Thomas Lutza (BSCE ’19) was named a University of Florida (UF) Outstanding Four-Year Scholar at the Outstanding Leaders & Scholars ceremony on December 13. Lutza just received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.
Every commencement, UF and the Alumni Association select outstanding students based on overall achievements. The committee takes into account grade point average as well as academic awards, presentations and research projects.
“This award means everything to me, I believe is it is a representation of hard work and perseverance,” Lutza said. “I have been able to work with multiple research groups, design teams, and student organizations that have truly provided a well-rounded educational experience.”
Through resilience and determination, Lutza maintained a 4.0 GPA while participating in structures and materials research groups and leading UF’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) concrete canoe team. He served as concrete canoe head captain in 2018 and then as ASCE conference chair.
Lutza credits Dr. Robert Thieke, Department Head of the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering and academic advisor, as the most influential individual in his collegiate career. Lutza says Dr. Thieke served as a professor, academic advisor, concrete canoe team advisor and role model.
“Thomas is an absolutely dedicated and industrious individual who has displayed outstanding teamwork skills in roles both as a member and a leader. At the same time, he has achieved academically at the highest level at UF and continues to do so. He compliments this outstanding academic ability with a very good practical sense and is as much at home tackling hands-on design projects as he is doing theoretical engineering computations.,” Dr. Thieke said.
After receiving his bachelor’s, Lutza will continue pursue a master’s degree in structural engineering in the College within the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment (ESSIE).
“Because of the University of Florida, more specifically ESSIE, and the amazing people I’ve gotten to know along the way, I am now more confident than ever to move confidently in a direction that I never could have imagined,” said Lutza.