Siddhartha “Sid” Roy, Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering alumnus, has been named one of the Top 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering Professionals for 2019 by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The New Faces of Civil Engineering Professional edition awards civil engineers by highlighting achievements of young engineers and their impact on the profession and society. Annually, the society recognizes 10 rising talents in the next generation of civil engineering leaders. Roy will be recognized at the society’s OPAL awards in Arlington, Virginia, in March.

Roy served as a student leader and communications director of Virginia Tech’s 45-member Flint water research team, leading part of a scientific and humanitarian battle alongside Flint residents to uncover environmental injustice and a public health crisis. He has spent the past few years traveling to Michigan, South Carolina, and Illinois facilitating lead-in-water sampling in homes and schools and hopes to bridge the gap between science and communication to inspire young scientists.  

Currently, as post-doctoral scholar at Virginia Tech, Roy works at the nexus of water quality, public health, and environmental justice. His assignments, with guidance from University Distinguished Professor and faculty mentor Marc Edwards, include supervising water quality investigations in underserved communities across the United States and conducting research in citizen science, water quality, plumbing corrosion, and modeling of adverse pregnancy outcomes from lead exposure. He strives to use storytelling to enhance the public understanding of science with a podcast and a mini-documentary series currently in production that will feature graduate students from the EWR program.

In 2016, Roy presented at a TEDxVirginiaTech talk that has been viewed over a million times worldwide. In that talk, he explained how bad science and unethical decisions by scientists and engineers resulted in societal harm and loss of public trust during the Flint Water Crisis.

Roy earned his bachelor’s of technology in chemical engineering from Nirma University in India and a master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering and civil engineering respectively from Virginia Tech. His dissertation focused on water chemistry factors and entrained particles causing corrosion failures of copper and nonleaded alloys in potable water systems.

Roy was also recently named among the top five finalists for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science that recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities.

Written by Courtney Sakry