Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship 2019 Recipients


Tata & Howard, Inc. is pleased to announce Conner Bogle and Thatcher Schechtman as the recipients of the 2019 Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship.

two recipients of Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship, Conner Bogle and Thatcher Schetchman

The Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship was established in 2017 to honor the late Don Tata, co-founder and former CEO of Tata & Howard, Inc. Each year, the scholarship is given to one student from both Marlborough and Natick High School. Eligible recipients must be graduating seniors with plans to attend a four-year college or university to pursue a degree in engineering.

“We are proud to offer scholarships to these accomplished students and support the Marlborough and Natick communities, home to Tata & Howard headquarters and the Tata family, respectively,” said Tata & Howard Co-President Karen Gracey, P.E. “While we had many exemplary applicants, Conner and Thatcher’s academic achievements and future career goals made a lasting impression.”

Conner Bogle will be attending Western New England University this fall to study mechanical engineering. Inspired by the way engineering can positively impact the world, Conner’s passion sparked from his high school STEM program where he designed an outdoor amphitheater-style classroom that eventually made its way to the Massachusetts State Science Fair. In addition to his studies, Conner was the president of the VEX and FIRST Robotics Clubs, and participated in martial arts, the Marlborough High School golf team, and advanced band.

Thatcher Schechtman will be attending the University of Connecticut this fall to study civil engineering. With sights set on bettering infrastructure on a local, national and global level, Thatcher hopes to create safer bridges, more durable roads, cleaner energy systems, and more sustainable water systems. A member of the National Honor Society, Thatcher also spent time volunteering with several organizations within the local community and beyond.

“Conner and Thatcher’s ambitions, talents, and leadership skills are demonstrative of their commitment to making a positive contribution to the world,” added Paul B. Howard, P.E., Sr. Vice President and co-founder of the firm. “We wish these students success in their future academic endeavors and know that Don would be proud to see them honored for their achievements.” 

Tata & Howard Announces Four Scholarship Winners

Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship Awarded to Marlborough and Natick High School Seniors

Tata & Howard announced it’s 2018 Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship winners.  Graduating seniors from Marlborough High School, Igor De Moraes and Amanda Vilensky; and seniors from Natick High School, Kevin Zheng and Rebecca McCue, each received the $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Tata & Howard and the Tata family.

Donald J. Tata Scholarship Winner
Karen Gracey and Jenna Rzasa present Kevin Zheng with his scholarship check.

This annual scholarship was instituted in memory of Donald J. Tata, P.E., co-founder and former CEO of Tata & Howard, Inc., who passed away in March of 2017. The scholarship which is valued at $1,000, is presented to a graduating Marlborough High School senior who is attending a four-year college or university to pursue a degree in engineering. This year for the first time, the scholarship was expanded to include Natick High School graduates, Mr. Tata’s hometown for over 30-years.

“We had several well qualified applicants for the Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship and it was challenging to make our final decisions,” said Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., Co-President of Tata & Howard. “Don would be pleased to see so many smart and well-rounded students interested in a career in engineering.”

Natick High School Scholarship Recipients

Kevin Zheng, an AP Scholar with Distinction, graduated from Natick High School with highest honors and participated in numerous unique extracurricular activities. One notable activity was to create the largest Stick Bomb with a group of friends, that was ultimately held by the Guinness Book World Records. He facilitated engineering and computer science activities to thousands of daily visitors at the Museum of Science in Boston and was recognized by both houses in the Massachusetts State Legislator on the topic of Saving Energy. Mr. Zheng plans to attend Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, majoring in computer engineering.

A member of the National Honor Society, Rebecca McCue also excelled at tennis and volleyball. She was a member of the Key Club, who volunteered at several community service projects, which included building projects for disadvantaged Appalachian families in West Virginia. Ms. McCue participated in Physics for Engineers, a year-long course for seniors, that are self-motivated and have a strong background in math and science.  She plans to study Environmental Engineering.

Marlborough High School Scholarship Recipients

Amanda Vilensky, a member of both the National Honor and the National Art Honor Societies, is an accomplished student and artist. Through her work with the Environmental Club at school, she developed a passion for engineering and its problem-solving methodology for critical ecological issues. Ms. Vilensky plans to attend the University of Vermont to further her education in Environmental Engineering.

Fluent in both English and Portuguese, Igor De Moraes is a member of the National Honor Society and a STEMbassador, who mentored other students in Math and Science. A curiosity in renewable energy encouraged him to hypothetically experiment with piezoelectric tiles for the school’s gymnasium to produce electricity. Mr. De Moraes is a gifted athlete, excelling in football, track, and competed in Ping Pong competitions. He was also an officer in the Latin Club. Studying Mechanical Engineering, Mr. De Moraes will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall.

