A strong showing in Miami for Lehigh’s civil and environmental engineering program

The American Society of Civil Engineers presented numerous awards, including three to Lehigh civil and environmental engineers, during the 2019 ASCE Convention, held October 10-13 in Miami. 

“We’re pleased that ASCE recognizes the quality of the work coming out of our department as well as the continued accomplishments of our distinguished alumni,” says Panos Diplas, P.C. Rossin Professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering at the Rossin College. “I extend my congratulations to these deserving individuals.”

2019 State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award

Civil engineering professor Dan M. Frangopol, alum Alysson Mondoro ’18 PhD (now an engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division), and current PhD student Liang Liu received the 2019 State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award. Mondoro is the lead author of the team’s award-winning paper, "Bridge Adaptation and Management under Climate Change Uncertainties: A Review," which was published in Natural Hazards Review, ASCE (February 2018).

The award recognizes a paper published by ASCE for its review and interpretation of state of the art scientific and technical information. According to the ASCE’s website, the award serves to encourage “the scholarly review, evaluation, and documentation of the scientific and technical information needed by the profession.”

The team’s work examines challenges bridge owners and managers face as a result of climate change and proposed strategies to help mitigate negative impacts. The paper discusses methodologies for planning under uncertainty, including stochastic and robust optimization methods.

Frangopol, who is the inaugural Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering, has been honored with this prestigious award twice before—in 1998 and 2004.

2019 ASCE Presidents’ Award

CEE alum Stephen J. Ressler ’89G ’91 PhD received the 2019 ASCE Presidents’ Award recognizing his “34 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, extensive engagement in engineering education at the U.S. Military Academy and Lehigh University, and [his service as] principal instructor for ASCE's ExCEEd Teaching Workshop."

The ASCE Presidents’ Award was established in 1976 in commemoration of the nation’s first president, who was a civil engineer and land surveyor. The award is made annually to an ASCE member who has given distinguished service to the member’s country.

Ressler, who is also a graduate of West Point, served as professor and head of the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering there. He retired in 2013 at the rank of Brigadier General. He currently develops online engineering courses and returned to Lehigh for the Fall 2018 semester to teach the CEE department's professional development course.

2019 John I. Parcel-Leif J. Sverdrup Civil Engineering Management Award

CEE alum Matthew (Matt) G. Cummings '86 received the 2019 John I. Parcel-Leif J. Sverdrup Civil Engineering Management Award. Cummings is president and CEO of T.Y. Lin International Group, a global infrastructure consulting firm.

The selection committee recognized Cummings “for his definitive contribution to the field of civil engineering management evidenced by exemplary character, professional integrity, and national reputation.”

Instituted in 1976 to encourage effective leadership and management skills in the civil engineering profession, the award honors an ASCE member who has made a definite contribution in the field of civil engineering management, evidencing high character and professional integrity and regional or national professional reputation.

At the convention, Cummings also participated on a panel of successful leaders in the civil engineering profession for the session, “Leadership Today: Building Your Path and Brand.” He shared stories of his career path and professional development, focusing on what it takes to become an ethical leader in today’s world, mentorship, and the leadership traits that are needed to succeed.

About the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. With the vision of civil engineers as global leaders building a better quality of life, ASCE is dedicated to delivering value to its members, advancing civil engineering, and protecting the public health, safety, and welfare.

Robin Kemper, Dan Frangopol, and Thomas Smith

From left, Robin Kemper, ASCE President, Dan M. Frangopol, Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture, and Thomas Smith, ASCE Executive Director at the 2019 ASCE Convention. Credit: ASCE/Jason Dixson Photography

 Stephen J. Ressler

Stephen J. Ressler ’89G ’91 PhD

Matthew (Matt) G. Cummings

Matthew (Matt) G. Cummings '86