Engineering Student to be Honored by Tau Beta Pi

Samantha van der Drift honored with Tau Beta Pi laureate for outstanding academic achievements and community service.

Samantha van der Drift is a senior civil and environmental engineer from the Netherlands.

Samantha van der Drift is a senior civil and environmental engineer from the Netherlands.

A Texas Tech University senior civil and environmental engineering major will be honored as a Tau Beta Pi laureate Oct. 17 at the society’s national convention.

Samantha van der Drift, one of four laureates selected for 2009, will receive the award for her diverse achievements in tennis, her work as an athlete mentor to school children and an elementary school reading program. The laureates will be honored with other 2009 national award winners at the 104th annual convention, which will be held in East Brunswick, N.J.

Along with these achievements, van der Drift’s career goals include becoming LEED accredited and saving the environment for future generations. She also is involved in Engineers Without Borders, where she is the fundraising chair of a project to create a water sanitation system for a tribe in Panama.

Van der Drift grew up in the Netherlands and began playing tennis at the age of 6. In the under-17 age category, she rose to number four in the rankings in Holland. She has co-captained the Texas Tech tennis team for two years and was unanimously voted by her teammates as captain for her senior year. She holds the record for the most singles matches won at the university.

Tau Beta Pi is the world’s largest engineering society and has initiated more than 500,000 members since it was founded in 1885. The Laureate Program goals are to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges and to recognize students of superior scholarship and exemplary character.

Whitacre College of Engineering

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.

Approximately 4,646 undergraduate and 1,040 graduate students pursue bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees offered through seven academic departments: civil, environmental and construction; chemical; computer science; electrical and computer; industrial, manufacturing and systems; mechanical; and petroleum.


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