The DFI Educational Trust, the charitable arm of the Deep Foundations Institute, has awarded five Women in Deep Foundations (WiDF) Professional Development Grants of $1,750 each to women working in the deep foundations industry. The grants allow each recipient to attend DFI’s 45th Annual Conference from Oct. 13-16 in National Harbor, Maryland, including conference registration and related expenses for attending the conference. The grants will be presented during the Annual Conference at the Women in Deep Foundations (WiDF) 6th annual networking event.

Recipients of this year’s awards are:

  • Meghan Brassard, PE, senior geotechnical engineer, Haley & Aldrich
  • Julia Chessa, Project engineer, Menard Group USA
  • Taylor DaCanal, geotechnical specialist, American Geotechnical and Environmental Services
  • Akhila Manne, senior geotechnical engineer, Keller Ground Engineering (India)
  • Ingrid Tomac, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of California San Diego

The Trust also awarded $500 from the Paul DeBruyn Memorial Student Scholarship Fund to Fernanda Bezerra Tomaduci Imamura, a Ph.D. student at University of Alberta, to defray costs of attending the 2020 Annual Conference.

The WiDF Committee is comprised of women and men who advocate for recruiting and retaining women in the deep foundations industry. The goal of the committee is to foster greater success and interest of professional women in the industry by promoting networking events, endorsing outreach and building mentoring relationships.

The Deep Foundations Institute Educational Trust is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2006 by the DFI as its charitable arm. The mission of the trust is to support and encourage individuals in the fields of study related to the deep foundations industry by providing scholarships and opportunities to meet and work with deep foundations industry leaders.

The DFI is an international association of contractors, engineers, academics and suppliers in the deep foundations industry with more than 3,500 members worldwide. For more information about the Deep Foundations Institute, visit