The Chicago ACE Mentor Program and Associate Board of Directors is happy to announce two scholarship opportunities offered exclusively to ACE Chicago Alumni: our annual ACE Alumni Scholarship and the Eli W. Cohen Scholarship. See further details below regarding the award, eligibility and the application process.

Both awards are offered to encourage excellence at post-secondary levels and to bridge our support of ACE students from high school graduation to an eventual career in the design or construction industry. Applicants will be assessed by the ACE Chicago Associate Board of Directors and will be based on the following criteria:

  • Outstanding performance in the student’s chosen ACE-related education track
  • Compelling personal character
  • Demonstration of leadership within scholastic and/or extracurricular activities
  • Organization and presentation of the student’s application

Annual ACE Alumni Scholarship

  • Sponsored by the ACE Associate Board
  • One-time $2,000 scholarship
  • Eligibility: Chicago ACE alumni seeking a degree in the fields of Architecture, Construction, Engineering, or related disciplines at the undergraduate or graduate level. Qualified applicants must have completed at least 1 year of post-secondary education.

Eli W. Cohen Scholarship

  • Sponsored by the family of Eli W. Cohen, a renowned structural engineer who helped forge the Chicago skyline and founded the consulting firm that eventually became Thornton Tomasetti. The Cohen family will participate in the selection of the scholarship recipient.
  • Recurring $2,000 award paid annually for max of 3 years until graduation.
  • Eligibility: Chicago alumni pursuing an engineering degree. Qualified applicants must have completed at least 1 year of post-secondary education.

Applicants interested in one or both of these scholarships must email the below documents for consideration by October 23, 2017 to Once you send your attachments to this address they will be automatically uploaded to our system and you should receive a confirmation email.

  • Resume and cover letter, including the dates of enrollment in the ACE program
  • Personal statement reflecting on your experiences in the ACE program and highlighting your commitment to the design and/or construction industries (approx. 1-2 typed pages)
  • Official transcript(s) reflecting coursework through Spring 2017
  • Letter of recommendation written by an employer, teacher, mentor or other person familiar with your collegiate or professional work (letter should be either emailed directly to the Associate Board email or sealed/signed & mailed, and may not be written by a member of the ACE Board)
  • Please indicate if you are interested in the ACE Alumni Scholarship, the Eli W. Cohen scholarship or both.

Recommendation letters can be sent directly by the author (from their email address) to the above address OR, OR mailed to:

ACE Alumni Scholarship

c/o Katrina Fernandez Nova

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

111 West Monroe Street, Suite 2300

Chicago, IL 60603

We look forward to receiving your application! Please contact us at with any questions.


ACE Chicago Associate Board of Directors

These 2 weeks demonstrated the hard work of the students to finalize their ideas for the high school they’ve designed, branded the Chi H.U.B. School of Technology. Hosted at the CannonDesign office, students and mentors finished developing the designs of the school as well as the structural calculations, construction planning and landscape design. Groups working in Revit coordinated rendering images to provide the best snapshots of the school as they related to adjacent spaces. The branding team finalized the school’s objectives, logo & school name and layout of each slide.

Coordination was key in these weeks as the information of each of the groups was compiled into the presentation. As a group students and mentors decided on the order and flow of the presentation, the number of slides each group would have, and speaker order. The team began reviewing the presentation for the final in order to best describe the project they have worked so diligently to produce in a concise amount of time. After 2 pass-throughs as a team the time to present shortened greatly as the students became more comfortable with presenting their information. By the end of week 14 all of the content was finalized and placed into the presentation — all that remained was continuous practice on the verbal portion of the presentation to bring everything together. Also, a group photo was taken of Team 4! This included mentors from CannonDesign, Mortenson & Thornton Tomasetti, as well as the students that represent 14 schools in Illinois & Indiana.

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These weeks of ACE were busy in production. Meeting at CannonDesign’s office both weeks, students further developed plans and ideas in Revit for the each of the program types. Additionally, new groups were arranged to address Sustainability, Logistics, Structure, Landscape & Branding/Presentation. Each group (program & additional groups) consisted of 3-4 students with 1-2 mentors each.

The biggest developments of these weeks involved each team working in a variety of platforms: Revit, RAM (structural software), post-it note pull planning, bubble diagramming, sketching, and Adobe design software. Mentors from Mortenson & Thornton Tomasetti lead groups in structural calculations, logistics, phase planning and site development. Additionally, the branding/presentation team developed bubble diagrams to narrow in on the objectives of the school as well as the sequence of slides for the final presentation.

PowerPoint - Pics

For weeks 16 and 17, we have continued to work away within our respective groups. We are still revising our schemes while understanding more and more how important collaboration, communication and team work really are for a successful project. We are able to articulate, with greater confidence, our design and opinions when it comes to the aesthetic choices we have made and the rationale which has brought about design decisions. We are getting excited for the final presentation and hope that you can join us to see the final result in the not too distant future. Parents are definitely welcome at the final presentation.

This week we continued to work within our groups to develop the design, structure and mechanics of the building. We sketched our ideas out, continually revising what we had to correlate with interior schemes, engineering designs and the exterior facade. We are starting to see how different components of the building can be either tightly interdependent on each other or can, possibly, function as stand along systems.















This week, we continued the exploration and evolution of our designs within our respective groups. We talked about how to express and describe the drivers of our design concepts. We learned more about to integrate different sub teams within the project to develop aspects of the design that immediately effect each other. While we spent most of the night working to tangibly develop our design, we did so through growing our Revit, drawing and computational skills.






This week, in the architecture group, we continued the development of the building’s massing (form). We arrived at three different options which we will continue to develop and narrow down in week 13. The engineering and construction groups met to discuss various systems which could be used in the building. They also talked about the possible cost of these systems. Towards the end of the night, all groups came together to give everyone an update on their respective portions of the project. While many of the following weeks will be working weeks, we continue to grow our understanding around the steps needed to design and actualize the combination of architecture and engineering.














This week, we got to have a Q&A session with the mentors about their college experiences and what we can look for when it comes to different public and private colleges, various university experiences and majors. After that, we broke out into our groups where we progressed each portion of the project. Each team talked with mentors about how to improve aspects of the project they were responsible for. We looked at example projects as a starting point for our designs.












The Design Project – Production Time!

What: Production for the competition!
Where: Stantec, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400
When: Thursday, February 23, 5:00 – 7:00 pm


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Important Files:


Blog Quiz: N/A

Next Meeting Where: Stantec, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400
Next Meeting When: Thursday, February 23, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

The Design Project – Production Time!

What: Graphics Presentation and Production for the competition!
Where: Stantec, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400
When: Thursday, February 16, 5:00 – 7:00 pm






Important Files:





Blog Quiz: N/A

Next Meeting Where: Stantec, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400
Next Meeting When: Thursday, February 23, 5:00 – 7:00 pm