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PhD candidate awarded for technical skills in transportation

Chenxi Xu, a PhD candidate in CME, received a WTS Chicago Executive Partnership Scholarship

Chenxi Xu, a PhD candidate in CME, received a WTS Chicago Executive Partnership Scholarship.

WTS is an organization that attracts, sustains, connects, and advances women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry. The scholarship will allow Xu to connect with more people, explore additional research projects, and engage in experiences that will enhance her studies at UIC.

“I am very happy and honored to have been awarded the Executive Partnership Scholarship. It validates the hard work I have done and provides a sense of affirmation that my goals are achievable,” she said.

Xu’s PhD research focuses on structural health monitoring and nondestructive evaluation of hollow structures, such as pipelines and wind turbine towers.

“Considering the aging of civil infrastructure, her research has significantly contributed to the civil engineering field and society,” said Professor Didem Ozevin, director of the Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory at UIC.

“Professor Ozevin always finds time to mentor and motivate me for new challenges, as well as offering me invaluable opportunities, whether it’s tackling different research projects, learning new fields, doing enriching internships, or attending networking events,” Xu said. “Her unwavering support has truly made a difference in my education and personal growth.”

In the lab, Xu has had the opportunity to contribute to projects funded by the National Science Foundation in collaboration with the University of Michigan and the Department of Energy in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory.

“Her involvement in these projects showcases her technical skills and her ability to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams,” said Ozevin.

In addition to her research, Xu has gained valuable experience as the vice president of the Illinois Asian American Engineers UIC student chapter.

“These involvements have constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to find inspiration from others, contribute to the community, enhance my cognitive abilities, and better embrace myself,” she said.

When Xu graduates in 2025, she aspires to be part of a research and development team in an innovative company or a national laboratory.

“I am eager to apply my skills and knowledge to make advancements in the field of structural health monitoring to make structures safer,” Xu said.