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Engineering Professor Walks ‘In the Company of Women’

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    By Barbara Gutierrez
    UM News

    Helena Solo Gabriele

    Helena Solo-Gabriele

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 17, 2016) –Professor Helena Solo-Gabriele, a University of Miami alumna and the associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, will be honored with the “In the Company of Women” award in the category of Science and Technology for her outstanding contributions to engineering as a teacher, mentor and researcher.

    Coinciding with Women’s History Month and hosted by the Miami-Dade Commission for Women, The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, and Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces, the  annual “In the Company of  Women” awards honor outstanding women leaders in a dozen categories for their contributions to the Miami-Dade community.

    An environmental engineer who has served on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientific panel, Solo-Gabriele has more than 16 years of research experience as a faculty member in water quality assessments and contaminant fate and transport. Her research has included the health risks associated with using chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood for marinas and decks, as well as the toxic effects of arsenic from pre-treated wood seeping through playgrounds and groundwater. She led the “Recreational Microbes” research group that evaluated the relationship between human health and the physical and microbiological characteristics of the coastal environment.

    The award came as a surprise to Solo-Gabriele, who was nominated by her good friend and colleague, Ana Veiga Milton, who studied with her in high school and college.

    “This award is extra special because it was done out of someone else’s true appreciation for me,” she said.

    Calling Solo-Gabriele “truly remarkable,” Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering, noted her career  “has encompassed undergraduate and graduate teaching, funded research, and administrative activities in diverse interdisciplinary areas.”

    The daughter of Cuban-American immigrants, Solo-Gabriele earned her B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering at the University of Miami and her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    She is a past president of the Association of Cuban Engineers, which in collaboration with three other Florida colleges, seeks to help engineering professionals by promoting engineering education, providing networking opportunities, and most recently addressing engineering-related issues in Cuba’s future, specifically with respect to its crumbling physical infrastructure.

    The awards ceremony will be held on 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at the Coral Gables Country Club. For more information, visit


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