PSEC Awards

Last Modified: February 12, 2020
by Dave

Engineer of the Year Awards

During Engineer’s Week each year, the Puget Sound Engineering Council (PSEC) conducts an Awards Banquet, to celebrate our engineering profession – a rewarding profession that makes the world a better place; and to recognize our colleagues who have excelled in their achievements.  The Awards Banquet is held every February during Engineer’s Week at the Museum of Flight.

It is essential that our Awards be made to truly outstanding engineers possessing strong histories of achievement, in order to make the celebration of our profession noteworthy and meaningful.

Each of our member Societies is aware of engineers whose achievements are worthy of recognition.  Please consider outstanding engineers known to your Society and nominate worthy candidates for the following awards:

Each Society may Nominate one candidate for each Award.

Current Award Recipients

The following award recipients were honored at the most recent Awards Banquet in February.

  • Academic Engineer of the Year, 2020

    Professor Laura N. Lowes, Ph.D.

    University of Washington

    Professor Laura N. Lowes, Ph. D., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career as a structural engineering educator who integrated cutting edge research with engineering design and problem solving. Her teaching, student advising, publications, lectures, and participation in technical conferences have led to significant advances in the seismic design of structures. 

    She employs a unique knowledge base and skill set that includes expertise in development and application of numerical models.  Specifically, she uses laboratory testing and numerical simulation to develop recommendations for advancing design codes and standards. She is best known for her research addressing the behavior, simulation, design, and performance assessment of the slender reinforced concrete walls that are used commonly to resist lateral loads in mid- and high-rise buildings.  She and her collaborators developed a numerical modeling approach that enables simulation of loss of lateral load carrying capacity that could result in building collapse during a seismic event. 

    As a teacher, she provides students with the fundamental knowledge and technical skills needed to accomplish their research and enter professional practice upon graduation. Her classes include some traditional lectures as well as carefully crafted laboratory exercises and homework assignments that help students link fundamental theory to practice.  Her students are required to model a structure or a component of choice and demonstrate that their results are valid.  In addition to her traditional teaching activities, she has established multiple webinars to inform the natural hazard engineering community about the state of the art in earthquake engineering.

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  • Government Engineer of the Year, 2020

    Susan L. Everett, P.E.

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    Susan L. Everett, P.E., Washington State Department of Transportation, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Government Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career managing complex construction projects for the department.  Throughout her career, she has led efforts to improve the accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness of the engineering within the department and served as mentor for many of the department’s project engineers.

    Currently, she is the project manager for the SR 509 Completion Project that links SR 509 to Interstate 5, provides additional access to Sea-Tac airport, and improves transportation in South King County.  Immediately prior to that position, she served as the Engineering Manager for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project, supervising a team focused on design, construction, and safety of the SR 99 tunnel. This tunnel project pushed all known limits of engineering to become the largest soft-ground machine-bored road tunnel in the world.  She joined the project during its development phase and was instrumental in redesigning the alignment of the tunnel to improve sight distances for drivers.  A part of the project was the construction of the SR 99 off-ramp to South Dearborn Street.  This flexible steel and bendable concrete bridge was designed to move with a major earthquake and return to its original position and remain functional.

    She piloted the department’s Cost Estimating Validation Process which considers project risk in developing cost estimates.  She identified project risks and then developed cost estimates considering alternative risk impacts and risk probabilities. To improve the department’s value engineering (VE) process, she introduced the split VE process in which the VE team develops initial recommendations and then submits them to the design team for development of 3D modeling, cross sections, and quantities.     

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  • Industry Engineer of the Year, 2019

    Rod Boyer, RBTi Consulting

    2019 Award Recipient

    Nominated by the ASM International

    Rod Boyer

    Rod Boyer
    RBTi Consulting

    Rod Boyer, RBTi Consulting, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Industry Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his many contributions to the aviation industry as a titanium specialist investigating the metallurgy of titanium and developing techniques for fabrication of titanium alloy air frame components. He was employed by The Boeing Company from 1965 through 2011 and now operates a consulting practice.

    At Boeing, his efforts were focused on increasing the understanding of titanium metallurgy, including the effects of processing variations resulting in microstructural variations and the resultant effect on the properties of titanium alloys.  He conducted research on all product forms used on aircraft and studied almost all of the processes involved in the fabrication of titanium components, from melting to mill processing, secondary processing (forging, extrusions, etc.) to machining.  The result of his work was implementation of several new technologies on Boeing and other aircraft.

    He directed the industrial effort on titanium alloy development for the NASA-sponsored High Speed Civil Transport Program and has been involved in several Air Force-sponsored Materials Affordability Initiative Programs involving advancing the understanding of titanium metallurgy.  He focused on powder metallurgy during his last three years at Boeing, both blended and pre-alloyed.  He led the effort in obtaining static design allowables for the blended elemental powder metallurgy product which has been approved by Boeing.  Powder metallurgy ensures very low waste levels compared to most other material commodities, such as forgings and plate, helping Boeing achieve environmental goals.

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  • K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year, 2019

    Emily Yim, Washington Alliance for Better Schools

    2019 Award Recipient

    Nominated by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington

    Emily Yim

    Emily Yim
    Washington Alliance for Better Schools

    Emily Yim, Executive Director of the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS), has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year in recognition of her many contributions to the STEM education of K-12 students.  WABS is a collaborative of eleven school districts that helps over a quarter million students graduate career and college ready.  To achieve its mission, WABS seeks to close achievement and opportunity gaps in historically underrepresented populations and increase academic achievement and career readiness for STEM fields.

