Women in Deep Foundations Committee
Professional Development Grants

2023 Submissions are closed  |  2024 Applications will be open on April 2024.

five women in front of dfi branded backdrop

The DFI Educational Trust and the Deep Foundations Institute’s Women in Deep Foundations Committee are proud to provide professional development grant opportunities to women involved in design and construction of deep foundations. The goal of DFI’s Women in Deep Foundations Committee is to increase networking opportunities and improve retention of female professionals in the deep foundations industry. The future of our industry depends upon diversity, which can be influenced by encouraging promising female professionals to remain in deep foundations careers.


  1. Candidates must be women currently or formerly employed in the deep foundations industry or academia.

  2. Applicant must be recommended by their current or past employer’s company leadership.

Grants are awarded based on standards that do not discriminate relative to the applicant’s race, color, religion, age, nationality, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

Criteria for Submissions

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Personal essay, no more than 500 words, highlighting why the applicant chose to pursue a deep foundations-related career, applicant’s interests and experiences in the deep foundations industry, applicant’s future professional development plans, applicant’s leadership and participation in related professional activities, and applicant’s intention to continue involvement with the Women in Deep Foundations Committee and the DFI organization.
  3. One-page résumé, including education, work experience, activities, and organizations and professional affiliations.
  4. One letter of recommendation from applicant’s company leadership recommending the applicant for the grant, including a description of how the applicant will benefit from the grant and wider exposure to the DFI Women in Deep Foundations Committee and the DFI organization, and outlining the employer’s professional development support for the applicant.


Five travel grants of $1,750 each and free, full annual conference registrations will be awarded in 2023. The grants must be used to cover lodging, meals, travel, and other related expenses for the recipients’ attendance of the DFI 48th Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington.

The recipients will be featured in the DFI magazine Deep Foundations, and will be recognized at the conference during the Women in Deep Foundations (WiDF) Committee Reception and the Awards Banquet.

Recipients will each receive a check at the end of the Conference, contingent upon attending the following conference functions:

  • WiDF Committee Reception
  • Awards Dinner
  • WiDF Committee meeting
  • Another committee meeting on a topic of interest to the recipient
  • And at least one session of the Conference

Award Recipients ?

Many award recipients of the Young Professor Paper Competition have their papers available for purchase online at the DFI Journal.

Award Year Recipient Affiliation


University of California, Davis


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Northwestern University


Portland State University (PSU)


University of Rhode Island


Temple University


Oregon State University (OSU)


University of Colorado Boulder


University of California Irvine and University of Chile


California State University Fullerton


Debra Laefer
University College Dublin


Lance A. Roberts
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


Thomas J. Weaver
University of Idaho


Monica Prezzi
Purdue University
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