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SDSU's Sjurseth named 2020 Student of the Year

Posted: Jan 6, 2021

Theodore Sjurseth has been named 2020 University Transportation Centers Student of the Year for the Mountain-Plains Consortium. He will be honored with other award winners from across the country during a virtual awards ceremony today (January 6).

Sjurseth is a master's student in civil engineering at South Dakota State University. As a graduate research assistant and for his thesis, he is studying the seismic performance of mechanically spliced bridge columns to be used in accelerated bridge construction. His research focuses on testing eight half-scaled mechanically spliced precast bridge columns, including one reference column, subjected to quasi-seismic loading.

Sjurseth earned his B.S. degree in civil engineering from SDSU in 2019, graduating with honors. That year he also was captain of SDSU's steel bridge team, where he and his colleagues designed and constructed a bridge that brought SDSU to the American Institute of Steel Construction National Student Steel Bridge competition for the first time. He was also a member of the SDSU Geo-Wall Team. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

He served as a structural design intern with Raker Rhodes Engineering during the summer of 2020, analyzing and designing structures, developing plans, and working with fabricators to assure correct fabrication. Previously, he spent a year as a structural design intern with Daktronics, a world leader in designing and manufacturing electronic scoreboards, programmable display systems, and large-screen video displays based in Brookings, SD. While at Daktronics, he analyzed and designed structures for free-standing scoreboards, wall-mounted displays, and suspended displays, completing more than 50 designs. During the summer of 2017, Sjurseth was a stationary equipment engineering intern with Superior Industries, a manufacturing firm based in Morris, MN, helping design stationary conveyors and tower hoppers.

Originally from Boyd, MN, Sjurseth gained his first civil engineering experience as an intern for two summers with the Lac Quio Parle County Highway Department in southwestern Minnesota, where he conducted surveying for GIS mapping, surveyed stockpiles and borrow pits and conducted a county-wide inventory of culverts on county highways.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050