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The American Galvanizers Association (AGA) has announced the winners of the 2012 Galvanize the Future: An Edgar K. Schutz Scholarship essay contest. Three students were chosen out more than 20 applicants enrolled in architecture, construction, or engineering programs in colleges across North America.

Securing the first place prize of a $2,500 scholarship is Emmanuel Mendoza, a student earning his Master of Science Degree in Structural Engineering at the San Jose State University. His essay proposed a local pedestrian bridge should be made using hot-dip galvanized steel for corrosion protection rather than costly concrete, and he supported his argument by pointing out the aesthetic, safety, and sustainability benefits of using galvanized steel.

The second place winner of a $1,500 scholarship is James Heck, a Mechanical Engineering major at Cal State Long Beach.  His essay was a detailed proposal for a university parking structure.  Heck utilized a life-cycle cost comparison as the cornerstone of his decision to use galvanized steel for the structure.

The third place winner, 19-year-old Christopher Laabs was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.  He, too, developed a proposal for a university parking garage, referencing the success of local galvanized steel projects, cost advantages, durability, and more to justify the use of galvanized steel for the project.  Laabs is an Architecture student earning a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

This scholarship opportunity is open to any college students majoring in architecture, civil engineering or structural engineering, and has recently widened to include construction management, material science or other approved engineering fields. The student can be full or part time, and enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate degree program at any four year university in North America. For more information on next year’s program, visit the AGA’s scholarship page at