    As the visionary leader of WABS, she led the expansion of the After School STEM Academy program, which currently serves over 4,700 students every year.  The program is an engaging, hands-on STEM expanded learning opportunity for elementary and middle school students facilitated by industry volunteers to build awareness of STEM careers and career pathways.  During each session, STEM industry professionals lead hour-long small group activities with students to reinforce engineering concepts, share their workplace experiences, and highlight career pathways.

    She was also instrumental in establishing a new program called Family STEM Night for students and families.  The program engages culturally diverse students and their multi-generational families in a five-week course of evening hands-on STEM activities to broaden understanding of career pathways and support family engagement. Conducted by industry volunteers, the program works to build opportunity for students of color and students who do not speak English as their first language.  By taking a holistic approach to exposing students and their families to STEM careers, the program empowers families to become engaged in their children’s education.

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  • Kenneth Porter Award, 2020

    Kristina N. Low, P.E.

    KPFF Consulting Engineers

    Kristina N. Low, P.E., KPFF Consulting Engineers, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Kenneth W. Porter Award in recognition of her many contributions to the education of K-12 students by showing them the exciting opportunities available in engineering. Her work with high school students began while she was a student at the University of Washington where she volunteered to mentor high school students through SAT preparation and college application. 

    As a professional, she has maintained her commitment to mentoring students.  Some of her more prominent K-12 outreach projects have been planning and hosting the annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition on behalf of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and mentoring students participating in the Architecture/Construction/Engineering (ACE) Mentorship Program.

    She has served in multiple positions for ASCE Younger Member’s Forum annual outreach program, the Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition, that is designed for high school students.  She was responsible for direct coordination and advertisement of the event as an outreach coordinator for two years and as the assistant event coordinator the following year.  Last year, she served as the Master of Ceremonies and invited University of Washington students to serve as mentors to the high school participants. The ACE Mentorship Program connects professionals in the design and construction industry with high school students to work through a design project through the schematic design phase. Each year since graduation, she has mentored teams of students who were interested in structural engineering and helped them develop graphics to illustrate their design concepts.

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  • Young Engineer of the Year, 2020

    Bobbie Gilmour

    Kennedy Jenks  

    Bobbie Gilmour, Kennedy Jenks, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Young Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her work as a staff engineer involved in the design and construction of water and wastewater treatment, pumping, and pipeline projects and her outstanding service in multiple leadership positions in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Younger Member’s Forum.

    One of her most notable projects was the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment and Plant Expansion and Upgrade Project in Pierce County, Washington.  She was the site inspector, construction observer, and field engineer on the $350 million project. Other projects on which she has worked include: the Bluffs Well Replacement for Clallam County Public Utilities District No. 1        in Washington; the Lyden Water Treatment Plant for the City of Lyden, Washington; the Tahalweh Wastewater Treatment Plant in Bonney Lake, Washington; and the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant Modifications Aeration Upgrade and Sludge Removal in Kona, Hawaii.

    She has been very active in the ASCE Younger Member’s Forum serving as president-elect, treasurer, co-coordinator of the annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition, and the Executive Forum Coordinator. The Executive Forum is an annual event that provides students and young engineers with an opportunity to meet prominent leaders from public agencies, consulting firms and construction companies. In addition, she provides guidance to engineering students as the Practitioner Advisor to the Seattle University ASCE Student Chapter and serves as an author of the drinking water section of the ASCE Washington State Infrastructure Report Card.

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  • Professional Engineer of the Year, 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.

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Guide for Preparation of PSEC Engineer-of-the-Year Nominations

The PSEC awards program is intended to honor truly outstanding engineers possessing strong histories of achievement.  Please nominate worthy candidates for this honor. Present their qualifications completely, accurately without exaggeration, and consistent with the criteria presented on the Nomination forms.  Also attach their resume.

A panel of judges will evaluate the nominations to identify the best nominee for each award.  The judges are experienced engineers charged with identifying the best candidate for each honor; their deliberations are private; their decisions are final; if no candidate is found worthy of the honor no award will be made.

In grading Nominations for:

  • Academic Engineer of the Year
  • Government Engineer of the Year
  • Industry Engineer of the Year
  • The Kenneth W. Porter Award

The first and second requested information items encompass the award criteria items and will receive 75% of the grade.

  • Nominee’s demonstration of Award Criteria above
  • General biography and summary of qualifications

The additional requested information items are supportive and will receive 25% of the grade.


In grading nominations for Young Engineer of the Year, the following requested information items will receive the weighting listed:

  • Professional background including Society Affiliations             20%
  • Education/Engineering Credentials (PE/EIT progress)              20%
  • Professional/Educational achievements and awards                40%
  • Community, Civic and Charitable involvement                        20%

In grading nominations for Professional Engineer of the Year, the following Award Criteria items will receive the weighting listed:

  • Has made significant contributions in the application of engineering to meet community needs      40%
  • Has significantly advanced the art of engineering                                                                         30%
  • Has actively participated in community affairs & technical societies                                              30%

In grading nominations for K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year, the following Award Criteria items will receive the weighting listed:

  • Has actively worked in promoting and advancing STEM Engineering related education at the local K-12 level for 5 or more years       20%
  • Has worked closely with local engineering societies on STEM Engineering related education                                                             35%
  • Has performed exceptional activities towards improving K-12 STEM Engineering related education                                                  45%

It will help if you fill out the Nomination form electronically, and copy their resume into the same Word file.  Rename the file with the Nominee’s name & the Award name (for example:  John Smith – Young Engineer Award.docx). 

 Keep the Nomination submittals to a maximum of 8 pages.

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