Professional Engineer of the Year, 2020

February 10, 2020

Andrew W. Taylor, Ph.D., P.E., S.E.

KPFF Consulting Engineers

Andrew Taylor, 2020 PSEC Professional Engineer of the Year

Andrew W. Taylor, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., KPFF Consulting Engineers, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Professional Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional career as a structural engineer focused on earthquake engineering, structural engineering of reinforced concrete buildings, structural vibrations, and building code development.

As a research structural engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, he conducted research to advance the state of engineering practice.  His research activities included performance-based seismic design of bridges, seismic isolation of structures, numerical modeling of earthquake damage to concrete structures, and testing standards for earthquake protection systems.

He served as an advisor to the State of Washington in evaluating the remaining strength and durability of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  He synthesized study information and concluded that it was not economical or advisable to attempt to repair and strengthen the viaduct.  He served as a technical expert on the potential damage to structures due to ground settlement created by excavation of the new SR 99 tunnel beneath Seattle.  He evaluated the potential settlement profile at dozens of buildings above the tunnel route and performed analysis to determine if the expected levels of ground settlement would cause damage to the structures.

He has served for eleven years on the American Concrete Institute committee that writes and maintains the U.S. national building code for concrete structures, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary, and is the national chair of the committee formed to develop the 2025 edition of this code.

Professional Engineer of the Year, 2019

January 14, 2019

John H. Clark, P. E., S. E.

2019 Award Recipient

Nominated by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington and the American Society of Civil Engineers

John H. Clark

John H. Clark, P.E., S.E.

John H. Clark, P.E., S.E., has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his lifetime achievement and innovation in bridge design and advocacy of cost-effective designs that protect public safety.  He was employed by Arvid Grant and Associates from 1963 to 1978; by Anderson, Bjornstad, Kane, Jacobs of Seattle from 19679 to 1997; and as an independent consultant from 1997 to 2017.  He is now retired.

Throughout his distinguished career, he as been involved in the design of many significant bridges and in value engineering studies that examined the bridge designs of others. Notable examples of his achievements include serving as a bridge specialist for the consulting team charged with investigating the 1990 sinking of the Lacey V. Morrow floating bridge on I-90, serving as an independent review consultant for the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge across the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona, serving as a design consultant for the West Seattle Freeway High Level Bridge, and serving as a design consultant on the seismic retrofit of the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge.

He was responsible for the structural design for the first major concrete cable-stayed bridge in North America across the Columbia River at Pasco, Washington.  The 2,500-foot long bridge is composed of precast post-tensioned cable-stayed elements and cast-in-place box girder approach spans.  He also led the design of the West Seattle Freeway Low Level Swing Bridge.  The movable spans of this double leaf swing bridge are post-tensioned concrete box girders constructed segmentally.  Each moveable leaf weighs 7,500 tons and is raised and moved hydraulically.

Professional Engineer of the Year, 2018

January 30, 2018

David B. Swanson, P.E., S.E., Reid Middleton, Inc.

2018 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of Washington

David Swanson

David B. Swanson, P.E., S.E.
Reid Middleton, Inc.

David B. Swanson, P.E., S.E., Reid Middleton, Inc., has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his commitment to promoting professional engineering excellence and innovation, mentorship of younger engineers, promotion of public safety, and ongoing work to advance the engineering profession.  He designs and manages projects for clients in the aviation, civil, commercial, educational, healthcare and military sectors.  His expertise lies in improving our infrastructure’s seismic resilience and promoting earthquake preparedness and response to seismic risk.   He excels at communicating the need for ongoing seismic resilience to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.  His energy, drive, and enthusiasm for addressing seismic risk have led to his personal and professional success.

He represents engineers nationally as a member of the Disaster Response and Recovery Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers and serves on FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Washington Task Force as a structural engineer evaluating collapsed buildings for urban search and rescue operations.  He has organized and led earthquake response and reconnaissance teams to research lessons learned from devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan (1995), Taiwan (1999), China (2008), Chile (2010), Haiti (2010), New Zealand (2011), Japan (2011) and Mexico (2017).  This experience has enabled him to design innovative seismic protection systems for both historic and modern structures.

Throughout his career, he has been actively involved as a consulting structural engineer.  He is a sought-after peer reviewer, code consultant, analysis reviewer, and technical speaker on structural and earthquake engineering.  He has authored over 25 technical papers on seismic and structural design, earthquake risk reduction, emergency preparedness, and the seismic rehabilitation of historic and essential buildings and infrastructure.

