The Charger Blog

Tagliatela College of Engineering Recognizes Outstanding Alumni, Exemplary Partners

Later this month, the University’s TCoE will recognize two alumni who have excelled in their fields while serving as mentors to tomorrow’s engineers. The Tagliatela family, longtime supporters of the College, will also be honored for their ongoing support.

October 6, 2022

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Buckman Hall, Tagliatela College of Engineering.
Buckman Hall, Tagliatela College of Engineering.

When Jordy Eduardo Padilla-Solis ’15 was interning for a local construction company that was helping build the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven, he saw how much of an impact a new bridge could have on a community. Padilla-Solis, who was born in Sucúa, Ecuador, came to the United States when he was seven years old and grew up in New Haven.

Jordy Eduardo Padilla-Solis ’15.
Jordy Eduardo Padilla-Solis ’15.

Many thousands of cars pass over the bridge, known locally as the “Q Bridge,” each day as they cross over the Quinnipiac River on I-95. Padilla-Solis was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an important project in his community.

A member of the University’s Alumni Civil Engineering Advisory Professional Board, Padilla-Solis is now being recognized by his alma mater. He is the 2022 recipient of the Tagliatela College of Engineering Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which honors the achievements of alumni who have graduated within 10 years or are under 35 years of age.

“I was very happy and surprised to have received this award,” said Padilla-Solis, a graduate of the University’s civil engineering program. “As someone who grew up in New Haven, this recognition is a reminder of the importance of community building. It is truly an honor to be recognized by the engineering faculty of the University.”

‘A team that could help transform cities’
Jordy Eduardo Padilla-Solis ’15.
Jordy Eduardo Padilla-Solis ’15.

A senior engineer for Thornton Tomasetti, a firm in New York City, Padilla-Solis focuses on bridge design and rehabilitation. He is currently working on a project involving the Queensboro Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Queens.

Over the past several years, he has also been utilizing Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC), a specialized concrete for bridge rehabilitation. He’s been working with several agencies and the Federal Highway Administration to promote applications for UHPC.

“I chose civil engineering because I wanted to be part of a team that could help transform cities,” he said.

‘The family is very honored’

The award is one of three that the TCoE is presenting as part of an alumni dinner event that will be held later this month. The Tagliatela family, longtime supporters of the TCoE, which bears their name, will receive the Exemplary Partner Award. It honors the contributions of individuals or corporate partners who have demonstrated exemplary service toward the advancement of the TCoE.

Stephen Tagliatela ’13 Hon., co-owner of Saybrook Point Resort and Marina in Old Saybrook, Conn., who also co-owns Franklin Construction, LLC, in New Haven with family members Patricia Tagliatela and Louis Tagliatela Jr. ’17 Hon., says seeing the work and achievements of students and graduates of the TCoE is “very rewarding.

“It strengthens our partnership with the University, particularly with the College of Engineering,” said Stephen Tagliatela, a member of the University’s Board of Governors. “It’s like reinvesting in our community, and we want to give back to the community that has treated us so well. We believe supporting the University is a great investment, and the growth and quality of the programs as well as the diversity of the students make for a very big success story.”

“The family is very honored to receive this award,” added Patricia Tagliatela. “We’ve had a wonderful partnership with the University.”

The Tagliatela family will receive the Exemplary Partner Award.
The Tagliatela family will receive the Exemplary Partner Award.
‘It’s wonderful to be recognized’

The Tagliatela family’s continuous support of the TCoE, as well as its civil engineering programs, has created countless opportunities for students and for the TCoE to grow. The family has recently established the Tagliatela Family Chair in Civil Engineering, the Tagliatela Family Scholarship in Civil Engineering, and the Tagliatela Family Civil Engineering Laboratory. Members of the Tagliatela family are looking forward to attending the award ceremony.

“This recognition strengthens our partnership and makes us feel closer to the University,” said Louis Tagliatela Jr. “It’s wonderful to be recognized. It’s a proud alliance we’ve had for a long time.

“It’s amazing when you see the display of senior projects and you meet the students and see what they’ve accomplished,” he continued. “The intern program that the students have is also so important, especially with Connecticut companies. It’s so important to keep that talent and those skills in Connecticut.”

‘It is a rewarding experience’
Ann Cox ’83
Ann Cox ’83.

Ann Cox ’83, a project manager for Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, will receive the Distinguished Lifetime Alumni Award, which recognizes the career achievements of outstanding alumni. Cox, who has worked in the aerospace industry for more than three decades, has played a critical role in missions to the moon and Mars, as well as space shuttle missions. She is also passionate about supporting and inspiring future engineers.

“I am honored to receive this award,” said Cox. “The education I received at the University provided a solid technical foundati on that enabled me to explore and excel in a wide range of engineering areas. The University’s challenging curriculum and engaging faculty were instrumental to the accomplishments I’ve achieved throughout my career.”

The awards are being presented for the first time since the pandemic. The alumni dinner will bring together alumni and faculty to celebrate the award recipients.

For Padilla-Solis, the Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient, those connections have been particularly important. It was one of his faculty mentors with whom he is still in contact, Byungik Chang, Ph.D., P.E., MBA, who invited him to join the Alumni Civil Engineering Advisory Professional Board. He says he has had “lifelong mentors” after graduating.

“I was able to attend and graduate successfully from the University of New Haven through the support of multiple mentors,” he said. “I now have the opportunity to serve as a mentor to current students who want to know more about the industry and prospective students who are interested in majoring in civil engineering. It is a rewarding experience to talk about my career experience and how it ties back to my time as a student at the University.”