“We are all impressed with the academic achievements and ambitious goals from these talented students,” stated Karen L. Gracey, P.E., Co-President of Tata & Howard. “As future engineers, it is so exciting to imagine what these promising young individuals will accomplish in their careers.”

Tata & Howard Announces Inaugural Scholarship

Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship Awarded to Marlborough High School Senior

Tata & Howard Co-President Jenna Rzasa, P.E. and Senior Vice President Paul Howard, P.E. presented the scholarship to Kimberly Konar.

MARLBOROUGH, MA, June 27, 2017 – Tata & Howard is pleased to announce the awarding of the inaugural Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship to Kimberly Konar. The scholarship is presented to a graduating Marlborough High School senior who is attending a four-year college or university to pursue a degree in engineering, and was instituted this year in memory of Donald J. Tata, P.E., co-founder and former CEO of Tata & Howard, Inc., who passed away in March of this year.

“We had many well qualified applicants for the inaugural Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship, but Kimberly’s academic achievements and numerous extracurricular activities really made her stand out,” stated Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E., Co-President of Tata & Howard. “We were thrilled to present her with the scholarship, and are excited to see what the future holds for this accomplished young woman.”

A member of the National Honor Society, Ms. Konar also excelled in indoor track, softball, and volleyball, and won numerous awards for her participation in concert band, jazz ensemble, and marching band. She also won an award from the Tri-M Honor Society for outstanding community service.

“Kimberly’s work ethic and positive attitude are traits on which we place high value here at Tata & Howard, and are in line with our core values,” added Paul B. Howard, P.E., Senior Vice President of the firm. “We are impressed with Kimberly for her exemplary high school record both on an academic and personal level, and know that Don would have been proud to recognize her for her outstanding accomplishments.”

Ms. Konar plans to attend Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York this fall, and is majoring in engineering.


Donald Tata, Founder and CEO of Tata & Howard, Passes Away

donald tata
Donald J. Tata, P.E.

The Tata & Howard family is mourning the loss of the company’s co-founder and CEO, Donald J. Tata, P.E., 63. Mr. Tata died at home on March 25, 2017 after a valiant battle with cancer.

Tata & Howard Senior Vice President and co-founder Paul B. Howard, P.E. said, “Don was an incredible person, a brilliant engineer, and a lifelong friend. He dedicated his talents and drive to Tata & Howard for the past 25 years, and his presence is already greatly missed. His determination, integrity, passion for excellence, and commitment to the firm will continue to inspire all of us at Tata & Howard.  On behalf of the entire Tata & Howard team, we send our deepest sympathies to his wife, their two children, and three grandchildren.”

Don Tata founded Tata & Howard in 1992, and he served as President until last November when the company’s Board of Directors named Karen L. Gracey, P.E. and Jenna W. Rzasa, P.E. as Co-Presidents, and Tata as CEO. Under his leadership, Tata & Howard has grown to a nearly 70-person firm with nine offices in seven states, with recent expansion into Ontario, Canada. In 2014, the firm converted to a 100% employee-owned company and has embraced the positivity of ESOP culture. Don was instrumental in determining the firm’s core values of integrity, efficiency, client satisfaction, positive attitude, and teamwork, which the company has upheld throughout its 25 years in business. Don was also a true philanthropist and generously supported the many causes to which Tata & Howard donated, including Water For People, the Navajo Water Project, and the Jimmy Fund. While he dedicated much of his life to the firm he founded, Don always made time for his family and the various activities they enjoyed together.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, and his Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. He held professional engineer licenses in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Vermont.  Don received the William H. McGuiness award from Massachusetts Water Works Association for his knowledge, contributions, and accomplishments in the water works industry as well as outstanding service to the Association.

Gracey and Rzasa will jointly oversee daily operations and corporate strategy, and will continue to lead the organization with the same core values and excellence established by Mr. Tata. The firm has also appointed Kenneth M. Fischer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, to the Board of Directors.

Donald J. Tata, P.E., and Tata & Howard Receive Awards from MWWA

DJT and PBH MWWA awards 11.13Donald J. Tata, P.E., and Tata & Howard Receive Awards from MWWA

On November 8, Don received the prestigious William H. McGinness Award at the MWWA Dinner. The award is given to an affiliate member whose knowledge and contributions to the profession merit recognition. Tata & Howard also received the Presidential Award for sponsorship supporting MWWA’s initiatives, programs, and events.