Carnegie Mellon University
September 30, 2013

Alumni Honored at 2013 CEE Alumni Awards Luncheon

Alumni Honored at 2013 CEE Alumni Awards Luncheon
The CEE department recognized the achievements of a number of its alumni at this weekend’s CEE Annual Alumni Awards Luncheon, which was held at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. Alumni, students, and current faculty and staff attended the event. 

Recent Alumni Achievement Award

Alumni Aurora Sharrard (MS CEE ’04, PhD CEE ’07) and Pingbo Tang (PhD CEE ’09) each received the Recent Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes CEE alumni who have made noteworthy achievements within ten years of earning their highest degree from CEE. The recipient of this award must be a role model for students and demonstrate exemplary leadership in the public or private sector. In addition to being the Vice President of Innovation of the Green Building Alliance (GBA) in Pittsburgh, Sharrard co-leads two GBA initiatives: the Database for Analyzing Sustainable and High Performance Buildings (DAHS) and the Pittsburgh 2030 District, which works toward 50% reductions in energy, water, and transportation emissions by the year 2030. “My CMU degree has served me well and I’ve been able to accomplish so much because of it,” said Sharrard, who is also an active member of the CEE Alumni Advisory Council. “I’m honored to be able to continue to serve Pittsburgh.”

Tang, who is currently an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, has published more than 40 peer-reviewed conference and journal articles, and his work on 3D data quality, spatial data processing workflows, and bridge management has been cited over 250 times by civil engineering, geoscience, and computer science researchers. Tang said, “I feel honored to be here. CMU showed me the importance of practicing interdisciplinary research, and taught me how to learn from what other people in other fields are doing.”

Outstanding Alumnus Service Award

Alumni John Kenny (BS CE ’82) and Kevin O’Brien (BS CE, MS CEE ’00) were honored with the Outstanding Alumnus Service Award. This award recognizes CEE alumni who have provided sustained, outstanding service to the engineering profession. Kenny is Senior Vice President of Gannett Fleming, Inc. and has been an active champion of CEE students seeking internships and full-time employment with the company. As a member of the CEE Alumni Advisory Council since 2008, Kenny has taken a special interest in internship and employment opportunities for CEE students. “I’ve always been proud to have been a part in the CEE department,” he said. “Jim Garrett gave me an opportunity to serve the CEE community again, and I thank Jim for making it easy to serve.”

O’Brien, a Project Engineer at Hatch Mott MacDonald in New York, joined the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association Board in 2012 after service in a number of leadership roles in the New York Metro Chapter, including president. In addition to being a regular participant in Carnegie Mellon’s Volunteer Forum, he has planned many events for New York alumni and has been an active member of the Carnegie Mellon Admissions Council since graduation. “From day one, CEE felt like a family, and this is what has inspired me to continue my service as an alumnus in New York,” said O’Brien. “I think CEE has always been a shining example of what alumni relations can be, and I am proud to be here today.”

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Alumna Linda McNair Perry (BSCE ’80) received the department’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, which is given to an alumnus whose work has positively affected the engineering profession and improved people’s lives. Perry, a Senior Structural Engineer at SFC Engineering in Auburn, New Hampshire, has more than 30 years of experience in the design and construction administration of a wide range of projects. In 2012, she was named New Hampshire Engineer of the Year by a jury of peers from engineering societies across New Hampshire after being nominated by the Structural Engineers of New Hampshire, where she had served as president. Perry is also a member of many professional associations, including the Steel Framing Alliance, the Cold Formed Steel Engineers Institute, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the New Hampshire State Building Code Review Board. “I’m very humbled,” she said upon receiving the award. “I enjoy working with the students the University of New Hampshire, where I live, and I hope to do more in the future for the students at CEE.”

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

Sunday’s awards ceremony was also the first time that the department presented the Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award. The CEE faculty unanimously agreed to create the award to honor the memory of Lt. Col. Raible, a husband, father, and CEE alumnus who was killed in action in Afghanistan in September 2012. Raible had a lasting impact on the CEE department during his time as a student, and was known for his strong leadership skills and good nature. He went on to a distinguished military career and received many honors, including a Meritorious Service Medial, ten Strike Flight Awards, a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and a posthumously awarded Purple Heart and Bronze Star. The first award was given posthumously to Lt. Col. Raible (BS CE ’95), and is intended to honor individuals who have provided exceptional public service. Raible’s sister Lona Bosley accepted the award on her brother’s behalf, saying, “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of my brother Chris.”

The department congratulates the award recipients on their achievements.