PSEC Awards

Last Modified: October 24, 2019
by Dave

Engineer of the Year Awards

Nominations for the 2020 PSEC Awards are now open. Nominations will be accepted until 5:00pm PST on Friday December 13, 2019. Nomination instructions and forms can be downloaded HERE

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.

  • 61st Annual Engineer of the Year Banquet

    Puget Sound Engineering Council Announces the 61st Annual Engineer of the Year Awards Banquet will be held Saturday, February 16, 2019, at the Museum of Flight skyline room.

    The Museum of Flight will be open to attendees at 5pm-6pm. The Social hour will be from 6:00pm-7pm, with the speaker and awards ceremony later.
    Our Speaker is Dr. Pierre Mourad, PhD, Professor, ME Coordinator in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the College of STEM at the University of Washington Bothell. His topic will be:

    Diversification of higher education: Opportunities, and Difficulties

    Dr. Pierre Mourad, PhD UW Bothell


    The Professor’s Academic  Employment History:

    • Professor, Division of Engineering and Mathematics, UW-Bothell (from Fall 2016).
    • Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery , UW-Seattle (from Fall 2016).
    • Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering, UW-Seattle, (from Fall 2016)
    • Adjunct Professor, Pediatric Dentistry, UW-Seattle. (from Fall 2016)
    • Affiliate, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (from Fall 2016)
    • Associate Professor, Division of Engineering and Mathematics, UW-Bothell (2013-2016).
    • Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery (2008-2016)
    • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Radiology (2013-2016).
    • Affiliate, Center on Human Development and Disability (from August 2009)
    • Associate Professor (Adjunct), Department of Bioengineering (2009-2016)
    • Associate Professor (Adjunct), Department of Pediatric Dentistry (2008 – 2016)
    • Member, Seattle Cancer Consortium, neuro-oncology affinity group (2004 – 2008)
    • Research Associate Professor (Adjunct), Department of Pediatric Dentistry (2007-2008)
    • Principal Physicist (rank equivalent to Full Professor), Applied Physics Laboratory (2004 – 2013)
    • Research Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery (2004 – 2008)
    • Member, University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials [UWEB] (2000 – 2004)
    • Senior Scientist (rank equivalent to Associate Professor), Applied Physics Laboratory (January 1995 – October 2004)
    • Scientist (rank equivalent to Assistant Professor), Applied Physics Laboratory (March 1988 — December 1994)
    • Post-Doctoral Research Associate for Dr. Robert A. Brown, Atmospheric Sciences Department, University of Washington (June through December, 1987). Wave-wave interactions in mixing and surface layers. Large eddy/inversion dynamics.
    • Research Assistant for Dr. Robert A. Brown, Atmospheric Sciences Department, University of Washington (Summer, 1982 to Spring, 1987). Applied Mathematics dissertation, with C.Bretherton, W. Criminale, J. Kevorkian and J. Riley: wave-wave interactions in unstable shear flows; novel mathematical methods using Chebyshev spectral expansions.
    • Research Assistant for Dr. Terry Matilsky, Physics Department, Rutgers University. (Spring and Summer, 1980). Produced evidence for structure in the Oort cloud, the birthplace of comets.

    Please purchase tickets at our Eventbrite Site.

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Current Award Recipients

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

  • Academic Engineer of the Year, 2019

    Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D., University of Washington

    2019 Award Recipient

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

    Jeffrey W. Berman

    Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D.
    University of Washington

    Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional career as a structural engineering educator who integrated cutting edge research with engineering design and problem solving. His teaching, student advising, publications, lectures, and participation in technical conferences have led to significant advances in the state of earthquake engineering practice.

    He serves as the Director of the Structural Research Laboratory and a structural engineering lead of the multi-year M9 Project, a large National Science Foundation-sponsored interdisciplinary research project investigating the impact of magnitude 9 Cascade Subduction Zone earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.  His research has advanced the understanding of how ground motion duration and ground motion frequency content impact buildings.  This has resulted in recommended design guidelines to improve the seismic safety of local buildings.

    He has conducted research on the development of post-tensioned rocking cross-laminated timber wall systems as a potential lateral force resisting system for timber buildings up to 15 stories.   His experimental and computational studies have shown the viability of rocking cross-laminated timber walls for resisting seismic loads and providing structural-damage free performance in large earthquakes.  He also conducted research on the evaluation and retrofit of steel concentrically- braced frames designed prior to 1988.  Such frames may have deficiencies that inhibit ductile system behavior.  Through large-scale experiments and computational simulation, he and his colleagues have developed recommendations for evaluation and retrofit of such frames that are being incorporated into the national standard for seismic evaluation and retrofit of buildings.

