Carnegie Mellon University
October 15, 2014

2014 CEE Alumni Awards

2014 CEE Alumni Awards

The CEE alumni awards are designed to recognize you for your dedication, support, and contributions to both the department and the general world of civil and environmental engineering. These three awards are the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Outstanding Service Award, the Recent Alumnus Achievement Award and the Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award. They are all given at the annual CEE Alumni Brunch during Cèilidh weekend each fall. All alumni are invited to fellow alumni who have demonstrated exemplary achievements and service. 

Detailed Award Descriptions

Full Listing of alumni award recipients

Recent Alumni Achievement Award

ScownThe recipient of this year's Recent Alumni Achievement Award was Dr. Corinne D. Scown (BS '06). This award is meant to distinguish alumni of the CEE department who have made noteworthy achievements in their fields within ten years of graduating from CEE with their highest degree.

Scown received her BS from CEE in 2006, after which she went on to UC Berkeley. In 2008, she received her Masters in Civil Engineering, and in December of 2010 her PhD, with a focus on the water resource impacts of conventional and alternative transportation fuel production. Her research interests include life-cycle assessment, the environmental impacts of energy production, economic input-output models, air quality, and the interaction between science and policy/decision-making.

Scown has also participated in several outreach programs relating to sustainability and female-focused engineering. Two such programs are the SEED Educational Program, which is an after-school program designed to teach junior high students about energy and climate change, and Engineering Your Future, which introduces basic engineering concepts with demonstrations to high school girls in Pittsburgh.

Beginning in 2012, Scown has worked as a Research Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where she has led several projects which were supported by the State of California, the Energy Biosciences Institute, and the Department of Energy. Currently, Scown is working on projects to optimize the production of advanced biofuels, to model impacts at the county level of electric vehicle adoption on greenhouse gas and human health, and to manage lithium-ion automotive batteries end-of-life.

After accepting her award, Scown said, "Thank you to everyone in the Carnegie Mellon community and in the CEE department who gave me the courage to apply to PhD programs."

Outstanding Alumnus Service Award

HinsonStephen Hinson (BS '97) received the Outstanding Alumnus Service Award this year. The award honors alumni from CEE who have contributed outstanding service to the engineering profession for an extended period of time, such as participating in the CEE Alumni Advisory Council.

Hinson graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1997 with a Bachelors' degree in Civil Engineering, and shortly thereafter began work as an IT Program Manager with Schlumberger, the industry leading Oilfield Services Company. After working as a field engineer and operations manager, Hinson started working on various IT projects that cover diverse aspects of field operations around the world. Currently, his work focuses on applications to support several programs, including the corporate Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment program; the Global Regulatory Compliance Program; and the Service Delivery program.

Hinson comes from a long tradition of offering help to those less fortunate than him. He fondly remembers the family meetings during his childhood when he and his siblings were encouraged to take an active role in deciding where the family's donations would go. Even during those weeks when a monetary donation wasn't possible, he was encouraged to offer service to those less fortunate. This tradition has remained with him, leading him to be a dedicated member of the CEE Alumni Advisory Council and an integral part of the department's efforts to establish the Cartwright Support Fund for Teaching Professors. Hinson graciously accepted his award, fulfilling his goal to be "better at receiving, better at showing thanks."

Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award

MontaThe Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award recognized Lieutenant Colonel Ross A. Monta (BS '95). This award, which was created to honor the memory of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012, is meant to honor alumni of CEE who have made significant contributions in service of the public, such as distinguished military service. Lt. Col. Monta, who still remembers his time at Carnegie Mellon, working and training alongside his friend Chris Raible, is one such alumnus.

After graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1995, Lt. Col. Monta was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps. He was selected in February 2014 by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development and Acquisitions for participation in the Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellowship Program. He was later assigned to collaborate with Hewlett-Packard to explore ways to find successful IT acquisition strategies for the Department of Defense and industry. Included in his personal awards are the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. "I am very humbled and honored to receive this award," Lt. Col. Monta said. He concluded by saying, "Thank you for setting this award up to honor my friend, Lt. Col. Chris Raible."

Distinguished Alumnus Award

CliftonDr. Rodney J. Clifton (MS '61, PhD '64) was recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award this year. The award is designed to recognize those CEE alumni who have achieved major accomplishments in the field of professional engineering that have helped to improve the work of fellow engineers or helped to improve people's lives.

Clifton received his MS in Civil Engineering in 1961 and his PhD in 1964, both from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He has had a profound impact upon many different subjects, including dynamic plasticity, experimental mechanics, adiabatic shear localization, dynamic and hydraulic fracture mechanics, stress wave propagation, time dependent rheology and friction, and the micro-mechanics of deformation and flow in engineering materials. A pioneer is his field, Clifton has provided foundational contributions for the understanding of numerous scientific and technological problems, and his work has frequently offered essential insight which formed the basis for eventual developments in the field for many years following.

As an educator, Clifton has similarly had a profound impact. In the course of his career, he has advised over 40 graduate students, many of whom went on to preeminent positions in academia, industry, and national laboratories. He has also served as the Dean of Engineering at Brown University three times, from 1974-1979, 1998-2003, and 2008-2010. Dr. Clifton said he was "truly honored by this high award," and modest as well as distinguished, he added, "I appreciate the chance to be here and see other people being recognized." Reflecting on his graduate years, Clifton said, "The background I got at Carnegie Mellon, the friends I made here, have truly contributed to a wonderful life."

The department was honored to host the award recipients and congratulates them on their continued and distinguished contributions to the field of civil engineering.

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