Senior engineering student Ana María Muñoz Solis has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship by Tau Beta Pi, the only national engineering honor society that represents all fields of the engineering profession.
Muñoz Solis is a mechanical engineering major who, after graduation, hopes to obtain a doctorate in biomedical engineering. She came to the University of New Orleans from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where she was born and raised. She became interested in studying the intersection of medicine and engineering when, as a bilingual high school student, she volunteered in her home country as a translator for medical brigades who traveled to Honduras to provide clinical care in underserved areas.
At UNO, Muñoz Solis is president of both the Society of Women Engineers and the UNO Ambassadors, a student group that represents the University at events on and off campus. She is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Association of Drilling Engineers.
Muñoz Solis won one of Tau Beta Pi’s Record Scholarships, which are named in memory of Leroy E. Record, a former member who left half of his estate to the organization for use in scholarships. Muñoz Solis said she was already thrilled to be inducted into the organization, which selects juniors who are in the top eighth of their engineering class and seniors who are in the top fifth. So, to find out that she’d been selected as one of the organization’s scholars was even more of an honor.
“I thought, ‘I must be doing something right,’” she said.
She said she hopes to use her degree to research and design affordable ways to deliver quality health care to people in need.
A UNO engineering student has won a Tau Beta Pi scholarship every year for the last four years. Past recipients include: Mark Parsons, a naval architecture and marine engineering major; Tesla Medina Berrios, a civil engineering major; and Kyle Tyson, a naval architecture and marine engineering major.
Scholarships are awarded to students based on “the competitive criteria of high scholarship, campus leadership and service, and promise of future contributions to the engineering profession,” according to the organization. All scholars are members of Tau Beta Pi.
UNO’s College of Engineering offers the only mechanical, electrical and civil engineering degrees in the New Orleans area. Its program in naval architecture and marine engineering makes UNO the only school in the Gulf Coast region where engineering students can specialize in designing boats, ships and offshore structures.