Representing Niners—and supporting fellow engineering students—at a national level

Categories: General News

The senior year was momentous for Kennedi Briggs and Jean Rivera, not only because of their anticipated graduation but for a distinct honor: they were two of only eight students selected by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) as FE Ambassadors for the 2023-2024 academic year. As part of the inaugural group of FE Ambassadors, Briggs and Rivera promoted the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam and the value of licensure through peer-to-peer engagement with their fellow engineering students.

“It is a huge privilege to be entrusted by the licensing board to help my peers in their professional development,” said Briggs, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in May 2024. “Being selected as one of the first FE ambassadors means … there is a world of opportunity to create a framework for this program for future ambassadors.”

In addition to her role as an FE Ambassador, Briggs was a K-12 math and science tutor, a CECAS Student Advisory Board member, a Civil Engineering Undergraduate Student Advisory Council representative, a Civil and Environmental Engineering student ambassador and a part of the Civil Engineering Mentorship Program (CE-MENT). She interned at Duke Energy and plans to focus her career in the energy industry by designing or implementing high efficiency turbines for large-scale power generation.

Engineering senior Kennedi Briggs presents at the Senior Design Expo
Briggs at the Spring 2024 Senior Design Expo

Briggs’ path to the energy industry includes a Senior Design project in which her team built a wind turbine and participated in the Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition. “Our project was to build a small wind turbine that could produce power in low wind speeds. I was the one who designed the blades, and these blades actually increase in power at about four to eight meters per second,” she said.

Rivera, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and has already passed the FE Exam on his path to becoming a professional engineer, was keen to help his peers understand more about the exam.

“Being selected as one of the first FE Ambassadors by NCEES has been an exciting opportunity to promote the benefits of pursuing licensure,” said Rivera. While all civil engineering majors are expected to take the FE Exam, Rivera notes “there is still misinformation or lack of factual information. I did not know all the facts before taking the FE Exam myself, so I want to make sure everyone who plans to take it has a point of contact on campus to ask these questions.”

In addition to promoting the pursuit of licensure and answering current students’ questions about the FE exam, Rivera led the way for future Niner Engineers by fielding questions from prospective students as a lead ambassador for the William States Lee College of Engineering and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also was an undergraduate teaching assistant, participated in several student organizations, including SHPE and NSBE, and interned with CESO and Summit Engineering, Laboratory and Testing Inc.