LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2016) — AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, announced today that executives from AECOM and Savannah River Remediation LLC (SRR), an affiliate of AECOM, presented a donation of US$80,000 to the University of South Carolina Aiken (USCA) Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan, continuing a US$400,000 pledge to the university to help establish the new four-year engineering degree program.
AECOM and SRR, the liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site, signed a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Jordan to support education at USCA, including a pledge for the amount of US$400,000 toward establishing the four-year accredited engineering degree in Industrial Process Engineering at the university. This donation continues that commitment toward the program, which commenced in the Fall semester of 2015 with approximately 45 students in the inaugural school year.
“The University of South Carolina is pleased with our beneficial relationship with AECOM and SRR, which includes dynamic support for our new Industrial Process Engineering degree,” said Dr. Jordan. “AECOM and SRR have partnered with USC Aiken from the beginning, helping devise the curriculum and supporting the program. This generous commitment to engineering enhances opportunities for the students who enter an exciting new major.”
Now that students have begun their four-year engineering degree at USCA, Dr. Todd Wright, AECOM executive vice president for nuclear and environment, said the new engineering degree will soon yield technical talent for AECOM and many other companies and industries in the area.
“AECOM has been a long-time supporter of advancing education, and we are pleased to provide support for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Process Engineering,” Wright said. “The investment we’ve made to USCA is threefold: it is beneficial to the students, the community and the company.”
Travis Leischner — a U.S. Army Veteran who spent five years on active duty, a student in the inaugural class of the Industrial Process Engineering degree at USCA and a current part-time SRR employee in the SRR Veteran Cooperative Program — said engineering courses would have been his only option at USCA prior to the establishment of the four-year accredited engineering program. Now, Leischner will be able to pursue an engineering career post-graduation.
“I am learning what it takes to be an engineer in the industry at SRR while at the same time learning the curriculum of becoming an engineer at USCA,” Leischner said. “I have been given an invaluable opportunity to earn a degree in an area that is so rich in opportunities for engineers, and I’m grateful for AECOM and SRR for helping to make it possible for me and so many others.”
In addition to attracting traditional students who will now choose USCA to pursue engineering, the new degree program fulfills a significant demand among non-tradition students who are employed in the Central Savannah River Area.
“Given the short-term and long-term industry needs in science, technology, engineering and math areas, the new engineering degree program fulfills a need to attract students to an engineering program in our region,” Wright said. “AECOM is proud to be a part of making a significant difference in engineering education opportunities in the Aiken region.”
The Savannah River Site is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel, CH2M and BWX Technologies. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and Professional Solutions, an AECOM company.
AECOM and SRR Executives (from right) Tom Wrenn, AECOM executive vice president of marketing and business development for management services; Kent Fortenberry, Savannah River Remediation chief engineer; Heather Rim, AECOM chief communication officer; and Keith Wood (left), AECOM vice president of marketing and communications for nuclear and environment, present a donation of US$80,000 to Dr. Sandra Jordan (right of Wood), Chancellor of the University of South Carolina in Aiken, continuing a US$400,000 pledge to the university to help establish the newly accredited four-year Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Process Engineering at USCA.
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