguishes outstanding student-athletes, and has also received financial support from the Quest for Gold Funding as an Ontario Carded Athlete 2007-2010.

When he is not designing projects or playing on the court, Halpenny can be found advocating on behalf of the community. He has volunteered for Community Living (an organization for developmentally-disabled adults) at local charity golf tournaments in Grand Bend. Halpenny also volunteers at his former high school by offering advice to students on the transition to university life.

While Halpenny’s efforts were never done to win awards, he can’t help but feel honoured that all his hard work is being recognized. “It will truly be a very proud moment on graduation day,” he explains. “Not only to graduate with a degree that myself and others have worked hard for, but to stand up in front of my peers in recognition for the countless hours I devoted to athletics, academics, and community involvement.”

Candidates for the Honorable Howard G. Ferguson Award must be able to demonstrate excellence within the intercollegiate athletic program at Western, be registered as a full-time student, with at least a “B” average in the previous year’s work and completion of at least three years of full-time study at Western or one of the affiliated colleges, and exhibit significant contributions to university life.

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