Terracon Foundation Scholarship Awarded to University of Colorado Boulder Graduate Student in Geotechnical Engineering

September 06, 2023

Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Educational Trust Awards Caroline Bessette

OLATHE, Kan. – The Terracon Foundation announced $2,000 has been awarded to Caroline Bessette, a student pursuing a doctorate degree in civil/geotechnical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, to support her studies. The scholarship is the second award following the establishment of the DFI Educational Trust/Terracon Consultants Scholarship Fund in 2020. An endowment of $50,000 from the Terracon Foundation funds this annual educational scholarship.

Bessette was recommended for the scholarship by Shideh Dashti, Ph.D., associate professor of geotechnical engineering and geomechanics at University of Colorado Boulder (UC Boulder). She is currently working on her doctoral degree research project focused on the mitigation of liquefaction consequences in stratigraphically variable sites. Bessette earned a master’s degree in civil/geotechnical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Polytechnique Montréal in Montréal, Canada. She is currently working as a graduate research assistant in geotechnical engineering at UC Boulder.

Originally from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Québec, Canada, Bessette’s interest in civil engineering stemmed from the prospect of contributing to the design and construction of vital structures that shape our modern world. After graduating with a specialization in geotechnical engineering from Polytechnique Montréal, Bessette refined her skills at the SM Group in Canada, progressing from an intern to an engineer-in-training in geotechnical and environmental engineering. Seeking to deepen her knowledge and expertise for design-oriented roles, Bessette pursued a master’s degree, delving into research and discovering a passion for earthquake engineering and risk reduction. This path led her to CU Boulder through a Mitacs Globalink-supported internship during her master’s degree studies, where she conducted dynamic centrifuge tests at the Center for Infrastructure, Energy, and Space Testing (CIEST). Inspired by the experience, Bessette enrolled in a Ph.D. program at CU Boulder, receiving honors from the National Research and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Driven by her dedication to resilient, sustainable solutions, Bessette aspires to contribute to community safety and infrastructural resilience through her research.

The DFI Educational Trust manages 20 scholarship programs funded by endowments, donations, and fundraising events. Since 2006, the Trust has awarded $1.6 million in scholarships and grants to 450 students studying at colleges and universities across the United States and the province of Ontario, Canada. Donations to the DFI Educational Trust scholarship funds can be made online at

The Terracon Foundation encourages employees to submit grant requests each year for organizations focused on education as well as the built and natural environment. To date, the Terracon Foundation has granted nearly $4 million to community organizations, universities, dependents of employees, and disaster relief efforts. For more information about the DFI Educational Trust/Terracon Consultants Scholarship, contact Andrew Verity.

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