Cindy Hirsch, PE, Federal Aviation Administration
2015 Award Recipient
Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers
Cindy Hirsch, PE, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Government Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her many contributions to improving the nation’s airports. She is the Lead Civil Engineer for the FAA Northwest Mountain Region Safety and Standards Branch. In this role, she is the chief technical engineer on matters of airport design and construction for the seven-state region. She contributes to national FAA policy and standards, creates regional policy and standards, advises management, and guides project managers in three Airports District Offices (Seattle, Denver, and Helena). Prior to taking on the role of Lead Civil Engineer in July 2014, Ms. Hirsch was a project manager for the Seattle Airports District Office overseeing the design and construction of airport projects throughout Oregon and Washington.
A technical expert in terminal design and aircraft parking, she was invited by the Transportation Research Board to make presentations on her work. She showed innovative aircraft parking ideas and marking schemes and explained new passenger bridge technologies. One of her strong interests is in the reduction of environmental impacts, particularly material reuse and recycling. She is helping facilitate material reuse not currently identified in technical specifications, such as recycling existing aggregate base course and proportioning of recycled asphalt materials in sub-base and base courses.
Ms. Hirsch has been a leader is the incorporation of technology in the execution of airport construction projects. These include expanded use of computerized control of construction equipment, the use the Airports Geographic Information System database, and the use of computer aided design. She has worked to improve the effectiveness of the engineering profession by way of new design and construction practices that incorporate environmental and technological considerations.
Ms. Hirsch has been active in contributing to the future of her profession by her membership in the Visiting Committee for the University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In addition she has led the Seattle Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ History and Heritage Committee since the mid-1990s.