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  • Government Engineer of the Year, 2019

    James P. Wilhoit, P. E., City of Renton

    2019 Award Recipient

    Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers

    James P. Wilhoit

    James P. Wilhoit, P.E.
    City of Renton

    James P. Wilhoit, P.E., has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Government Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his many contributions in positions of great responsibility with the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps, the Seattle School District, Valley Medical Center, Washington State Department of Transportation, and the City of Renton.

    As a commissioned officer in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, he oversaw construction of shore facilities in Puerto Rico, Japan, and Washington State.  Upon release from the Navy, he served as resident engineer for the construction of two major elementary schools for the Seattle School District.  In 1990, he became the Assistant Director of Plant Engineering for Valley Medical Center and supervised the maintenance and building systems operations workforce.  In 1995, he became the Terminal Design Engineer for Washington State Ferries and managed the design of numerous ferry terminal projects throughout Puget Sound.  In 1999, he became a Transportation Design Project Manager for the City of Renton, responsible for both design and construction of transportation projects for the City.  He continued in this role until he retired in 2017.

    Throughout his career with multiple government agencies, he has emphasized safety on construction projects and streamlined contracting procedures.  He developed a reputation for keeping communications flowing to ensure that all stakeholders were informed and work stayed on schedule.  His commitment to open communication also extended to keeping the public informed of project progress and impacts to them. He actively participates in section activities of the American Society of Civil Engineers including mentoring engineering students at Seattle University and the University of Washington.

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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 W. Porter Award, 2019

    Haichuan ‘Peter’ Deng, KPFF Consulting Engineers

    2019 Award Recipient

    Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers

    Haichuan 'Peter' Deng

    Haichuan “Peter” Deng
    KPFF Consulting Engineers

    Haichuan ‘Peter’ Deng, KPFF Consulting Engineers, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Kenneth W. Porter Award in recognition of his many contributions to the education of K-12 students by showing them the exciting opportunities available in engineering. A structural design engineer, he has been involved in a wide spectrum of projects ranging from large multi-building properties in residential, commercial, health care, and transportation sectors to smaller educational, tribal, tenant improvement, and site structures.

    Post-graduation, he has spent much of his time mentoring students and promoting civil engineering to them. Some of his more prominent K-12 outreach projects include hosting the annual Popsicle Stick Bridge competition, mentoring students through the Architecture/Construction/Engineering (ACE) mentoring program, hosting multiple STEM After School Academies through the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS), and participating in local high school college and career days. The annual Popsicle Stick Bridge competition is for high school students who design and construct bridges made of popsicle sticks.  The student-constructed bridges are load-tested during a competition held at the Museum of Flight.  The ACE mentoring program engages professionals in the construction industry with high school students to work through a design project through the schematic design phase. WABS organizes an afterschool program for elementary and middle school students on STEM topics.  The program is conducted by engineer volunteers.  Peter organized and taught classes on bio-mechanical engineering, earthquake engineering, and stormwater engineering.

    He serves as an outstanding role model for young students who are trying to find a path in STEM education.  He motivates others by illuminating the potential to make an impact as an engineer.

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  • Young Engineer of the Year Award, 2019

    Abdur Rehman, P. E., Puget Sound Energy

    2019 Award Recipient

    Nominated by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

    Abdur Rehman

    Abdur Rehman P.E.
    Puget Sound Energy

    Abdur Rehman, P.E., Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Young Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his work as a relay engineer and supervisor and his outstanding service in multiple leadership positions in the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

    An active leader with rich power systems engineering design and field experience, he is widely recognized for his passion for sharing his knowledge. As the supervisor of Substation Meter-Relay Operations for PSE, he leads a team of 14 field personnel responsible for commissioning, troubleshooting, and maintaining intelligent electronic devices in PSE’s service territory. He also works with external customers with interconnected generation assets.  Some are wastewater treatment plants that capture methane gas, convert to electric energy, and use it power their own plant while connected to the PSE grid.  During major power outages, he helps to restore the electric grid as the Deputy Operations Section Chief at PSE’s Emergency Coordination Center.

    He enjoys sharing his knowledge by developing power system video tutorials and uploading them to Youtube.  He founded in 2014 which has over 11,500 subscribers who are students and professionals.  The channel has over 2.8 million minutes watched since its inception.  With thousands of likes, positive comments, and shares from nearly every major country in the world, he plans to develop more power system video tutorials.

    He supports the IEEE Seattle Section as chair of the Young Professional Affinity Group and organizer of the IEEE Pacific Northwest Young Professional Conference that hosts young professionals from across the United States and Canada.

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  • Professional Engineer of the Year, 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.

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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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