Professional Engineer of the Year, 2017

January 18, 2017

Mark D’Amato, P.E. S.E.
DCI Engineers

Mark D’Amato, P.E., S.E., DCI Engineers

2017 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of Washington

Mark D’Amato, P.E., S.E., DCI Engineers, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his outstanding service to the engineering profession and his lifetime of achievement in excellence and innovation in structural engineering. He  designs and manages projects for clients in the commercial, medical, residential, industrial, and marine sectors.  His expertise lies in the design of post-tensioned concrete and steel framed structures.  His special areas of interest include high-rise building design, seismic retrofit, and the design of brick and structural glass cladding systems.

He has extensive project experience gained over his 38-year career as a structural engineer.  His engineering for low cost housing and municipal buildings are noteworthy for their economical and durable designs.  Many of his iconic structures have changed the skylines of cities while pushing the envelope of engineering and construction practice.  Throughout his career, he has advocated for advances in engineering techniques that contribute to building efficiency and streamlined construction.  The University District’s 47th + 7th apartment building was the result of nearly seven years of research and development into modular construction techniques.  Using pre-fabricated steel framed wall and floor systems containing plumbing, electrical systems, fire sprinklers, and interior cabinetry; it was assembled like an erector set.  The outcome was a highly sustainable and sleek, modern building that does not appear as a modular building.

In addition to his engineering work, he is actively involved in his community.  He participated in Washington STEM and the Bellevue Downtown Association.  He hosts high school students to tour the Seattle Center to show the works of several great civil/structural engineers who contributed to the amazing structural legacy.  He often visits local high schools to encourage students to pursue careers in structural engineering.

WSPE Professional Engineer of the Year, 2016

October 24, 2016

Vladimir Shepsis, PhD, PE Coast and Harbor Engineering, Inc.

2016 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Vladimir Shepsis

Vladimir Shepsis

Vladimir Shepsis, PhD, PE, Cost and Harbor Engineering, Inc., has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his outstanding service to the engineering profession and his lifetime of achievement in excellence and innovation in coastal engineering. He has led the advancement of performance-based coastal engineering methodologies, development of innovative coastal engineering solutions, execution of cutting-edge research, and development of code requirements. These include developing new and improved numerical models and analytical procedures to simulate waves, river and tidal flow hydrodynamics, sediment transport, erosion and deposition, and bottom morphology changes.

He has had an extraordinary portfolio of coastal projects located in more than 30 countries throughout the world. He has provided essential engineering support for some of the most critical waterfront, maritime, and port/harbor projects that have been completed during the last several decades. During the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, he provided the State of Louisiana and local communities engineering support for reconstruction of shoreline protection and waterfront facilities. He led the coastal engineering effort to support the Texas recovery after Hurricane Ike and provided engineering support to the salvage of the grounded cruise ship, Costa Concordia, off the coast of Italy. Local projects include Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park Beach, the Bremerton Breakwater, conversion of the Anacortes paper mill site into a public park, the Mukilteo Beach project, and the Port of Klama Terminal Dredging project.

He participated in advisory and reviewing roles with the development of new federal, state, and local governments’ engineering standards and guidelines for coastal engineering. As a member of ASCE’s Mooring Analysis Task Committee, he participated in the development of engineering guidance for mooring of deep- draft vessels exposed to wave and passing ship impacts. To attract the next generation of coastal engineers, he volunteers to make presentations at high schools and universities.

2015 WSPE Professional Engineer of the Year

January 25, 2016

Ron Klemencic, PE, SE

Ron Klemencic, PE, SE

Ron Klemencic, PE, SE

2015 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of Washington

Ron Klemencic, PE, SE, Hon AIA, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his outstanding service to the engineering profession and his lifetime of achievement in excellence and innovation. He has led the advancement of performance-based seismic design methodologies, development of innovative structural systems, execution of cutting-edge research undertakings, and involvement with code development and enhancements. He shares his knowledge widely and on many levels, speaking at international conferences, serving on technical committees and panels, advising government agencies, participating in educational programs, and through day-to-day mentoring.

Mr. Klemencic has spent the last decade pioneering the development and adoption of a new design methodology known as “Performance-Based Seismic Design” (PBSD). This design approach provides high-rise buildings with increased safety, reliability, and architectural/programming flexibility at reduced cost. The PBSD approach that he developed not only meets the intent of the building code but actually designs to a much larger earthquake and higher level of performance than required by the code. To date, he has led the design of 36 PBSD structures – more than any other U.S. engineer. In 2014, the American Institute of Architects recognized his extraordinary contributions by granting him a national Honorary AIA membership.

Rather than simply implementing established design approaches, Mr. Klemencic is passionate about exploring new approaches for improved designs, He has been actively involved in multiple research projects at the University of Washington, University of California at Los Angeles, Purdue University, and the University of California at Berkeley. His studies and published papers cover a wide variety of complex topics, including post-tensioned floor slabs, reinforced concrete wall connections, large-scale reinforced concrete link beams, dual-plate composite core walls, steel coupling beams, coupled concrete shear walls, and steel concentrically braced frames.